HTC One A9 officially announced: everything you need to know

by: Jimmy WestenbergOctober 20, 2015

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Ever since the HTC One M9 was announced back in March 2015, many of us have been wondering what the Taiwanese company has planned for us next. Today we find that out, as HTC has just officially unveiled the One A9.

Complete with HTC’s familiar all-metal unibody design, high-resolution audio experience and Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the latest version of HTC Sense, the One A9 certainly seems to be quite the contender in the mid-range smartphone space. With that said, does it come with enough to help it stand out from the crowd? Without any further ado, let’s take a look at the all-new HTC One A9.

HTC in video

HTC One A9 specs, features and design

 HTC One A9
Display5.0-inch AMOLED display
1920 x 1080
Gorilla Glass 4
Processor64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617
MicroSDYes, up to 2TB
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
3.5 mm stereo audio jack
micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port
Fingerprint scannerYes
SoundDolby Audio and Hi-Res Audio
SoftwareAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
HTC Sense
CameraRear: 13MP with sapphire cover lens, f/2.0 aperture, OIS
Front: HTC UltraPixel, f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus
BatteryNon-removable 2150mAh, Quick Charge 2.0 (forward compatible with Quick Charge 3.0)
Dimensions145.75 x 70.8. x 7.26mm
ColorsOpal Silver, Carbon Grey, Deep Garnet, Topaz Gold

For starters, the HTC One A9 features an all-metal unibody design, similar to what we’ve seen in past HTC phones like the One M9, M8 or M7. It comes with a 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution and Gorilla Glass 4. The company chose to forgo a Quad HD panel for the One A9, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Full HD screens are lighter on battery consumption and are much cheaper, which will undoubtedly help with the overall cost of the smartphone, and help make the non-removable 2150mAh battery last a bit longer.

HTC says the device can last up to 12 hours with HD video playback, up to 9 hours with internet use (on Wi-Fi), or up to 18 days on standby. It’s also Quick Charge 2.0-compatible, and forward compatible with Quick Charge 3.0, Qualcomm’s newly-announced fast charging standard.

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Quick Charge capabilities aren’t the only thing helping out the battery, though. This device runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which means it comes with all of the awesome battery-saving features that have been introduced in the latest version of Android. Not only this, but it also runs the latest version of HTC Sense, which is one of the most simple OEM skins we’ve seen on any current smartphone on the market.

Under the hood, the One A9 sports a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor, along with 2 or 3 gigabytes of RAM, depending on which configuration you choose. The 2GB of RAM model comes with 16GB of on-board storage, while the 3GB of RAM variant comes with 32GB of internal memory. Both variants also come with microSD expansion up to 2TB (2,000 gigabytes), so you’ll definitely have enough memory to store all of your photos, videos and music.

And plenty of storage is what you’ll need, too, because the One A9 comes packed with a number of attractive features for all of your multimedia needs. It comes with support for 24-bit, 192KHz high-resolution audio and a dedicated headphone amplifier, which HTC says can produce up to 2x the volume compared to competing smartphones. The company is also selling its new Pro Studio Earphones with the handset to bring it to the next level. Audio quality is definitely something we’ll test in great detail in our full review, which will be out in a few weeks.

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On the camera front, it sports a 13MP rear-facing camera with a sapphire glass lens cover, optical image stabilization (OIS), auto-focus, hyperlapse video support and the ability to shoot in RAW. HTC has never really hit it out of the park in the camera department in the past, so we’re pretty excited to see what the A9’s camera can do. HTC says it has improved the camera interface by making it much simpler and easy to use. More commonly-used features like switching between cameras and turning HDR off are now located to the left side of the viewfinder, so it should be a little easier to take photos with the A9. It also features an UltraPixel front-facing camera, which will definitely be able to take care of your selfie needs.

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As you’ve probably noticed by now, the One A9 comes with a home button below the display. This is because HTC has decided to include a fingerprint scanner on the device. This is certainly good news, as mobile payment popularity is on the rise, especially with the recent launch of Android Pay.

