HTC's latest flagship smartphone, the HTC One M9, will be available for preorders and early shipments starting March 27 through AT&T and T-Mobile before going on sale officially across the United States on April 10.
In a March 26 announcement, AT&T said it will begin shipping the phones on March 27 soon after customers place their preorders if the order is received by 2 p.m. EDT. The smartphones will be available to customers in AT&T stores starting April 10.
AT&T is pricing the HTC One M9 at $0 down on an AT&T Next 24 plan of 30 months for $23.64 per month ($709.20 total), on an AT&T Next 18 plan of 24 months for $29.55 a month ($709.20 total) or on AT&T Next 12 plan for 18 months at $35.45 per month ($638.10 total). The smartphone can also be purchased for $199.99 with a two-year agreement or without a contract for $708.99.
T-Mobile said in a March 26 announcement that it is pricing the HTC One M9 at $0 down plus 24 monthly payments of $27.08 ($649.92 total) for its customers, without a contract. T-Mobile customers will have to pay the balance due on their phones if they do not keep their wireless service for at least 24 months, however. T-Mobile said it will also begin shipping the phones immediately after the preorders open.
The new HTC One M9 is packed with upgrades and performance boosts over its predecessor, the HTC One M8, including a 5-inch, full HD 1080p display, an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with four cores running at 2GHz and four cores running at 1.5GHz; 3GB of RAM; 32GB of built-in storage that can be expanded up to 128GB with a micro SD card; and a 2,840mAh battery, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The new phone runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system and HTC's Sense 7 software.
Also included is a 20MP rear-facing camera with an auto-focus f/2.2 27.8mm lens that includes a sapphire cover, a backside illumination sensor (BSI) and 4K video recording. The front HTC UltraPixel camera on the new handset features an f/2.0 26.8mm lens, a BSI sensor and1080p video recording.
The all-metal unibody design of the HTC One M9 handset has distinctive metal edges and graceful curves and a dual-tone silver and rose gold-colored finish. Also included is a powerful new HTC BoomSound audio system with dual front-facing speakers as found on previous HTC One M series phones, as well as 5.1-channel dolby Surround sound simulation that promises bigger sound even in a small package.
The new M9 also features a new three-finger swiping capability on the display that allows users to connect the phone to compatible televisions or select external wireless speakers to send the audio feed to an external device.
Also included is wireless HTC Connect integration with the Qualcomm AllPlay smart media platform that allows users to stream high-quality content from their smartphones to multiple home entertainment devices in their homes, while also sharing wireless speakers with other mobile devices. In addition, the M9 is preloaded with the Peel Smart Remote app, which lets users connect to their favorite TV shows and transform their phone into a personal TV guide and remote control.
The HTC One M9, which works on 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, measures 5.69 inches in length, 2.74 inches in width and 0.37 inches in thickness. The handset weighs 5.53 ounces.
HTC's previous One M8 smartphone was released in March 2014, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The M8 was an Android phone with a 5-inch, full HD 1080p display; curved edges; a curved back; and a full gunmetal facade with a brushed hairline texture.
In August 2014, HTC unveiled its HTC One M8 for Windows, which runs Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 in place of the original Android operating system in the first One M8 devices. The HTC One M8 Windows phone includes an all-metal body; a 5-inch, full 1080p HD display; a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core CPU; 2GB of RAM; 32GB of storage; a 5-megapixel, wide-angle front-facing camera; HTC BoomSound front speakers with built-in amplifiers; and a non-removable 2,600mAh battery.
Samsung's competing new flagship Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 smartphones are also being offered for preorder starting March 27.