HTC's One A9 is a $399 iPhone ripoff with the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow Software

The Taiwanese company today introduces its second hero handset of the year in the One A9. This 5-inch smartphone will be among the first to ship with the latest Android Marshmallow software on board, and it will be available to buy unlocked for an attractive price of $399.99 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
Outside of the US, though, pricing skyrockets, with the UK cost of £429.99 translating to an eye-watering $665. Worse yet, the One A9 in the UK comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, compounding the issue.It's also the most blatant and highest-profile iPhone ripoff since Samsung's original Galaxy S. 

HTC has now abandoned much of that heritage in favor of some unabashed iPhone cloning. Gone are the prominent BoomSound stereo speakers on the front, replaced by a capacitive home button with an integrated fingerprint reader. Gone is the subtle curve spanning the rear of the phone, replaced by a flat back that's punctuated only by a pair of antenna lines, a circular two-tone flash, and a slightly protruding camera module. The resemblance to the iPhone is only extended once you pick up the One A9, which feels for all the world like the middle child between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

HTC's changes have all been for the better, and what's more, this phone seems to have also copied the iPhone in feeling like more than the sum of its parts. The One A9 has a 2,150mAh battery, a Snapdragon 617 processor, and a 1080p display, but it makes the absolute most of them. Performance is delightfully fluid and quick, which for me has been a revelation having recently suffered through Sony's flawed and stuttery Xperia software. Notably, HTC lists the One A9's software as "Android 6.0 with Sense," which signifies the hierarchy of priorities with this phone. With the A9, HTC isn't adding more cosmetic changes, opting instead to cut down the number of preloaded apps and put the focus on delivering all the features of Marshmallow.

Long Battery Life And Fast Charging

Android 6.0's Doze feature should help the One A9's comparatively small battery last for a reasonable length of time. HTC promises it will keep up with smartphone users' expectations, plus the phone is compatible with Qualcomm's Quick Charge for rapid recharging (though there's no QC charger in the box).

HTC's Gives New Amartphone A Truly Excellent Selfie Camera

There's a new 13-megapixel sensor residing behind an f/2.0 lens and a sapphire cover. Optical image stabilization finally makes its return to the One series, having been absent since the M7 in 2013. HTC refuses to call this its best camera ever, but I can already tell you that it is. The biggest letdown of the One M9 has been rectified. There's no option for 4K video recording, but you can shoot 1080p from both the rear camera and the one on the front, which is the same UltraPixel camera that was featured on the back of the HTC One M8 and the front of the M9. 

The One A9 supports high-resolution audio and Dolby Surround Sound for headphones, which are both mostly marketing gimmicks, however the internal circuit board layout has also been designed to ensure minimal electric distortion. HTC has built in a DAC that upscales 16-bit audio to 24-bit and helps power more demanding sets of headphones. The company goes so far as to say that the One A9 delivers a signal-to-noise ratio that's "second to none in the industry."

All variants of the One A9 across the world will include a microSD card slot as well as 100GB of free Google Drive storage (except for China, where the phone won't include Google Mobile Services). The handset will be sold alongside the One M9 in most places, but in the United States it becomes HTC's new flagship. Look for it in carrier stores and on HTC's own online shop early next month in a choice of Opal Silver and Carbon Gray initially, to be followed by Deep Garnet and Topaz Gold. Our full review will be up next week to help you decide if the One A9 is worth your time and money.

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About Jaime Lacson

A Freelance Computer Tech with knowledge about computer, router and mobile phones, especially in Upgrade and Downgrade OS, Software and Hardware troubleshooting. follow me at Google+
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