As for the overall design of the device, the One A9 is slim and quite small, measuring just 145.75 x 70.8. x 7.26 mm. It will also be quite easy to hold in one hand, thanks to the smaller 5.0-inch display. Some HTC devices in the past have been a bit slippery due to the all-metal design, which we’re hoping the company addressed with this device. If it does turn out to be too slippery, though, there’s good news – HTC is releasing a Dot View II case with the One A9, which will not only add protection from minor bumps and drops, but also some added functionality thanks to the retro-looking dot matrix display.

Where and when can you buy the One A9?

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The HTC One A9 will be available around the world through retailers and, with pre-orders starting today for those in the United States. The unlocked version of the One A9 is set at $399.99 (presumably the 16GB/2GB RAM model) , and will initially be offered in Opal Silver and Carbon Gray, with a Deep Garnet color arriving “in the coming weeks”.

There will be two versions of the unlocked A9, one that works with Sprint specifically, and the other SKU for T-Mobile, AT&T, and with a software  update coming that will allow use on Verizon’s network using LTE only with a previously activated SIM, giving support for full voice, data, SMS, and MMS. HTC also plans to offer the A9 through select carrier partnerships, though not all the details have been revealed on this just yet.

Though the A9’s asking price might seem a bit high, considering you can get higher-spec’d devices for a similar price point, the A9 does offer the advantage of HTC’s Uh Oh Protection in the US. This free program gives you a replacement device in the first 12 months if you crack it, water damage it, or simply switch to another carrier and need a different version. The HTC One A9 will also include 6 months of free unlimited music through Google Play Music.

It’s also worth considering that, even if its spec sheet makes this seem more like a mid-range entry, HTC is offering several premium features that make this one stand a bit above what you’d expect from the mid-range, and from design and featurs its pretty obvious this phone is being marketed as an iPhone alternative — though whether this is enough to make the A9 a ‘must buy’ remains unseen.

So, with all of that said, what are your thoughts? Are you interested in the new One A9? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

  • Aaqib Ismail

    So it’s an iPhone lookalike with the camera in the middle instead of the corner.
    HTC is doomed

    • Ilannguaq Sakariassen

      This is HTC style since 2013 long before iPhone 5….

    • Miles Haenow

      This looks like a One device. The iPhone copied the Ones design. You are an idiot.

      • Haha so pissed, even though I understand why.
        Clueless people saying it looks like iPhone, yet HTC has been doing design way before Apple made that design on their iPhone.

      • Skile

        Lol, so much hate! I’m really sorry that people are so blinded with hate that they don’t want to accept the simple and obvious truth. It’s almost identical to the iPhone. Of course it’s a One design, but it looks like the One design evolved. Into an iPhone design, unfortunately. The curved back disappeared, the camera is way up on the back, it’s a bigger design change than the ones before. Yes, the iPhone looked like a HTC One. But this time around, the HTC is the one almost identical to the competiton.
        Anyway, this still looks good. Why all this hate?

        • James Theodore Retuya

          Except that htc has been using that design before apple ever did. So who’s copying who now?

          • Skile

            Did you even understand what I just said, lol?

        • Degus Jacoby Pradana

          And samsung home button

        • EeZeEpEe

          Exactly! Yeah Apple did unibody too. I get it. But the actual looks of the phones were different. No one was going to confuse the back of the iPhone 6 with the HTC M7. But this, at quick glance looks like the iPhone 6 or 6S with the camera moved to the center.

      • Debian Fraz

        I guess HTC can’t hire a better fanboy than an idiot 9 years-old who can only say “You are an idiot”.
        The same goes to you, kid.

        • Miles Haenow

          You are a pudding brain twat.

      • Degus Jacoby Pradana

        How about samsung home button? Only samsung had that design

        • Miles Haenow

          No. They didn’t.

    • Miles Haenow

      The iPhone is an HTC look alike stupid twat

    • Skile

      Lol, so much hate! I’m really sorry that people are so blinded with hate that they don’t want to accept the simple and obvious truth. It’s almost identical to the iPhone. Of course it’s a One design, but it looks like the One design evolved. Into an iPhone design, unfortunately. The curved back disappeared, the camera is way up on the back, it’s a bigger design change than the ones before. Yes, the iPhone looked like a HTC One. But this time around, the HTC is the one almost identical to the competiton.
      I always loved the One, I like this A9 also. Why all this hate?

