HTC unveils the One M9 smartphone and Vive virtual reality headset

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The first big announcement out of Mobile World Congress 2015 comes from HTC, who announced not only the recently-leaked One M9 smartphone, but also the Vive virtual reality headset.

HTC One M9

While only a minor departure from previous One smartphones, the silver variant of the M9 uses a two-toned aluminum unibody contruction, where the back is your usual brushed silver back while the sides are gold. If silver and gold isn’t for you, there are all black, pink and gold models available.

Other new features include surround sound BoomSound speakers on the front and a 20MP camera on the back. And aside from some software differences, you’d find it difficult to find any other differences.

For you spec junkies, here’s everything that know so far, straight from HTC. One thing to note is that this is focused on the global, non-carrier-specific model of the M9, so it may be lacking some cellular bands. You’ll also find the launch press release below.

Show Specs »

HTC One M9 Specs (Global)

DIMENSIONS

  • SIZE: 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm
  • WEIGHT: 157g
  • DISPLAY: 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p

PLATFORM

  • Android™ 5.0 (Lollipop) with HTC Sense™

PROCESSOR

  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 octa-core CPU
  • 4 x 2GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz
  • 64-bit processing

MEMORY

  • Total storage: 32GB, available capacity varies1
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Expandable: microSD™ expansion supports additional memory cards up to 128GB (optional cards not included)

NETWORK

2G/2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE:

  • 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

3G UMTS

Varies by region

  • 850/900/1900/2100 MHz

4G LTE

Varies by region

  • FDD: Bands 1,3,5,7,8,20,28
  • TDD: Bands 38,40,41

SIM

  • Nano SIM

SENSORS

  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Accelerometer
  • Compass Sensor
  • Gyro Sensor
  • Magnetic Sensor
  • Sensor Hub

LOCATION

  • Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS

CONNECTIVITY

  • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
  • Bluetooth® 4.1 with aptX®
  • Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
  • HTC Connect™ for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to compatible multi-room audio systems, TVs, portable speakers and home entertainment systems
  • DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer
  • HDMI MHL 3.0
  • CIR
  • micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port
  • NFC

SOUND

  • HTC BoomSound™ with Dolby Audio™3

CAMERA

Main camera

  • 20MP with sapphire cover lens
  • Auto-focus, BSI sensor
  • f/2.2, 27.8mm lens, 4K video recording

Front camera

  • TC UltraPixel™
  • BSI sensor
  • f/2.0, 26.8mm lens, 1080p video recording

BATTERY

  • Capacity: 2840mAh
  • Talk time: Up to 25.4 hours for 2G / 21.7 hours for 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 391 hours for 2G / 402 hours for 3G

Show Press Release »

HTC One M9 Press Release

BRING YOUR WORLD TO LIFE WITH THE NEW HTC ONE

Get more out of every experience with the beautifully crafted HTC One M9’s unique combination of elegance and performance

Barcelona, Mobile World Congress, March 1, 2015 – HTC today unveiled its most personal, beautiful and powerful smartphone yet, the HTC One M9. The newest flagship in the globally acclaimed HTC One family, the HTC One M9 is a classic yet timeless celebration of beauty and elegance that combines high style and performance, enabling you to get the most from your mobile phone.

“HTC has built its reputation on challenging expectations in the mobile industry,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman, HTC. “The HTC One M9 accomplishes this once again with stunning elegance and design, combined with smart features that help bring your world to life, connecting you in a deeper way to the things you consider most important. So much more than just a phone, the HTC One M9 is an extension of who you are.”

A complete celebration of design

Building on a three-year pursuit of excellence, the HTC One M9 melds the best of the award-winning HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 into a stunning, iconic design. Distinct metal edges combine perfectly with graceful curves for a jewellery-grade look. Small and easy to hold, the crafted, all-metal unibody design is highlighted by an exquisite dual-tone silver and rose gold¹ finish that is as distinctive, as it is durable. Mirror-polished gold sides cascade effortlessly into a hairline brushed silver back panel, encasing a bright and vivid display.

HTC Sense 7: An extension of you

Your phone should make a statement about who you are, and the new HTC Sense™ 7 experience puts you in control of everything. Highly customizable and intuitively you, Themes puts you at the center of the smartphone experience, intelligently analyzing your favorite photos to modify the look and feel of your apps, color scheme and backgrounds.

