HTC's New HTC One M9 Flagship Smartphone Is Refined, Redesigned

Launched at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, the new HTC One M9 includes a vastly improved 20MP main camera and an upgraded built-in speaker system for improved sound.

smartphone, HTC One M9

HTC's latest flagship smartphone, the HTC One M9, is packed with upgrades and performance boosts over its predecessor, the HTC One M8, including a new eight-core processor, an astounding 20-megapixel main camera and a vastly improved built-in sound system.

The new HTC One M9, which features a 5-inch, full HD 1080p display, was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on March 1 after weeks of rumors that had been circulating on the Internet about what would be featured in the new handset.

Pricing and release dates have not yet been announced, but the new smartphone will be available in the United States on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon early this spring, as well as through, Amazon, Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, Costco Wholesale and Target stores. An unlocked version will be available later through HTC.

The HTC One M9 includes 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. The new phone runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system and HTC's Sense 7 software.

Highlighting the new HTC One M9 is the latest 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 sound capabilities will provide improved 24-bit high-definition sound that surpasses even CD quality when users listen through the phone's stereo speakers or through headphones. 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.

"HTC has built its reputation on challenging expectations in the mobile industry," Cher Wang, the chairwoman of HTC, said in a statement. "The HTC One M9 accomplishes this once again with stunning elegance and design, combined with smart features that help bring your world to life, connecting you in a deeper way to the things you consider most important. So much more than just a phone, the HTC One M9 is an extension of who you are."

The new 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 nonremovable 2,600mAh battery.