HTC doesn’t want you to wait long for the joy of Android 6.0 Marshmallow on a smartphone, and has therefore revealed the One A9, a long-rumored new device that combines the latest version of Google’s OS with a striking (but familiar) design. Here’s what you need to know about the thin, high-performance phone from HTC.
Updated on 11-06-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in availability information for HTC.com, AT&T, and Sprint
Pricing and Availability
HTC put the SIM-unlocked version of the phone up for pre-order on October 20 through its own website for $400. It’s a GSM phone, so it’ll work with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint in North America. A software update will add voice, data, and messaging compatibility with Verizon’s LTE network, provided you have a previously activated SIM, so the choice is extensive for buyers.
Related: Hands on: HTC One A9
Customers will also be able to unlock the bootloader on this SIM unlocked version without voiding the warranty, and can change carriers as often as they wish.
In addition to the SIM-unlocked version, you can also purchase the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint versions from HTC.com as well. Pricing is $400 through November 7.
Sprint recently announced pricing for the phone on its leasing program. Through January 7, customers can get the One A9 for $20 per month for a 24-month lease. On its two-year contract plan, the phone will cost $200. Sprint lists the full price at $696 on its website.
The One A9 is available now at att.com and in retail stores. Pricing is as low as $17.34 per month for 30 months ($520) with $0 down on AT&T Next 24 or $99 with a two-year contract.
Although HTC is selling a T-Mobile version of the One A9 on its website, the phone isn’t available directly from the carrier at this time.
Sleek look and solid specs
It’s the first phone outside of the Nexus range to be officially announced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow as standard, and while it’s the basis of the One A9’s OS, it’s still covered with HTC Sense. That doesn’t mean the phone misses out on Android Pay, which is ready to use on the phone, thanks to a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button.
The 5-inch screen is typically restrained, in terms of size, for HTC. The 1080p resolution should make it look pin sharp, while the Gorilla Glass 4 covering will keep it safe. It’s surrounded by a metal body that’s reminiscent of the iPhone 6, right down to the 2.5D glass curve and antenna breaks running across the rear of the shell. It’s thin at 7.2mm and light at 143 grams.
A new Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor is HTC’s choice to power the One A9, and although it’s not the range topping 810 chip, still runs at 1.5GHz and comes with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM. HTC will produce the 3GB version with 32GB of internal memory, and the 2GB model with 16GB, although each will be sold in different regions around the world.
The camera is the same across all models, with a 13-megapixel sensor on the back, and an UltraPixel camera for selfies above the screen. Photo features include optical image stabilization and a Pro mode with RAW support, plus the HTC Zoe and Hyperlapse editing tools.
The spec list continues with HTC BoomSound speakers and Dolby Audio, plus 4G LTE connectivity, Bluetooth 4.1, a MicroSD card slot, and a 2,150mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0. There are five color options — obsidian, deep garnet, sea coral, and turquoise blue, and a U.S exclusive topaz gold version.
Updated on 11-02-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added AT&T availability and pricing.
Updated on 10-27-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that the One A9 will cost $500 after the $400 promotional price ends on November 7. Also added Sprint pricing.