HTC One M9 Plus rumor round-up: design, specs, price, release date, and all we know so far
UPDATE: The HTC One M9 Plus is now official.
HTC One M9, and a more powerful version of the latter, referred to as the HTC One M9 Plus (or HTC One M9+, if you will). These rumors weren't quite spot on, however, as only a part of what was predicted came to pass; the HTC One M9 Plus did not debut at MWC. But it looks like the handset hasn't been scrapped. Quite the contrary – HTC has an event scheduled for April 8, and the One M9 Plus is likely going to be the star of the show. Should we be excited? Sure! The One M9 Plus is shaping up as a great smartphone, and if you're not quite convinced in that, allow us to walk you through all we know about the phone so far.Prior to Mobile World Congress 2015, rumor had it that HTC was going to announce a couple of new smartphones at the expo – a new flagship, namely the
UPDATE: Three color options of the HTC One M9 Plus will be available, as leaks have revealed.HTC is well known for its exquisite smartphone designs. The look and feel of its handsets have been of utmost priority ever since the HTC One M7 came out. Needless to say, the HTC One M9 Plus will be treated to the same level of attention. Leaks indicate that its body will be made of metal and will be built following the design principles instilled by the company's flagship lineup. In other words, the One M9 Plus will look like a bigger One M9, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as the latter is quite the looker. Similarly, the M9 Plus's body will be treated to a dual-tone paint job. At least two color versions of the phone are believed to exist – one combining gunmetal gray with a gold trim around the sides and a silver model with gold accents.
As it's easy to guess, the HTC One M9 Plus will be physically larger than the One M9. Rumors suggest that the handset will measure 150.9 by 72.5 millimeters (5.94 by 2.85 inches) and will be 10.15 millimeters (0.4 inches) thick. To put things into perspective, the HTC One M9 measures 144.6 by 69.7 millimeters (5.69 by 2.74 inches) and is 9.61 millimeters (0.38 inches).
HTC's trademark front-facing speakers appear to be present on the One M9 Plus. That's great and all, and we hope that the positioning of the aforementioned fingerprint scanner/button will not interfere with the bottom speaker's performance.
Leaked photos reveal that a large camera is placed at the back of the HTC One M9 Plus. It appears to be paired with a Duo camera – the kind that made its debut on the One M8 and enabled bokeh effects to be added to images. At the front of the handset there's the mandatory front-facing camera, and chances are that it will be of the UltraPixel variety.
Display, processor, memory
As far as under-the-hood hardware goes, HTC has chosen a 64-bit MediaTek MT6795T SoC for the One M9 Plus. It stands out with its so-called True Octa-Core processor, which is MediaTek's way of saying that all cores can be active at the same time. According to specifications, the CPU's maximum clock speed can reach the 2.2GHz mark. The PowerVR Rogue G6200 is the GPU of choice. Thankfully, it should be able to handle the screen's high resolutions without any issues. We must note that a Snapdragon 810 variant of the HTC One M9 Plus is also rumored, but we have no solid evidence to confirm the existence of such a model.
The 3GB of RAM the HTC One M9 Plus is expected to come with is a typical amount for a modern flagship. Chances are it will be of the DDR3 kind, however, as the memory controller on the aforementioned MediaTek SoC doesn't support DDR4. Storage-wise, you'll have no less than 32GB on-board, but about 22 of these will be available to the user, as revealed by leaked images. The smartphone is expected to feature a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
Software and interface
does feature a fingerprint scanner, as it is rumored, then we'll definitely see it being used as a lock screen password replacement. It might also double as a shortcut for certain apps, as the fingerprint reader on the HTC One Max could, but this is just a guess.We aren't aware of any software-related surprises HTC might be readying. The HTC One M9 Plus should run Android 5.0 out of the box, augmented by the HTC Sense 7.0 user interface. If the smartphone
That aside, the interface on the HTC One M9 Plus is likely to be identical to that on the One M9. BlinkFeed will occupy one of the phone's home screens, providing you with updates from your social networks and headlines from media outlets. A swipe to the side will take you to the traditional home screen where app shortcuts, folders, and widgets can be organized to the user's liking. The built-in support for themes will let you personalize the look of the UI by changing icons, graphics, and color accents.
Furthermore, we're expecting HTC to add a set of gestures to the One M9 Plus's UI, including double tap to wake and the option to unlock the phone by doing a swipe up when it's off. Launching the camera from the lock screen should be done by flipping the phone in landscape and pressing down the volume key. Speaking of the camera...
The HTC One M9 plus is rumored to have a 20.1MP camera with a maximum image resolution of 5376 by 3744 pixels. A dual-tone LED flash is also going to be present, from the looks of it. Chances are the snapper will be using the very same image sensor found in the HTC One M9. Whether optical image stabilization will be included or skipped again – the One M9 lacks OIS, in case you didn't know – is anyone's guess.
Knowing that the HTC One M9's camera leaves room for improvement, we wouldn't set our hopes high in expectation for the M9 Plus's shooter to blow other high-ends out of the water. As we stated in our HTC One M9 review, the camera performs well in good light, but struggles when lighting conditions are poor. The front-facing camera, on the other hand, is expected to be an UltraPixel one and should prove good enough for all your selfie needs.
We're curious to know if the Duo camera on the phone's back, the function of which is to detect depth, will enable the main camera to perform any new tricks. On the One M8, the extra cam allowed us to add blur to the background of the images, thus making them look as if they had been taken with a DSLR. Okay, kind of. We could also tweak the focus of an image after it had been taken. Guess we'll have to wait and see what else HTC's camera team will come up with.
Price and release date
In terms of pricing, the HTC One M9 Plus won't be cheap, knowing that the HTC One M9 carries the premium off-contract price tag of 650 U.S. dollars (or €750 in Europe, which is roughly $811). Therefore, we can safely assume that the HTC One M9 Plus will be 100 dollars/euro more expensive. Of course, signing a carrier contract will surely bring the phone's price down to a much more bearable point.
Keep in mind that all of the information above is based on leaks, rumors, and pure speculation. The only bits of information we can consider official are the teasers for the "More than One" media event, which HTC will be hosting in Beijing. Since a phone, likely the HTC One M9 Plus, is rendered on the teaser, we're expecting it to be the star of the show. The event is scheduled for April 8. Mark your calendars.