HTC One M9: New Personality, Same Face

HTC so fancy. You already know. At least that's what they want you to think with their new flagship, the HTC One M9. It's the same HTC One you know, except grown up and wearing a tie.


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Meet the M9. Yes, it looks just like the old one, for the most part. But HTC promises that it's different underneath.

Under the hood you get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810: an octa-core processor featuring a quad-core 2GHz processor and a quad-core 1.5GHz processor sandwiched together. You also get 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and an expandable slot that can take a 128GB card.

On top there's a 5-inch, full HD 1080p screen and new BoomSound speakers which are certified by the folks at Dolby.

HTC wants this to be the ultimate luxury device, with a premium feel and a precious identity. Like a ring or a watch or a piece of jewellery.

Cosmetic differences include a dual-tone metal unibody design which takes twice the amount of time to make as a single-material unibody device, a hairline brush finish to make it look like a high end watch and a scratch-resistant coating on the backplate.

That scratch resistant coating is great, especially given the state the One M8 got into when you put it in the same pocket or bag as some keys. Not pretty.

HTC's upping the "luxury" factor by making sure every component is touched by a person during the production phase, and taking 300 production minutes just to produce the one handset.

The new colours are Gold On Silver, Gunmetal Gray (which is darker than the One M8 and features a new dual finish on the side of the device), as well as Gold On Gold (with the same dual finish).

Besides the new colours and finishes, the only way you'll tell it apart from the One M8 is the square camera lens and the slight bulge that goes with it.

That camera is the real party piece though. Gone is the Ultrapixel technology for the rear camera, instead replaced by a 20-megapixel shooter. HTC has put the Ultrapixel tech around the front for better low-light selfies.

The camera is backed up by an upgraded photo editor. New effects in the editor include prism for photo shapes that you can adjust using the touchscreen, adding seasons for additional effects like love hearts and snow, and there's a lens-store-style piece of software that lets you add new modes and effects in the future.

All the photos you take and edit will now be stored in the One Gallery, which is a virtual album pulling together all your photos from Facebook, Google Drive, Flickr and Dropbox.

The new phone is also featured with the latest version of HTC Sense, Sense 7 with BlinkFeed. Both work together to feed your mind, body and soul, according to HTC (sigh).

Blinkfeed will feed your mind with news, your body with restaurant recommendations at mealtimes and your soul by connecting you to your friends better.

Sense Home has also been updated with "contextual widgets": a pane that lets apps appear based on your location.

You get Home, Work and Out modes which give you relevant apps when you need them. You also get recommended apps pushed to you based on your location that you might not already have installed.

It's also fitted with a new theme manager to redesign your phone any way you like it.

The phone isn't specifically waterproof, but you can purchase an "Active Case", which is rated to IP57. That means it's water-, shock- and dustproof.

No word on launch date for Australia just yet, but we'll keep you posted!

Stay tuned for our hands on this afternoon!

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