In 2013, HTC rebooted its smartphone line with one of the most gorgeous phones ever made, the metal HTC One (M7). Since then, the company hasn't so much been flexing its design muscle, as it has been repeating that same design. Meet HTC's second iterative update to its 2013 flagship, the 2015 HTC One M9.

The One M9 looks a lot like the HTC One (M8) ... which itself looked a lot like the HTC One (M7). Same basic aluminum unibody design, with front facing speakers. The big design differences are a two-toned finish and a single (20 MP) camera on the backside, rather than the polarizing dual camera on last year's model.

The One M9's display is a bit behind those of its high-end Android competition, sporting "only" a 5-in 1080p display. That's a little underpixelated compared to the Quad HD phones that are increasingly becoming the norm for Android flagships, and also the same specs we saw in the One M8.

This is the first HTC flagship with a 64-bit processor, as it has Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 CPU under the hood. The phone comes standard with 32 GB storage (with microSD slot) and carries 3 GB of RAM (another first in a One) along with the latest version of HTC's Sense software (Sense 7) on top of Android Lollipop.

The aluminum unibody phone is far from the thinnest, at 9.61 mm (0.38-in) thick. It does weigh in slightly lighter than last year's flagship, at 157 g (5.5 oz).

On a specs level, the One M9 isn't breaking any new ground, and on a design level, it shows a company hesitant to depart from a well-received formula. But the experience of using HTC phones does often transcend specs, so we'll have to wait for a review unit before seeing how this all adds up.

Last year's One M8 was available in Verizon stores the same day that HTC announced it, but the One M9 is launching with a more typical delay. It will roll out in the middle of March, in silver, gray, pink and gold color options.

Product page: HTC

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