Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC has been having a fairly forgettable year, what with its current flagship smartphone, the One M9, failing to impress either the tech media or the public at large, resulting in huge losses from built-up inventories. That however, isn’t keeping HTC from investing in newer models, and the company recently unveiled its latest premium smartphone, the One A9, which has received a mixed response from netizens, with some liking its premium look-and-feel, while others expressing concern about the lack of top-shelf hardware for the price it is asking. Either way, a lot rides on this model for HTC and the company will be hoping that the device will help it recover some of the ground it has lost to competitors like Samsung and Apple over the past couple of years.
The company has now announced through a press-release that today onwards, the aforesaid One A9 will be available for purchase at various retailers, both online and off. While AT&T and Sprint will be offering the device on their networks, HTC says it will be offering an unlocked, SIM-free version of the handset on its own website for $499.99. The one interesting aspect of that particular version of the smartphone would be the ability to unlock the bootloader without voiding the warranty, which would come as music to the ears of many DIY Android enthusiasts. The company also announced that all HTC One A9 handsets bought from its own official website would come with its ‘Uh Oh Protection‘, which is basically a free insurance plan against damage arising out of mishandling, including a cracked screen or liquid damage. The device will also come with six months of free Google Play Music.
As a quick recap of the tech specs of the One A9, HTC’s latest smartphone features a 5.0-inch 1080p AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. The handset is powered by Qualcomm’s MSM8952 Snapdragon 617 SoC, and comes in two different variants. While the base version of the smartphone sports 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage, the US version will come with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage out of the box, according to the HTC press-release. Imaging options include a 13-megapixel rear-facing primary camera and a 4-megapixel front-facing selfie-cam. The phone also comes with a fingerprint scanner and an integrated NFC chip, which means it will be compatible with Android Pay. The device comes with Android 6.0 Lollipop out of the box with HTC’s proprietary Sense UI laid on top, and carries a 2,150 mAh Li-Ion battery.