As your always-on travel companion, your smartphone is perfectly placed to enrich your mobile life. Sense 7 reinvents the home screen to deliver the most useful apps to the homepage based on your location. Whether at home, work, or play, you’re never more than a click away from the features you need with this contextual, customizable widget. A more intelligent HTC BlinkFeed™ also makes it easier to uncover the hidden gems that surround you by using location data to recommend points of interest, news and information.

Incredible imaging: Helping you create your best memories

With the best camera being the one you carry in your pocket, your smartphone should make it a breeze to take brilliant, creative and fun images. The HTC One M9’s cameras are designed to capture every moment in amazing quality, allowing you to relive those moments again and again. The main camera features an incredible 20 megapixels that accentuate every crisp, intricate detail, and a sapphire cover lens that protects from scratches. For vivid video that looks like the latest blockbuster, the camera also shoots movies in 4K resolution.

The best moments take you by surprise, and spontaneity often doesn’t come fully lit. The ultimate companion of the impulsive snapper, the HTC One M9 addresses low-light shots with a powerful UltraPixel™ front-facing camera. Dynamic auto exposure and UltraPixels that capture 300% more light than standard cameras deliver sharper, more natural and balanced self-portraits in any lighting conditions.

HTC Sense 7 with HTC’s EYE™ Experience software makes taking creative pictures easy. A host of new editing effects including Shapes, Prismatic, Elements and Bokeh allow you to add a little bit of individual artistry into every shot, with the Zoe™ app automatically editing them, putting them to your choice of music² and letting friends remix the collection with their own shots to create a shared celebration from every moment.

With so many incredible images, quickly showing your friends those brilliant shots could become an issue. Wherever they’re stored, the new One Gallery makes it easy to search through your entire photo library, viewing images saved on the phone, on social media and on select cloud platforms. The gallery puts your whole image library at your fingertips, searching by date, location, event, album or even the images themselves with Image Match.

Exhilarating audio: Hear the difference

A truly great viewing experience deserves sound that puts you on the front row. The HTC One M9 guarantees a larger-than-life soundtrack courtesy of HTC BoomSound™. The HTC One family’s iconic dual front-facing speakers, now combined with 5.1 channel Dolby® Surround sound3 simulation, get you even closer to the action, delivering extraordinary, cinema-style surround sound. Uniting HTC BoomSound and Dolby Audio™ creates immersion vibrant audio experience, so you can enjoy movies with rich, clear and powerful sound even without connecting headphones or external speakers. Whether listening via the stereo speakers or headphones, even the most discerning music fans will be blown away by
the phone’s support for perfect, 24-bit high-definition sound that surpasses even CD quality. HTC’s unique combination of HTC BoomSound, Dolby Audio™, a finely tuned sound profile, and Qualcomm® Immersive Audio gives all of your music and movies an unmistakable HTC One M9 flavor.

Connecting your world

Smartphones are fast becoming the central hub for home entertainment, and HTC Connect™ makes it easy to enjoy your multimedia experience beyond your phone. A three-finger swipe on the screen connects the phone to compatible TVs or external speakers from leading manufacturers including Harman Kardon. HTC Connect’s integration with Qualcomm® AllPlay™ smart media platform and Blackfire Research™ wireless media technology, allows you and your friends to stream high-quality content from your smartphones to multiple home entertainment devices around the house. The playlist feature also allows multiple smartphones to share a speaker with Qualcomm AllPlay. For the ultimate connected smartphone-powered TV experience, the HTC One M9 comes exclusively preloaded with the Peel® Smart Remote app. Instantly connecting you to the shows you love, the app even learns from your viewing habits, transforming your phone into a personal TV guide and remote control.

Accessories and availability

For a standout look, the HTC One M9 will be available with a range of unique and customizable accessories including the second-generation HTC Dot View case, which adds more retro personalization thanks to a host of new features and color options. A transparent back keeps your smartphone pristine without hiding it from the world with the case injecting fun into even the most tedious commute by transforming into a mini games arcade. The new HTC Dot View case won’t even get in the way of apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Badoo with through-the-case notifications alerting you to the latest photos, messages and check-ins.

