Yet another leak has shown up of the rumored HTC One ‘Aero’, also known as the One A9. Although it’s shown up a few times in the past, never has it been clearer as to where the design influences have come from. HTC is expected to officially unveil the smartphone during a virtual event on October 20. Today’s leak comes via Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka @OnLeaks) and shows the extent to which HTC has gone to be ‘inspired’ by the iPhone 6/6s..
Previously, we’ve seen the device in six color variants, and this seems to be the ‘carbon gray’ (read: Space Gray) version of the smartphone. As we’ve seen before, the phone has an all-metal body with antenna bands running along the top and the bottom on the rear panel. The metal is slightly curved around the edges, while the four corners are rounded, presumably to give it a more comfortable feel in hand and a more ‘friendly’ appearance.
On the right edge, there’s a long volume rocker sitting above a heavily textured power button, while on the other side there are two removable, metal trays: one for a microSD card, the other for a SIM card. The bottom edge, much like the iPhone 6/6s, features a handful of machined holes for the speaker, a 3.5mm jack and the microphone as well as a non-centered Micro USB port. Also like the iPhone, the rear camera is housed in a slightly protruding metal ring on the back.
Apart from the slightly different shapes and placements of the ports and holes, it’s about as close to being an iPhone 6 as anything we’ve seen on the Android market that isn’t a cheap Chinese clone. The camera is centered, rather than being placed in left corner. The home button is pill-shaped, not round, and the speaker grille holes are more square. While HTC could argue that Apple doesn’t own the trademark for metal rectangles with rounded corners and edges, it’s hard to ignore the aesthetic similarities. It can be thankful it agreed a 10-year legal truce deal with Apple, otherwise it might have found itself on the wrong end of an expensive lawsuit.
Perhaps the one major difference is the top edge which is dominated by a large black panel, presumably placed there to act as a ‘window’ for an IR blaster, much like the dark plastic panel on the top edge of the HTC One M8 and M9. What’s interesting to note with this device, from what we’ve seen so far, is that there doesn’t appear to be any front-facing speakers, unlike virtually every other HTC phone currently on the market.
HTC has come under a lot of financial strain recently, and is releasing the A9 to help gain popularity again. While it may look like the iPhone from the outside, it won’t be priced like one. It’s rumored to be a mid-range device with pricing to match. It will be unveiled at an event on October 20, at which point we’ll found out exactly how similar this is to Apple’s own flagship smartphone.