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HTC One M9 unveiled with major camera improvements

After weeks of hype and endless rumours, the HTC One M9 has been officially unveiled during a dedicated pre-MWC press conference in Barcelona.

While those holding out for a 2K screen and major design refresh will be left wanting, the HTC One M9 is set to be a true powerhouse of the mobile scene and a serious Galaxy S6 rival.

SEE ALSO: HTC One M9 hands-on

With a 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core processor at the heart of the device, the M9 specs sheet is further enhanced by major camera improvements and a raft of software tweaks in the form of the new Sense 7.0 UI.

“If you look back at HTC and the One range, it’s fair to say that we’ve really pushed ourselves,” said Graham Wheeler, HTC’s Director of Commercialisation Product Management.

Discussing the company’s latest flagship phone, he added: “The HTC One M9 is using the same metal block, taking the same design cues that we’ve previously had, but what we’ve done is we’ve fused some of the design details from previous devices.

“The angular looks from the M7 stand out and you can see the DNA. We’ve utilised the structures of curving the back, making it fit the ergonomics we’ve packed into the M9’s design.”

HTC One M9 Features
Aesthetically similar to its predecessor, the hugely successful HTC One M8, the newly unveiled M9 features a softly curved, brushed metal body with a new two-tone colour scheme. Instead of chasing the accolade of being the slimmest or lightest, the 9.61mm-thick, 157g One M9 benefits from a beautifully practical build.

With only minor design tweaks, the big hardware change when compared with its predecessor focuses on the M9’s camera.

Having done away with the dual-lens snapper from the M8, HTC has bestowed the M9 with a far more traditional 20.7-megapixel primary camera. This high-end camera is accompanied by a pair of LED flashes and boasts 4K video recording credentials.

Things are different up front, too. A 4-megapixel Ultrapixel forward-facing camera has been added to improve performance for the selfie lovers amongst you.

The differences aren’t limited to the phone’s imaging abilities, however. Under the hood Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 810 chipset runs the show, alongside 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage – expandable via microSD.

Android 5.0 Lollipop is HTC’s OS of choice for the M9, but this has been overlaid with the latest iteration of the company’s popular UI – Sense 7.0.

The reworked Sense software brings a number of changes and performance improvements to the mix, but is still built around HTC’s content-collating Blinkfeed interface.

New additions in Sense 7.0 include custom themes. Bringing new levels of personalisation to the flagship series, M9 owners are able to take a photo and use the image to create an entire handset theme, not just a simple wallpaper. This is done by automatically pulling key colours from the image to merge into a seamless theme.

Sense Home is another new addition. This location-based launcher brings key content and apps to the fore, depending on where you are. Although users can pin desired content if wished, the phone will be able to bring you dedicated folders when it knows you’re at home or work.

Related: iPhone 6S release date

While there are countless new additions, not everything has been revamped.

The M9 features the same 5-inch, 1080p panel as its predecessor. Although a stunning display, this bucks the recent trend for flagship phones, such as the LG G3, to join the 2K screen revolution.

A 2840mAh Lithium-Ion battery should ensure a full day’s use will be a breeze, while HTC’s beloved Boomsound stereo speakers have been further enhanced by the addition of Dolby virtual surround sound.

The trio of two-tone colour schemes to be made available at launch will see a gold on silver handset joined by gold on gold and gun metal grey on grey offerings.

HTC One M9 Release Date and Price
If you’re taken with what you’ve seen, you won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on the M8 replacement. The HTC One M9 release date has been officially confirmed for March 31.

Although we know when retailers will start stocking the device, final HTC One M9 pricing is still unclear.

Stay tuned to TrustedReviews for all the latest on the M9’s price and where you can snap up the S6 challenger.

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