Don’t count out HTC in smartphones just yet. The Taiwanese manufacturer is expected to announce its latest flagship, the HTC One (M9), this weekend ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The device is expected to follow HTC’s “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy.
The HTC One (M9) likely won’t have many major upgrades from the (M8); still HTC insists consumers should be excited. Communications manager Jeff Gordon Tweeted Tuesday that fans and pundits have no idea what to expect at the company’s launch event Sunday. However, through various leaks, we’ve devised a snapshot of the new HTC smartphone.
Here’s a rundown of what we know:
HTC’s smartphones are considered some of the best-designed devices on the market, and the company may stick with the tried-and-true on the HTC One (M9). Several leaks indicate that it will have the same all-metal unibody design seen on the HTC One (M8) and HTC One (M7).
Tech informant @upleaks recently shared videos featuring the HTC One (M9) that look pretty official. One appears to be the introductory video that HTC will show at its launch event for the (M9). It shows that design updates for the device could include a two-tone metal finish--gold in the front and silver in the back. Previous models have had the same color throughout.
The HTC One (M9) is expected to have a 5-inch Full HD (1920x1080 resolution) display at a time when most manufacturers are upgrading their smartphones to Quad HD (1440x2560 resolution). Many pundits are concerned that this won’t go over well with consumers.
Samsung similarly saw fans balk at the fact that its Galaxy S5 smartphone released with a Full HD display in 2014 when rumors insisted the device would have Quad HD. This was one of many factors blamed for the market failure of the Galaxy S5. Samsung is expected to correct its flub by outfitting the upcoming Galaxy S6 with Quad HD.
HTC may be opting for a lower-resolution screen in order to get an increase on battery life on the M9. Battery life is a make-or-break feature for consumers. Perhaps they can forgive that the HTC One (M9) may not be as bright as other flagships if they can use it longer.
Like other HTC One flagships, the (M9) is expected to include some of the best hardware available. The smartphone may be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip. Unlike some manufacturers, HTC says it has not experienced overheating issues with the processor.
Additionally, the HTC One (M9) should have 3GB of RAM and 32GB and 64GB internal storage options, all of which would be upgrades from the HTC One (M8), which featured 2GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB storage options. Users will be able to expand their memory via a MicroSD Card slot, likely up to 128GB.
HTC has also hinted at upgrades to the BoomSound speakers on the M9. The One line is known for its high quality front-facing speakers. HTC has partnered with audio experts Dolby for the HTC One (M9).
â€” HTC Ireland (@HTCIreland) February 23, 2015
Powering the HTC One (M9) will likely be a 2840mAh battery, an upgrade from the 2600mAh battery on the HTC One (M8).
The smartphone should run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with HTC’s Sense 7 user interface, which is expected to feature design themes to allow users to change the entire look and feel of their UI.
Users should be able to create their own themes with images they take or upload. Users can also select their own icons for a theme that is uniquely theirs. One of the leaked promo videos shows off the theme creation feature on the (M9) in action.
The Sense 7 interface should also allow users to set different home screens for different locations. For example, when an HTC One (M9) user is at work, their device will show one set of apps they need for business, while another is displayed for home use.
The HTC One (M9) may feature a 20.7-megapixel rear camera, and a 4-megapixel front camera, though other rumors suggested that the smartphone will have a 13-megapixel front camera, similar to the selfie-centered HTC Desire Eye, which had 13-megapixel lenses in the rear and the front. One of the leaked promo videos shows off the HTC One (M9) camera in action.
There are no official details on what the HTC One (M9) might sell for. However, a base model smartphone in the One line is typically priced at $199.99 with a two-year contract in the U.S., and between $599 and $649 off contract.
The HTC One (M9) will be announced at HTC’s Utopia In Progress event on March 1 in Barcelona preceding the World Mobile Congress. There is no word on when the device will be available for purchase; however, HTC is known to release its devices very soon after being announced. There is a chance that the HTC One (M9) could be available on the day of announcement in some locations.