HTC One M9 Debuts, Flashes Style, Promises Performance

In what was not at all a surprise, HTC announced its M9 smartphone today at Mobile World Congress. The HTC One M9 is the successor to the One M8 and thus is the new flagship device for the company.

It's built to be admired, and HTC waxed long about the phone's metal edges and curves, and its all-metal unibody design. Available in gunmetal black, gold, silver, and pink metallic finishes (some of them two-tone), the HTC One M9 was designed with a combination of the HTC One 7's unibody construction and the One 8's shape.

The 5-inch display is a Full HD affair. Under the hood, the One M9 sports an octacore Snapdragon 810 chip (4 x 2 GHz + 4 x 1.5 GHz) with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard storage (expandable to 128 GB with the microSD slot). The 4G LTE device offers a 20 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus and a BSI sensor; it has an f/2.2, 27.8 mm lens, and it supports 4K video recording. (Those candid one-minute spots of your kids just got seriously hi-res.)

The front camera, an HTC UltraPixel, can shoot in 1080p HD and has a BSI sensor and f/2.0, 26.8 mm lens.

Sensors include ambient light, proximity, accelerometer, compass, gyro, magnetic and a sensor hub. Connectivity options are copious; in addition to the predictable Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) with Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX, the One M9 supports DLNA, HDMI, MHL 2.0, CIR, micro-USB 2.0, NFC, and HTC Connect, which is a wireless media streaming feature.

The 2840 mAh battery promises up to 25.4 hours of talk time over 2G or 21.7 hours over 3G (none of which are particularly helpful metrics for determining real-world performance), and it can standby for up to 402 hours on 3G.   

There are front-facing 5.1-channel surround Boom Sound speakers, too.

HTC was sure to emphasize its HTC Sense 7 UI, which boasts a new HTC EYE Experience photo editing app, fun value adds such as restaurant recommendations, a Home Widgets that shows apps based on location, and a Theme feature that generates themes on the fly from a photo, like Action launcher.

Global availability is coming mid-March.

Follow Seth Colaner @SethColaner. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • Ik_So
    Nice phone. Of course it would be so. They kept the idea of M8 and they just took it a step further. So everyone was sure about the result.. But please next time try to surprise us!
  • QuanTums
    I guess their focus on this launch is why they couldn't be bothered to work on the lollipop update for the M8
  • samtherat6
    I'm pretty sure it's expandable BY 128 Gb with the microSD slot, not TO, for a total of up to 160GB.
  • vmem
    Gotta say, while I've loved the HTC One series so far, HTC did not do enough to differentiate itself from Samsung and LG phones this year.
  • big_tiger
    Hope the back camera is recessed,.. NM its the opposite.
  • Mike Coberly
    If it was a choice between the Galaxy S6, or this One M9; I'm siding with HTC this year.
  • Warsaw
    I'm ready to get my next HTC one, had the M7. Didn't like the M8 as much but I think this suits me nicely.
  • brandonjclark
    Not a big fan of my note 4. Will get this. Man TouchWiz sucks
  • alyoshka
    Dunno 'QuanTums', but majority of us with the M8 have received lollipop nearly a month ago.... within the promised time of 90 days.... yes, Sense 7 was being held back till this model hits the markets.... but we're pretty sure to get it soon enough....
    As the saying goes, "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" I guess, HTC just improved ona really great phone to give us a better , more polished, faster phone that we all were craving for, nothing that would shatter the earth but just something better and more in line with the 'many core' many smile funda....
  • C 64
    Nice. Finally an hi spec new mobile with an microSD expansion.
    Will there be an M9X (Win 8.1) model?