HTC released a new phone last week, called the One A9, hoping to salvage itself after the HTC One M9’s plethora of problems. While the phone is available for a pre-order price of $399, HTC has announced that the phone will actually cost $499.99 (for the 32GB/3GB RAM model) starting on November 7th, 2015 in the US.
For those who missed the phone’s launch, the One A9 uses a 64 bit octa core Snapdragon 617, definitely not a flagship, but again, not a low end processor. In fact, the rest of the specs read like that of a mid range phone too, with the full HD display when more manufacturers are opting for quad HD displays. The One A9 comes with 2GB of RAM in the 16GB model and 3GB of RAM in the 32GB model. The phone ships with Android Marshmallow on board and HTC has promised speedy updates, saying the phone will receive updates just 15 days after Nexus devices.
More than anything, the design of the phone has attracted attention. HTC has abandoned some of its previous design language and the phone bears more than a passing resemblance to the iPhone 6/6S family of devices. Of course, it should also be noted that the iPhone borrowed from HTC’s One M7 and One M8 too.
The pricing was also debated online, with many wondering if the phone was worth getting over the Nexus 5X and the Moto X Pure, both of which retail for about the same cost. These debates were further fueled by the announcement that the pricing was only for pre-orders.
Personally, I have to agree. Most phones which are making headlines these days are those which offer great specs and user experience at a low cost. This was in part kicked off by the Nexus 4, continued by the Nexus 5 and then OnePlus One. Companies like Mi and Huawei are growing, partly because of their low cost devices which offer top notch and often flagship specs. HTC, with its failing reputation and brand value can’t really afford another major failure of a device, which the One A9 just might be. Consumers tend to look at the most they can get at a particular price point and the HTC One A9 just doesn’t win. Heck, this would have been a great device to get, if it was a bit cheaper. I agree with “specs don’t matter,” but if I’m paying so much I’d much rather get a more powerful device, one that’ll handle future updates with ease. If HTC had instead positioned it as an upper mid range device, maybe on par with the Moto X Play, it would have been quite different. But if I had to get the One A9, I’d wait for the inevitable price drop.
What do you think about the difference between pre-order and retail pricing for the HTC A9? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.