Mobile World Congress 2016 is kicking off very soon and we expect a couple of new flagship smartphones to be announced in Barcelona. Right after the Chinese New Year festivities, HTC Malaysia will be introducing the HTC One A9 in Malaysia. The official launch is happening next week, 18th February but a couple of dealers have already started selling the device.
The One A9 isn’t exactly HTC’s new flagship but it is their premium mid-range smartphone that comes with a metal unibody design. At first glance, the back does look like an iPhone 6 especially with its flat surface and distinct antenna band lines. According to their CEO, Cher Wang, the One A9 is a good alternative to Cupertino’s popular smartphone.
In terms of specs, it gets a 5″ Full HD display with Corning Gorilla glass and underneath it is a home key that doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. Powering the device is an Octa-Core 64-bit Snapdragon 617 processor, which is a notch above the popular mid-range Snapdragon 615/616 processor. For Malaysia, we are getting 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage which can be expanded via microSD. For optics, it gets a 13MP f/2.0 main camera with Optical Image Stabilisation, while selfies are handled by its 4MP Ultra-pixel front camera.
Despite being a HTC, the One A9 sadly does not come with its famed BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers. Instead, they have included a DAC that does Dolby Audio with 24-bit Hi-Res Audio. The HTC One A9 is their first smartphone with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, and it supports 4G LTE on a single SIM. Keeping the lights on is a 2,150mAh battery that’s tiny for a device of this class.
Most retailers in Malaysia including DirectD and SuperBuy are selling the HTC One A9 at RM2,199, which is quite pricey for its segment. Samsung’s Galaxy A series priced between RM1,299 to RM1,899 is already quite costly and the HTC One A9 just sets the bar higher as probably the most expensive mid-range Android smartphone at the moment. For the price, you would be better off with a Samsung Galaxy S6 or a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact.