HTC made a name for itself in the smartphone design game with the One M7 in 2013, and a year later in 2014, the One M8 kept on bringing in the accolades - an evolved aesthetic showed more maturity (and slippery-ness), a bit less plastic, and a greater level of overall fit and finish than its predecessor. Still, while the M8 was certainly a pretty phone, you can't deny the One look is aging a bit, and there were high expectations for the phone's successor in the design department. Those hopes didn't exactly pan out here at MWC, as you're by now well aware.
Samsung, LG, and HTC are the heavy-hitters in the Android world - you can generally expect their flagship devices to be on almost every American carrier. So it is with HTC's new One M9, which has been confirmed for four out of the five major US carriers right out of the gate. We asked a US Cellular representative if the company planned to offer the One M9 after they confirmed that they'd be carrying Samsung's new S6 and S6 Edge, and were told that it wasn't on the release schedule at the moment.
Remember when HTC announced a partnership with Under Armour for an Android application and future products? Well, this marriage has carried its first fruit, the HTC Grip. Or maybe it's called the HTC re grip. I don't know, because HTC's branding for this accessory is all over the place.
Last year the buzzword at Mobile World Congress was "wearable." The fervor from that market trend still hasn't died down, but hot on its heels is "virtual reality." Despite a less than fantastic position in the smartphone space, HTC seems intent on expanding into virtual reality to compete with the likes of Microsoft, Google, Oculus Rift (and by extension, Facebook), and Samsung. Say hello to the HTC Vive... or possibly the Re Vive, depending on which HTC promo you go by.
Details on HTC's hardware are scarce - to be honest, we don't even know if the Vive is running Android or compatible with smartphones in any way.
HTC's One series has kept a consistent design language since its minor re-launch in 2013, and it looks like the Taiwanese manufacturer doesn't intend to mess with a good thing. After several leaks, the One M9 (following the M8 and M7) was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this afternoon (or morning, depending on where you're reading this). While HTC has made a few noticeable tweaks to the flagship's design, notably dropping the "ultrapixel" and "Duo" cameras of the first two generations, this is clearly a One device.
But, in case you want further confirmation that this is what HTC will indeed unwrap later today at its MWC conference, Best Buy has let its own M9 product page go live. It's a listing for the AT&T-compatible grey variant of the phone, with 32GB of storage and priced at $649.99.
Ah, the leadup to Mobile World Congress, where high-end device leaks flow like milk and honey. After Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have been almost entirely revealed, we've now got a video demo'ing HTC's next One flagship, the M9. The video below from YouTube user Samia Lou shows off the unreleased M9 next to its One series predecessors, the One M8 and M7 from 2014 and 2013, respectively. Nothing's official until it's official, but this removes pretty much all doubt about the M9's physical design.
The M9 keeps the same basic One family traits including the metal unibody and dual front-facing speakers, with an added piece of gold-colored metal trim around the bezel, iPhone 4-style.
We are rapidly approaching that fun time of year when the largest Android smartphone manufacturers unveil their newest flagships. That means we're already in the silly season of rumors and leaks. Isn't it interesting to follow all the developments on, say, the HTC One M9? The M7 was great, the M8 was better...it's understandably hard to wait for official information about the 2015 iteration. However, whatever you do, do not look at product images from case manufacturers like Spigen to learn what the next phone will look like.
Remember when famous tipster @evleaks posted these supposed renders of the M9?