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MWC 2015: HTC One M9 breaks cover - All you need to know

By April Taylor , Mar 02, 2015 09:55 AM EST
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The highly-anticipated HTC One M9 is finally official, boasting top-notch specs and features all around, as well as the premium design fans have grown so fond of.

Expected to be one of the most popular smartphones of 2015, the HTC One M9 has plenty to offer.

"HTC has built its reputation on challenging expectations in the mobile industry," HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang touted in the press release. "The HTC One M9 accomplishes this once again with stunning elegance and design, combined with smart features that help bring your world to life, connecting you in a deeper way to the things you consider most important. So much more than just a phone, the HTC One M9 is an extension of who you are."

Design

The new HTC One M9 flagship doesn't sport a dramatic redesign compared to its predecessor, on the contrary - they are very similar in appearance. Nevertheless, HTC has improved the scheme and the new smartphone is now thinner and smaller, with edges somewhat reminiscent of the older One M7. In other words, the company took the most highly-appreciated parts of the One M7 and One M8 designs and combined them for a sleek One M9.

Moreover, HTC has also equipped its new-generation flagship with IPX3 certification that makes its water- and dust-resistant to some extent, and also plans to offer a special case for more serious waterproofing.

Display

The new HTC One M9 sports a 5-inch LCD display, but doesn't boast a QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution as some leaks have indicated. The handset features a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1440 pixels at 442 ppi, which many believe is enough. On the other hand, some may see this as a disappointment, especially since other flagships such as the newly-unveiled Samsung Galaxy S6 rock QHD displays.

Hardware specs

Under the hood, the new HTC One M9 packs a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with four 2GHz Cortex-A57 cores and four 1.5Ghz Cortex-A53 cores, paired with a hefty 3GB of RAM for a fast and fluid performance. Other specifications include 32GB of internal storage capacity, a microSD card slot for additional memory of up to 128GB, and a powerful 2,840 mAh battery to keep things up and running.

In the camera department, the HTC One M9 boasts a 20-megapixel rear camera with f/2.2 aperture, BSI, auto-focus, 4K video recording capabilities, and a sapphire lens cover. On the front, the handset features an UltraPixel shooter with the same features and capabilities found on the One M8's rear camera.

Connectivity options, meanwhile, include 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, HTC Connect, DLNA, HDMI MHL 3.0, NFC, CIR, Micro-USB 2.0, GPS, and Glonass.

Software

As expected, the HTC One M9 runs the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, complete with the brand new HTC Sense 7.0 on top. Several new features make their way to the smartphone, including an enhanced Blinkfeed that now comes with lock screen integration, new contextual features, a downloaded apps folder, and more. Users will also be able to change the color of the keyboard, icons, and others, thanks to a new HTC Theme app. Another neat feature is the ability to analyze your wallpaper or some other image and get colors for a matching theme.

"Your phone should make a statement about who you are and the new HTC SenseTM 7 experience puts you in control of everything. Highly customizable and intuitively you, Themes puts you at the center of the smartphone experience, intelligently analyzing your favorite photos to modify the look and feel of your apps, color scheme and backgrounds," the company further boasts in its press release.

Audio

As expected, the HTC One M9 also shines in the audio department, rocking a "larger-than-life soundtrack courtesy of HTC BoomSound." The smartphone boasts dual front speakers that now feature 5.1 channel Dolby Surround Sound simulation, "delivering extraordinary, cinema-style surround sound."

"Uniting HTC BoomSound and Dolby AudioTM creates immersion vibrant audio experience, so you can enjoy movies with rich, clear and powerful sound even without connecting headphones or external speakers. Whether listening via the stereo speakers or headphones, even the most discerning music fans will be blown away by the phone's support for perfect, 24-bit high-definition sound that surpasses even CD quality. HTC's unique combination of HTC BoomSound, Dolby AudioTM, a finely tuned sound profile, and Qualcomm® Immersive Audio gives all of your music and movies an unmistakable HTC One M9 flavor."

Availability

Last year, HTC had an extremely nice surprise in store, offering the One M8 immediately after the unveiling. Some were hoping to see a similar strategy this year, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The new One M9 made its debut on March 1 and is set to become available in the U.S. on all four major carriers - AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile - in early Spring, but no exact launch date is known yet. The handset will also be available through HTC's website, Amazon, Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile specialty stores, Costco Wholesale, and Target. An Unlocked version will also be available through HTC's website.

Pricing details remain unknown at this point, but HTC should offer more details shortly. We'll keep you up to date as soon as we hear more, so stay tuned.

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