Early this morning, HTC’s Jason Mackenzie and Drew Bamford took the stage live from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to announce the newest addition to the One smartphone family: the One A9.
Available in the first week of November “globally”, the One A9 seems as though it’s going to target the ‘mid-range’ smartphone market. Although pricing has not been made available as of yet, we’ll be sure to keep abreast of any updates in this regard.
Buyers will interact with the 5-inch, Full HD display (that’s protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass) on the front of the device, as well as the fingerprint sensor. Atop the device’s front panel is a HTC UltraPixel sensor capable of shooting 1080p video.
Inside the full metal, unibody casing is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617. This is a 64-bit, Octa-core chip with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz, and the others at 1.2GHz. Also briefly touched upon was the ability of the A9 to take advantage of Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology.
The rear Camera includes a 13MP sensor with Optical Image Stabilisation, phase detection auto-focus, RAW capture with “one-touch auto processing”, and Hyperlapse capture mode for videos.
Additional noteworthy specifications include support for 802.11 AC, a micro-USB 2.0 connector (not a USB Type-C connector), 16GB and 32GB storage configurations (that will ship with 2GB and 3GB of memory, respectively), a micro-SD card slot, and a 2150 mAh battery. The full specification sheet from HTCs official website can be seen below:
With respect to software, Mackenzie was proud to announce that the One A9 is the first “non-Nexus device” that will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It will of course be running HTC’s Sense overlay.
The pair also highlighted that HTC will sell an “Unlocked Edition” of the A9. Not only will this handset be unlocked from provider networks, but the bootloader with also be unlocked. In addition, Mackenzie noted that “less preinstalled software” will be included with this variant. This edition will also receive every Android software update within 15 days of Google deploying it to Nexus devices.
To pump up (pun intended) excitement about the One A9’s audio experience, HTC are providing buyers with six months of free Google Play Music access. If that wasn’t enough, HTCs Uh-Oh protection will also be thrown in for free; that’s 12 months of device protection that includes a free device replacement, “no questions asked”.
Overall, the ‘#BeBrilliant’ event didn’t provide us with any real indication of how well the handset performs, and what new additions to the Sense overlay we can expect on this device. Nonetheless, the One A9 seems like a solid, mid-range smartphone that will be sure to please current One owners. There’s nothing too crazy here, although HTC have strayed a little from the design that both the M8 and M9 adopted.
Pre-orders for the HTC One A9 are available today in the US, and we’ll learn of additional information regarding its Australian availability in the very near future…