Meet the HTC One M9, the Samsung Galaxy S6's Chief Android Challenger

1 - Meet HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6's Chief Android Challenger
2 - There Isn't Much Change in the Design
3 - Qualcomm Again Makes Its Way to the Device
4 - There Is Plenty of Data Storage Capacity
5 - The Camera Puts the iPhone 6 to Shame
6 - HTC Says the UltraPixel Camera Is Perfect for Selfies
7 - The Battery Life Is Strong
8 - HTC Brags About the One M9's Sound Quality
9 - There's Also Platform-Agnostic Streaming Technology
10 - Location-Awareness Is a Key Feature
11 - The HTC One M9 Launches in March
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Meet HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6's Chief Android Challenger

by Don Reisinger

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There Isn't Much Change in the Design

Those who own the HTC One M8 will determine quickly that not much has changed in the past year. The HTC One M9 comes with about the same design as the One M8, and includes an all-metal body and a gold-colored spine with mirrored edges that add a little flare. The device is nice-looking, but its design is by no means groundbreaking.

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Qualcomm Again Makes Its Way to the Device

Qualcomm continues to be a favorite for handset makers. The company's Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor is available in the HTC One M9. According to HTC, four of the 64-bit chip's cores will clock in at 2GHz, while the other four will have 1.5GHz clock speeds. That should provide sufficient power for most apps and built-in programs.

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There Is Plenty of Data Storage Capacity

HTC has decided to limit storage options this year to just one: a 32GB model. However, the company says that customers will be able to boost their storage capacity with help from a microSD card featuring capacity of up to 128GB. While having more on-board storage might be nice, having 160GB of storage isn't too bad.

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The Camera Puts the iPhone 6 to Shame

There's little doubt that every Android handset maker is competing with the iPhone 6. After all, Apple's smartphone is the market leader. Perhaps that's why HTC, like others, has tried to top Apple on the camera front. The One M9 comes with a 20-megapixel rear-facing camera, as well as an "UltraPixel" front-facing camera that those who have used it say works better than the iPhone 6's option.

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HTC Says the UltraPixel Camera Is Perfect for Selfies

One of the big selling points for HTC in 2014 was its front-facing camera technology that allowed for better selfies. It's no surprise, then, that HTC has again made that sales pitch this year, announcing that the device comes with its UltraPixel front-facing lens that takes in more light during the day and at night. In addition, the feature has a larger field of view, allowing multiple people to get into a shot.

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The Battery Life Is Strong

One of the benefits of buying a smartphone in 2015 is that new chip technology allows for much better battery life. That's certainly the case with the HTC One M9, which boasts 25.4 hours of talk time on 2G and 21.7 hours on 3G. In addition, the device can last up to 402 hours on standby, depending on the cellular network to which it's attached.

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HTC Brags About the One M9's Sound Quality

HTC at one time owned Beats Audio, the company Apple acquired last year to boost its sound business. Since then, HTC has been heavily focused on delivering high-quality sound through its products. The One M9 follows that tradition with front-facing speakers that, thanks to a partnership with Dolby, recreate a 5.1-channel surround sound effect. The smartphone even comes with a built-in amp.

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There's Also Platform-Agnostic Streaming Technology

Since HTC doesn't make other in-home products, it has been lacking a bit in the streaming market. To address that, the HTC One M9 comes with a feature, called BoomSound Connect, that lets users instantly stream music and videos to compatible home stereo devices. Samsung and Apple have similar solutions, but have their own set-top boxes and sound systems to connect to. HTC doesn't have that, so it has gone platform-agnostic, supporting a wide range of devices. It's a smart move.

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Location-Awareness Is a Key Feature

Using the device's internal geo-location features, the HTC One M9 comes with a tool called BlinkFeed that analyzes a person's location and provides relevant information based on that data. The content BlinkFeed streams include Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, sports scores and other information. It's a key feature for people who are traveling to a location and want to see what's around them.

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The HTC One M9 Launches in March

The HTC One M9 will launch later this month. The handset will be available worldwide on a wide range of carriers and go head-to-head with the Samsung Galaxy S6 for Android supremacy. HTC hasn't announced pricing as of this writing, but it's expected to cost around $649 off-contract.

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