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HTC One M9 release date, specification and price

By Simon Thomas on 11th December 2014

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UPDATED: The HTC One M8 (pictured above) went out the door months ago and phone fans everywhere are already eagerly looking ahead to the inevitable HTC One M9. Even before leaks and rumours started emerging there were concept designs popping up across the internet.

But now some actual news is starting to emerge, so while it’s early days yet here’s what we’ve heard and can speculate about so far.

Release date

HTC are yet to announce when they'll officially unveil the One M9, but they tend to stick to a fairly rigid pattern, releasing its flagship phones within a few weeks of MWC. 

Next year’s MWC takes place between the 3rd and 5th of March, so we’ll likely see an announcement either during the show or shortly afterwards, with a release likely to take place the very same month.

Adding credence to that, the notorious tipster @evleaks wrote that: “Slated for a first quarter 2015 launch, the HTC M9 and HTC M9 Prime will be the next full refreshes of the One Mx family”

Specification

We don't currently have any official information about the HTC One M9, but it’s possible that it will bear a resemblance to the HTC One M8 Prime, which was rumoured to have a 5.5 inch 2560 x 1440 display with a pixel density of 534 pixels per inch and has since been canned.

The super phone was also thought to have a 2.5GHz snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM. However, the HTC One M9 might be even more powerful than that and there's talk of both a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 and octa-core Snapdragon 810 processors being included in the new flagship.

Recent rumours suggest something in the middle, with Stuff claiming that it might come with a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM, making it a match for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

The site also echoes the QHD resolution rumours, claiming that it could have a 5.2 inch 2560 x 1440 display with a pixel density of 564 pixels per inch. Finally the site mentions choices of 64 or 128GB of storage and that the battery will be larger than the 2600 mAh one in the HTC One M8. It will also almost certainly run Android 5.0 Lollipop, since that’s now available.

One thing we have heard is that the camera might have an optical zoom. That’s almost unheard of in smartphones, with only the Galaxy Zoom range really offering it, one reason for that is that it means the lens takes up more space, so it’s hard to make the phone as slim, but it does significantly improve its photographic capabilities.

In a conversation with Vodafone, HTC’s imaging specialist Symon Whitehorn said that: “Optical zooming in a smartphone is not too far off at all for HTC. I can’t give too much away, but within 12-18 months we’ll see huge advances in phone optics.”

It might prove that the One M9's release is just a little too soon for the optical zoom and we've also heard rumours that it'll have a 13 megapixel camera, as opposed to the Ultrapixel snapper featured on the M8. But the Duo Camera element is still likely to be retained enabling you to change the focus after a shot has been taken.

While we’re not convinced that we’ll see optical zoom, it does look like the HTC One M9 might have optical image stabilisation. According to Chinese site MyDrivers the phone will have a 16 megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation, in which case we can almost certainly say goodbye to UltraPixels. 

The site also sheds some light on other aspects of the HTC One M9’s specs, claiming that it will have a 5.5 inch 2560 x 1440 display (which conflicts with earlier 5.2 inch rumours), a Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32, 64 or 128GB of storage and a 3500 mAh battery.

Apparently HTC may also be partnering with Bose to give its audio a boost, while we may also see an HTC One M9 Prime, though there’s no word on what that will entail.

Design

Nothing is known for certain about the design of the HTC One M9. However, in all likelihood it will be similar to that of the HTC One M8, just further refined, perhaps with a slimmer and ever more metal build.

There’s also a chance that the HTC One M9 will have a waterproof body. Many competing devices do and Stuff claims to have heard that it might. 

The material it’s built from might be changing too, as MyDrivers reports that it will be built from an aluminium silicon-carbide composite. 

There’s always an outside chance that HTC will drastically change the design, especially as the company’s head of design has announced that he’s leaving according to The Verge. He was the man behind the One’s iconic design so there’s a chance that his successor will take things in a different direction. Though if that happens it probably won’t be until the HTC One M10.

Until we know more you could do worse than checking out the concept designs below to see how other’s envisage HTC’s new flagship.

Concepts

The concept design feature in the video above, by the prolific Hasam Kaymak, is probably the best HTC One M9 concept that's been produced so far. 

More recently Ashik Empro has put together a concept (pictured below), which seems to sport even less plastic than the HTC One M8. It also seems to remove the black bar from beneath the screen, which is a welcome change.

HTC One M9 Concept by Ashik Empro

That aside it’s a fairly conservative design, which largely mirrors HTC’s current flagship, but that’s okay because the One M8 is still one of the best looking phones around.

Then there’s this from Jermaine at AndroidJS. Again it’s fairly close to the HTC One M8 and if anything even plainer, but it looks to have been slimmed down while the bezels have been minimised.

HTC One M9

Price

It’s not known what the HTC One M9 will cost, but it’s going to be a flagship phone and will therefore be very expensive. The HTC One started at around £500, while the HTC One M8 retailed for around £550 at launch, so the HTC One M9 will probably be in the £500-£600 range, likely closer to £600 if anything.

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