HTC’s 5-inch A9 smartphone, one of the industry’s first smartphones with Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS, became available today through AT&T and Sprint, along with unlocked versions available direct to consumers from HTC.
The first two phones with Marshmallow — the 5.7-inch Huawei-made Nexus 6P and the 5.2-inch LG-made Nexus 5X — were unveiled in September by Google.
HTC shipments begin today for consumers who preordered the metal-chassis phone from the company’s online store starting Oct. 20, when the phone was announced.
Audio, video and photo capabilities are also among the phone’s key selling points.
Prices: HTC’s unlocked models, priced at $499, consist of an A9 that works on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks and a separate unlocked SKU for the Sprint network. HTC also plans a software update that will enable the unlocked T-Mobile/AT&T phone to operate on the Verizon network, but only in LTE mode, with full voice, data, and messaging with a previously activated SIM, a spokesperson previously said.
HTC’s unlocked models will let consumers switch carriers as well as unlock the bootloader without voiding the warranty. Come with six months of unlimited music streaming from Google Play, four color options, and Uh Oh screen-replacement plan, which lets users replace a cracked screen for free within the first 12 months of ownership.
For its part, Sprint priced the phone at $199 with two-year contract, $696 without contract, $29/month with 24-month installment-payment plan for a no-contract model, and $20/month with a 24-month lease.
AT&T priced it at $99 with two-year contract, $519 without contract, and at $17.34 and $26/month under different installment-payment options.
Key features: The phone is HTC’s first with fingerprint sensor, which supports Google’s Android Pay app.
Other key features include 5-inch AMOLED FullHD display, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, an octacore Qualcomm processor running at 4×1.5GHz+4×1.2GHz, and external MicroSD slot accepting 2TB storage.
Key audio features include 192kHz/24-bit audio DAC, ability to decode FLAC and WAV files, and a high-output headphone amp to drive large headphones and provide more volume and dynamic range.
The main 13-megapixel camera optical image stabilization, uncompressed RAW file capture, one-touch RAW auto processing on the handset, 1080p video capture and f/2.0 aperture.
The main camera also features hyper-lapse capture mode to speed up video playback smoothly. Pro mode lets users select manual focus and manual aperture selection.