htc one a9 first impressions aa (25 of 45)

Today HTC took the wraps off its new hero device, the HTC One A9. While the phone isn’t exactly a “flagship” by the traditional sense, it does offer some compelling features including a high-end metallic design, Marshmallow out of the box, a fingerprint scanner, and more. One other big change? The unlocked version of the One A9 will not only have a unlocked bootloader that won’t void the warranty, it’ll also get almost Nexus-fast updates.

In an official Tweet, HTC revealed that the unlocked A9 will get “every software update within 15 days of Google’s first push to Nexus.” That’s a pretty bold claim, especially since HTC fell behind on its 90 days promise back in the days of Lollipop.

For what it is worth, we’ve seen HTC push more and more of its apps to the Play Store, decoupling them from Sense. With the promise of 15 day updates, perhaps HTC has found a way to push away even more of the HTC Sense experience from base Android? After all, it’s generally the “customized parts” of the UI that slows OEMs down when it comes to launching new updates.

What if HTC can hold true to the promise? The HTC One A9 will be one of the most modder-friendly devices on the market, offering fast updates and an easily unlockable bootloader. Of course, it’s specs aren’t exactly the kind power users dream of, though there’s more to a good phone than the specs. For more casual consumers used to iPhone’s update policies and for those that fear the dreaded (and exaggerated) “fragmentation issue” of Android, the addition of fast and frequent Android updates will also likely be welcomed.

What do you think of the HTC One A9, and its near-Nexus update promise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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