Life has no limits, and when your adventurous side takes you into the unknown, an IP68 water-resistant Active Case and Active Headset means that your phone can boldly follow wherever the action takes you, keeping up with the pace of the most epic adventures.

The new HTC One will be available in the U.S. on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon early Spring. It will also be available through HTC.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile specialty stores, Costco Wholesale and Target. An unlocked version will be available on www.htc.com. More information on availability will be shared in the coming weeks. Follow @HTCUSA and visit www.htc.com/one for more information.

HTC Vive

In a partnership with Valve, HTC is now in the virtual reality space. According to HTC, “Vive offers the most immersive experience of any VR package, plunging people into other worlds at a moment’s notice.” In addition to the headset, there are tracking controllers, allowing you to “get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and truly interact with your surroundings.”

A developer model should be available sometime this Spring, while a consumer model is expected to be available by the end of 2015. Pricing is currently unavailable, but one can expect this to be in the $199 to $399 range. The homepage for HTC’s VR endeavors can be found here at http://www.htcvr.com/.

While we still know very little about the Vive, HTC’s press release provides a few extra bits of information that might be interesting to know.

Show Press Release »

HTC AND VALVE PARTNER TO MAKE VIRTUAL REALITY DREAM COME TRUE

HTC unveils strategic partnership with Valve; announces VR developer edition available in Spring and consumer edition available by end of 2015

Barcelona, Spain, March 1, 2015 – HTC, a pioneer in innovative, smart technologies, today announced plans to bring mass-market virtual reality (VR) one step closer. Through a strategic partnership with Valve, HTC promises to transform the way in which consumers interact with technology and the world around them with the debut of HTC Vive. HTC Vive Developer Edition will be launched this Spring, with the consumer edition available by the end of 2015.

Vive combines Valve’s Steam VR tracking and input technologies with HTC’s world-renowned design and engineering talent, setting a new gold standard for an industry that has, until now, struggled to move beyond concept stage.

Cher Wang, Chairwoman of HTC commented, “It’s rare that a company has an opportunity to forever transform the ways in which people interact with the world and communicate with each other, but that is exactly what we plan to do with Valve.”

“We achieved this once before with our development of smartphone technology,” Peter Chou, CEO of HTC added, “And, through our partnership with Valve, we’ll now be doing this for a second time with VR technology of which consumers could only previously dream.”

Mesmerizing quality, fully immersive experience

Vive offers the most immersive experience of any VR package, plunging people into other worlds at a moment’s notice. HTC and Valve have introduced a Full Room Scale 360 Degree Solution with Tracked Controllers, letting you get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and truly interact with your surroundings. Setting a new benchmark for performance, the headset features high-quality graphics, 90-frames-per-second video and incredible audio fidelity.

HTC is also introducing new wireless VR controllers that will make you feel one with your virtual environment. The new HTC VR Controllers come in a pair and are designed to be so versatile that they will work with a wide range of VR experiences. Unlike typical game controllers, the HTC VR Controllers are simple and intuitive to use, helping everyone make the most of their experience.

Gaming and beyond

Beta versions of the Vive Developer Edition have already generated rich entertainment content from some of the world’s top game developers including Vertigo Games, Bossa, Barry–Fireproof, Dovetail Games, Wemo Labs, Google, Steel Wool Games and Owlchemy.

“Our collaboration with HTC is driven by the companies’ shared desire to produce the most compelling and complete VR experience,” said Ken Birdwell of Valve. “Delivering content creators with the Vive Developer Edition is an incredibly important milestone in our efforts to achieve that goal.”

While amazing gaming experiences are a staple in the VR universe, the potential beyond gaming is limitless. HTC and Valve are committed to realizing a broader vision for VR and see a real opportunity in transforming everyday experiences. Travel, attending a game, meeting friends or even shopping will never be the same again, and the companies are working with leading content creators, including Google, HBO, Lionsgate and the National Palace Museum in Taiwan in order to make that vision a reality.

“Vive creates an exciting opportunity for all developers and content creators, to help us bring virtual reality into the mainstream with an end-to-end solution that completely redefines how we entertain ourselves, communicate with each other, learn and, eventually, how we become more productive,” Cher Wang concluded. “HTC Vive is real, it’s here and it’ll be ready to go before the start of 2016.”

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