Jan 26th, 2015

HTC One M9 Hima front

As Android OEMs prepare to unveil this year’s latest round of flagship devices, excitement is building around leaks to help clue us in on what manufacturers like HTC or Samsung have been working on the past year. After the Steve Jobs Apple became renown for keeping leaks pertaining to the iPhone relatively in check, we saw heavy weights like Samsung — who’s devices often times leaked in their entirety months before launch — put a greater effort into keeping everything under wraps.

One of the ways Samsung did this was by outfitting test devices with dummy cases, permanent cases used to obscure a test phone’s true design. Seems HTC may have taken this idea and ran with it (something they actually did back with the original HTC One M7), employing the use of entire decoy devices for use during testing. These decoy devices have all the same internal hardware as an upcoming flagship, only they’re using a recycled design to help keep leakers (and the public) guessing.

According to Evan Blass of HTCSource (formerly Mr. @evleaks himself), this is exactly what we’ve been seeing with the recent influx of HTC One M9 leaks and the reason the phone — to many’s dismay — looked nearly identical to last year’s HTC One M8 (save for power button placement, and square-ish camera lens). In order to save “the big wow” for their March 1st unveiling in Barcelona, HTC actually sent their partners these decoy devices so they could be tested without fear of anyone ruining the big surprise (and possibly same-day carrier availability like with the One M8?).

While we’re sure HTC has had a good laugh watching all these decoy units make the rounds online, that’s not to say nobody knows what HTC is planning for the One M9’s actual design. HTCSource goes onto describe what the real HTC One M9 could look like when it finally debuts in a few weeks:

“The final design of the HTC One (M9) will feature an edge-to-edge glass panel on the front with the BoomSound speaker slits pushed to the top and bottom edges. The front-facing camera on the HTC One (M9) takes its design cues from the HTC Desire 826, featuring a large, centrally positioned lens above the display.”

Okay, so it’s really not all that much to go on, but it’s definitely enough that anyone concerned with a rehash of last year’s model can still hold out hope for a different (hopefully improved) One design. Anyone feeling a little better about the HTC One M9 (Hima) now?

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