HTC One A9 first look: Radical design changes with a price $250 less than the …

20 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

HTC One A9 finally revealed, receiving special ‘unlocked edition’.

Today during its big reveal livestream from New York, HTC officially announced the HTC One A9 phone and a special “unlocked edition” version of the product line.HTC has unveiled a new smartphone to sit alongside its existing flagship device, as the Taiwanese technology giants looks to revive its struggling fortunes.

HTC describes the One A9 as a reasonably priced alternative to the One M9, rather than a sequel, with the smartphone aimed at those who want a frills-free smartphone and aren’t too fussed about specifications.Photos of a new HTC phone started leaking out a few days ago, and there was one overwhelming response: Good god that thing looks a lot like the iPhone.

The bootloader essentially is what keeps users from accessing lower level software options and manipulating the device however they want, including in ways the manufacturer may not have intended. But while the iPhone continues to shatter smartphone sales records, HTC–despite strong reviews for the last several iterations of its flagship HTC One devices–struggles to remain relevant. “The big takeaway is that there is some smartphone fatigue out there,” says Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s president for the Americas. “What we see is an opportunity. It has a very similar metal unibody case, complete with visible antenna lines, smooth curved edges and colour options that mimic those offered by Apple.

The product will also come with fewer preinstalled chunks of software, but exactly HTC is cutting out isn’t known at this time, though we have asked. The problem is when you buy an iPhone, you really are submitting your mobile life to one company who is deciding what is good for you.” According to Mackenzie, the A9 should “really appeal to Apple users who are interested in doing something else but they’re not seeing a product that checks the boxes for them.” The boxes that he says have been checked on the A9 lead to a device that is well-designed, powerful, simple and not laden with “bloatware” or duplicative functions. Here’s the opportunity: Apple and Samsung are selling tens of millions of iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 models this year, while most Android manufacturers go bigger at the high end. The design has already been compared to that of the iPhone, with HTC looking to gain market share after a turbulent year which has seen the firm cut 15% of its workforce after a quarterly loss of more than £8m.

HTC didn’t seem too fussed when quizzed about the One A9’s similarities to the iPhone, claiming that it beat Apple to it with the release of the original HTC One in 2013. The technology giant’s chief Cher Wang said: “HTC is a smartphone pioneer, having delivered the first Android smartphone, the first Windows smartphone, the first 4G smartphone, and the first all-metal smartphone. “Today we’re taking that heritage of innovation to the next level, unveiling a phone that stands apart in a market increasingly dominated by a company which controls every aspect of your phone.

HTC would like you to know that even if it doesn’t have the marketing budget or presentation cachet that Apple does, it’s still an innovative company. One thing HTC is boasting about is that this will be the first non-Nexus phone out of the gate to run the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. HTC got rid of its signature dual, front-facing speakers in exchange for a much more Galaxy S6-like look, with a small earpiece grille at the top, a home button/fingerprint scanner at the bottom, and a single speaker on the bottom edge of the phone.

Other notes: the 5-ounce phone has a 5-inch full HD display, octa-core Qualcomm processor, fingerprint sensor and 32GB of memory, upgradeable through microSD to 2 terabytes. The camera software also supports the RAW format that is used by professional photographers in the image editing process, which HTC says will enable users to take and edit photos in more detail on the device. The company initially made smartphones based mostly on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system (OS) software, but in 2009 it began to … read more »

There a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization to reduce a photographer’s shakes, and a front “UltraPixel” camera that HTC claims can capture 300% more light than conventional smartphone cameras. The cameras also have features aimed at pro shooters (including the ability to capture RAW images.) And you can take advantage of the HTC ZOE feature that is similar to (and indeed predates) the new Live Images feature on the latest iPhones. Doze automatically turns off power hungry applications when your phone is left idle, such as when charging overnight, while App Standby knows when an app open in the background isn’t being used and shuts it down until you need it again. HTC plays up the phone’s manual camera capabilities and its low-light, 4-“ultrapixel” selfie camera, as well as the phone’s hi-res audio playback features. The phone will initially be compatible with the AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile networks, and sometime after launch (through a software upgrade) with the Verizon Wireless network. “We’re going to zag at the same time everybody else is zigging,” Mackenzie says.

Vibrant 24-bit high definition sound quality comes from the combination of a high-output amp integrated into the headset combined with Dolby Audio™ Surround technology. It’s a handsome, simple device, with a fast fingerprint reader below the screen, the requisite buttons and ports, and almost nothing else to speak of.

Kim detailed the flat-stack design of the A9, described how hard it is to engineer a center-mounted rear camera, and outlined the challenge of designing an all-aluminum phone with a cool polished texture on the side. Sense equips the handset with features such as a location-aware app launcher, BlinkFeed and HTC Themes, allowing you to pick from over 20,000 themes to customise the handset’s interface. There’s another fake-out in the UI which concerns me: along with the fingerprint-scanner home button, there’s a virtual home button on the screen, and only that one can be used for Google’s “Now on Tap” feature.

It’s under 2.8 inches wide, although it’s a little taller than the S6, and its combination of narrowness and super-slimness makes it potentially one of the best one-handed phones on the market. He wants engineers to spend less time on what he calls “hygiene,” redesigning menus and icons that don’t need to be redesigned, and more time on truly valuable features. According to RootMetrics, in 125 markets measured in the first half of 2015, Sprint received 180 first-place (outright or shared) RootScore [® ] Awards for overall, reliability, speed, data, call, or text network performance. In these same 125 markets, Sprint achieved 27 first-place award wins in the year-ago period. [2] Sprint S, -1.70% is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most.

More important than funky menus and unique wallpapers is being able to deliver timely software updates, and to support phones for longer than a few months. Sprint served more than 57 million connections as of June 30, 2015, and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Phone owners don’t want three redundant email clients, or to spend all their time choosing which app to open links in. “We’re trying hard to be non-dictatorial,” Newby-House says, but also to make using a phone feel like a lot less work.

HTC insists that this phone does last out the day, because of its power-efficient processor and Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s power-saving “doze” feature. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint. [1 ] $0 down at signing on a 24-month lease at $20/month lease for other monthly lease payments above, all for qualified customers. Lease payment amount excludes taxes and svc plan charges. [2 ] RootMetrics award rankings based on RootMetrics 1H 2014 and 1H 2015 125 Metro RootScore Reports (January-June 2014 and 2015) for mobile performance, as tested on best available plans and devices on four mobile networks across all available network types. This is a bit of a crowning statement about how Qualcomm screwed up the entire 808/810 series this year, producing overly hot, not particularly fast chips that didn’t thrill its customers.

Samsung and Apple aren’t sharing their chips, Intel’s current products are no better than Qualcomm’s, and Huawei’s and Mediatek’s modems have trouble being approved by U.S. carriers. Productivity performance on the 600 series is generally good, but I’m worried about the GPU performance, which could drag down things like gaming and screen transitions.

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