If you really like the way the iPhone looks and feels but prefer the flexibility of Android’s software, HTC’s new phone may be what you’re looking for.
The company just announced its new One A9 phone, which looks nearly identical to the iPhone but runs on the latest version of Android. It’s launching in November.
The One A9 is also cheaper than the iPhone for now, since HTC is allowing customers to order the phone for $US400 unlocked as part of a presale promotion on Tuesday.
HTC hasn’t announced what the official price will be once the promotion ends.
The phone is made of metal and has the same slab design as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s — even the placement of the antenna bands looks similar. It has a 5-inch screen, which makes it just slightly larger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6/6S and smaller than the 5.5-inch iPhone 6/6S Plus.
HTC’s new phone comes in a bunch of different colour options though, including grey, silver, gold, and garnet.
Here’s a closer look at the phone:
And for comparison’s sake, here’s the iPhone:
HTC is focusing on two key areas with its new phone: camera and audio. The phone comes with a 13-megapixel camera, and there’s an optional Pro mode that lets you save RAW images. Professional photographers typically shoot in this mode because it means that the image hasn’t been processed by the camera at all.
HTC is also adding Dolby Audio to the phone, too, which should make the phone’s BoomSound speakers sound even better.
One of the biggest draws for Android fans will be the fact that this phone is already running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow — which is the newest Android version Google just launched this month. That means the experience will be smoother than what you’d get on phones powered by older versions of Android. It’s a big deal because these Android updates sometimes take a long time to hit specific phone models since they have to be approved by carriers and manufacturers.
The One A9 looks like a solid choice for those looking for a high-end Android phone, especially if HTC keeps the price in the same range as its promotional cost. There are a few great Android phones that are priced about the same, such as the Moto X Pure and OnePlus 2, but those phones aren’t quite as premium as the One A9. Samsung’s phones, which are made of metal and glass and look just as fancy as the One A9, cost a lot more than the $US400 price HTC is asking for today.
The announcement also comes as HTC is in need of a hit product. Although HTC was once among the top Android phone sellers, the company’s stock plunged so low in August that its market capitalisation was worth less than the money it had in the bank.