    • EeZeEpEe

      Exactly! Yeah Apple did unibody too. I get it. But the actual looks of the phones were different. No one was going to confuse the back of the iPhone 6 with the HTC M7.

  • Sayed ahamed

    useless moto x pure edition is better not to mention OP2 , nexus 5x or nexus 6 and if you are in asia mi note pro . HTC doomed :( SD 617 is not even comparable SD to 808 except for on a couple of points

    • Miles Haenow

      You are an idiot.

      • Degus Jacoby Pradana

        Lol im impressed with u, at least HTC have 1 loyal fan, keep fighting

        • Miles Haenow

          Stupid twat

      • Sayed ahamed

        Keep calm and stop telling everyone to be idiot control yourself and calm down

    • Ismail Akram

      Everything about HTC One A9 is great and flagship grade except for processor… but its HTC phone not samsung ;) so it will fly and moreover it don’t have QHD display.. only I can wish this to be have better battery. I want this phone 80% but if it had stereo speakers man it would be an other perfect phone for me after Nexus 6P. now just want to sell my iPhone and get Nexus 6p and HTC One A9.

  • M42

    I was hoping it wouldn’t look like the leaked images and that it would have better battery life. As it is, they ripped off the Samsung S6 look on the front, the iPhone for the back and stuck a weak Samsungish battery in it. This phone is DOA and the next stop for HTC will be bankruptcy court.

    • Miles Haenow

      You are an idiot. It looks like a One device. Of you think it looks like anything else that’s because the One design was copied by Samsung and Apple. And if you think HTC is going to go bankrupt it proves that you are so fucking stupid you are just pathetic.

      • M42

        And you are one chromosome from a Neanderthal.

        • Miles Haenow

          No that’s you. Pathetic cretin.

      • Sluppo

        Hahahahahahah! Your love for HTC can be seen from your comments, you have replied to almost every comment that criticizes the A9 calling them a twat/idiot. HTC still has some loyal fanboys. :’)

      • Degus Jacoby Pradana

        What about samsung Home Button? Eehhhmm….

  • If it were at $299 or $329 it could’ve been a blockbuster even with that embarrassing design. $399 is too much for that device. The $300 Nexus 6 is a better alternative (leave the camera aside).

    • amogh solomon

      its $399 not much of a difference

      • Yes there is. There’s the OnePlus Two 64GB at $389 and the Moto X Style at $399. So comparatively, the A9 is very weak. And considering the specs it’s literally very weak.

    • Singkawang

      Agree with you.
      This HTC One A9 will compete with Moto X Play, and the pricing @ $399 is NOT competitive enough.

    • cackleberry

      Where is the Nexus 6 $300?

  • Jack Torrance

    1080p, SD 617, 2gb ram, 16hd, no front facing speakers are they high! WTF! R.I.P HTC. And they had the nerve to hype this POS!

  • vatsal modi

    Thats not gonna sell…. Nobody wants a iphone lookalike……..if people even buy this they would be mocked by the whole Android community and apple fanboys.

    • I actually like the look and feel of the new iPhones. But I don’t like iOS. So I can buy an A9.

    • Nazgul

      Meizu has company…

    • Miles Haenow

      The iPhone looks like an HTC One moron. Pathetically stupid you are.

    • Marty

      Everyone wants an iPhone with Android on it. Add to that, everyone wants an Android with HTC’s UI.

  • Paolo T.

    HTC is Doomed. They’ve completely given up ANY modicum of decency, originality, and/or technological advancement with this phone.

    RIP HTC.

    • Miles Haenow

      You are an idiot. Thanks for proving with your comments you have a low iq.

      • Paolo T.

        It’s pretty obvious where HTC took its design cues from. Blatantly. I’m just pointing it out,…

        • Miles Haenow

          They have been using this design since 2013 you stupid twat. Apple was the one who copied HTC. So no you are not pointing anything out. You thought you were being clever but you are factually inaccurate. You are such a said stupid fool.

          • Paolo T.

            Well, if HTC used the same design of the first One, why did they NOT improve on it more, instead selecting to shamelessly copy an established design?!

          • Miles Haenow

            You can’t copy your own design dumb fuck. Also you can’t improve what is perfect. How stupid are you?

          • Paolo T.

            It’s irrelevant if HTC made their own design, they shamelessly COPIED THE DESIGN OF ANOTHER COMPANY INTO THEIR OWN DEVICE INSTEAD OF IMPROVING UPON THEIR ESTABLISHED DESIGN! That’s as bad as Starbucks inventing the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and instead of improving upon it, shamelessly cloned The Coffee Bean’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee right down to the ingredients, and then passing it as Starbucks’ new PSL! Do you not see how ridiculous that is?

          • Miles Haenow

            No they didn’t copy anyone. You cannot copy yourself you ignorant twat. You are such an idiot.

          • Paolo T.

            I can’t even-

          • ms polly

            Ignore him, you can’t win arguing with 10 years old kid :)

          • Ste

            broken disk

    • Ismail Akram

      This is nice looking device

      • Paolo T.

        Because it looks like an iPhone. And the only thing going for it is that it’s easy to handle with one hand,…

        • Marty

          It’s an iPhone done right. It has all the style and hardware quality of an iPhone with the functionality of Android and the quality of HTC’s UI over it all. What’s not to love?

          • Paolo T.

            The absolute LACK of originality. That’s what’s not to love. You wouldn’t like the next Chevy Malibu if it turned out to be carbon copy of the Honda Accord in the same you wouldn’t like an iPhone clone even if it was functional and visually elegant now, would you?

          • Marty

            I like the looks of the A9 and I know HTC hardware is top notch and first rate. I love the iPhone hardware but iOS isn’t as functional or nice as Android…iOS is higher quality and much better coded and designed, though. The A9 embodies all the things I want in an iPhone, however.

  • Marian Zamfir

    Ok, the design it’s nice, but a real reason to buy this phone ? Anyone ? Maybe not..

    • Daggett Beaver

      Some people are buying the Nexus 5X. That should tell you there’s a customer for any phone.

    • Ismail Akram

      Real reason to buy any other device? same is for this.

  • Daggett Beaver

    Nobody wants this. Nobody likes that. And I know, because I polled everyone on earth with an ultra-scientific poll.

    • Miles Haenow

      Said the idiot liar

      • Ste

        u are so boring u cannot even get sarcasm

    • Ismail Akram

      say you don’t like it. a lot of people like it

    • Marty

      You had the electrodes reversed. In proper order, it’ll show everyone on Earth wanting one of these.

  • EnTuCara

    That’s an iPhone with android. Win.

  • EnTuCara

    That was born right when Jony Ive & the Android had sex.

    • Miles Haenow

      The iPhone copies HTCs design moron.

      • EnTuCara

        I am sorry to offend your feelings fanboy

  • Ficker22

    Battery : Non-removable 2150mAh…. Emmmm, no thanks.

    • Miles Haenow

      Said the idiot twat

      • STT

        That seems like a reply from a fanboy.

    • An Droid

      The burn is strong with this one ?

    • Singkawang

      Agree wtih you.
      How can this 2150 mAH device can compete with Moto X Play with 3500mAH+ battery.

  • Jonathan Kramer

    Cost/benefit ratio isn’t there for me i spite of the Nexus like updates and I’m not a fan of sense.. does that make cents?

    • Ismail Akram

      yes that makes sense. you’ve your preferences.

  • Kiss my Asthma

    And this concludes HTC’s tutorial on the fastest way to go bankrupt.

  • Marty

    The one up for preorder at $400 is the 32GB model.

  • Tibi Con

    The last nail in the coffin for HTC…

  • salehin bin othman

    The A9 look good Quite elegance, it very similar to one m8 in design, the downside with Htc phone not Only on camera the Software has to many pre Installed Apps . you can’t uninstall it,to many unused App can be very Annoying, I hope Htc Will do something about it, in the future. Like many smartphone users, I’ll prefer the Google Lates & Greatest Nexus 2015 no matter which you choose among the two 5X or 6P. Your good to go,The good thing about Google Nexus Device, is STOCK ANDROID Simple/ Neat/ Clean/ Learn More !

  • Matthew Dorris

    Even if we could all get past the fact that it looks exactly like an iPhone, its still $399 and for $399 you could buy a Moto X Pure Edition or even a nexus 5x. Why would anyone buy this over those phones with the same price and better specs? Come on HTC, you used to be the best. We are all pulling for you.

    • 1213 1213

      Funny thing is the 16gb, 2gb ram version costs £430 in UK. The galaxy s6 is £350 new on ebay. You would literally have to be crazy to buy it.

    • cackleberry

      There are some important differences. Compared to a 5X, the HTC has 3GB RAM, better screen, expandable storage, metal body. Compared to Moto X Pure: Much smaller (which is a good for many people).
      Also, the iPhone looks just like an HTC from a couple years ago. ;)

      • Matthew Dorris

        The 5X is still cheaper and one could definitely argue that having the snapdragon 808 is more important than an extra gig of ram (an extra gig you only get on the 32gb version so you actually have to pay even more). The processing package on the A9 isn’t nearly worth the price of the phone

      • Matthew Dorris

        And besides, no matter where the design originally came from, its a design we’ve been seeing for the past 2 years from Apple so no one is terribly excited about it. There is nothing original or exciting about this phone… Especially not the price

  • cackleberry

    Sorry, HTC… this was too late. This is what the M9 should have been. If this had been announced earlier in the year I would have replaced my One M7 in a heartbeat. But my Nexus 5X arrives tomorrow.

  • David Griffiths

    Non-removable battery. Fail.

  • Jayzziebone

    For 399$ i will rather buy the Moto X Pure. I don’t like the iPhone Clone HTC came up with. Moto X has a bigger battery, QHD display, bigger screen, Front facing speaker, SD808 for the same price. Epic fail.

  • Siralf

    I’m sorry I cannot take seriously a phone that looks so much like their biggest competitor in the smartphone business, it feels cheap and coward, specially when they are able to come up with awesome designs like the M7.

  • raultt

    HTC is claiming this as the new flagship, can we then assume that there will be no flagship phone in the spring which is HTC’s traditional flagship announcing time. Will there be no One M10?

    • Cakefish

      There will be. This is just marketing speak.

  • en.brujd

    Large space at bottom. A button together with onscreen nav bar. Congrats HTC. You just made awesome combo to make bottom bezels thicker than it is.

  • Cakefish

    It is insulting that the US gets the 3GB/32GB edition for considerably cheaper than the UK’s 2GB/16GB edition.

    R.I.P HTC. At least, in the UK market they’re doomed. The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is the exact same price and offers so much more value for money.

  • Ronak

    I ll buy only if they promise that they ll release update for at least 3 years and that too fast. Or I ll choose moto x style.

  • Degus Jacoby Pradana

    We introduce u HTC One A9 , crafted from masterpiece material with Samsung Home Button design and Iphone back design, and also we not forgot to put big bezzel and our ugly ass logo in the front, Yes we can! Because we listen to our costumers who wants iphone Galaxy combined

  • Prestaeus

    This may compel Apple users to consider Android. Besides, we all know HTC has to succeed in the next 24 months. If an M10 comes out, all good.

  • Bitch pls… IPhone copies HTC since 2013

    • It is not about The upper and lower lines dude… it is about everything else.

      If you look carefully, you will see not only on the back of the phone but on every tiny detail all over it. Put them together, even with older “original htc designs” and you will see why everybody is saying this is a copy.

  • 1213 1213

    Maybe HTC will take a new direction and try to fill the niche of the most Apple-like android? Its no secret that they aren’t doing so well after all. Still don’t think they’ll be able to pull it off but who knows.

  • Martin Bodlák

    Nice phone, I like the specs (enough power for everything I do), the design and so, but I do miss dual SIM support, I need it as I have to use both my personal number and my work number, and battery seems a bit small. But, there is another problem with this device: in Europe, it is MUCH more expensive and it doesn’t include some features available in US and this is really bad decision from HTC – unless they wanted to really sell the phone only in US.

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  • OldDeux

    up to 2TB of storage holy

  • JohnA

    I love the look of it. I’m definitely interested…