HTC One A9: First Phone To Work on Verizon Without CDMA
HTC will sell an unlocked version of its new One A9 that can be used on Verizon's LTE network, even though the phone lacks the legacy CDMA technology found in all other Verizon phones to date. That makes the One A9 the first phone announced for use with Verizon in LTE-only mode. Verizon has upgraded its entire network footprint to LTE technology, including VoLTE (Voice over LTE, which enables voice calls using only the LTE network.) These upgrades make older CDMA technology obsolete, but the CDMA network will continue to operate until around 2021, and Verizon phones so far have supported the older CDMA technology in addition to LTE. Verizon has separately announced plans to offer an LTE-only phone by the end of this year, but has yet to announce one that it will sell directly. The One A9 variant in question will work with Verizon LTE after a software update, available shortly after launch. It will also work with AT&T and T-Mobile LTE and 3G networks. A separate version is designed for Sprint LTE and CDMA networks. HTC says previously-activated SIM cards (i.e., those pulled from a working Verizon phone) will have full support to voice, SMS/MMS, and data services via LTE on the One A9. Customers will not be able to activate a new Verizon SIM on the A9, nor can the A9 be activated in Verizon stores. The unlocked One A9 comes with an unlocked bootloader, 6 months of Google Play Music for free, and Uh Oh Protection. It costs $399 and will be available in the weeks ahead.
The One A9 is HTC’s new flagship for late 2015. It replaces the One M9 in HTC’s current U.S.
The One A9 from HTC is a high-class Android smartphone. It is among the first to ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and boasts amenities such as a fingerprint reader and top-quality materials.
Oct 26, 2015
HTC today issued a statement clarifying that the announced $400 price for its One A9 in the U.S. is only a limited-time introductory sale price.
Oct 20, 2015
HTC today announced the One A9, a stylish handset that offers top-notch build quality and is among the first to ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The A9 takes HTC's design in a slightly different direction when compared to the One M9 and M8.
Jan 16, 2017
HTC's Mo Versi today announced via Twitter that the late-2015 One A9 smartphone will be updated to Android 7 Nougat. HTC is pushing the system update to the unlocked variant of the phone first.
The start of something wonderful...
Risky not to use a phone with 3G (right now)
Even though Verizon has overlaid their entire network with LTE, LTE and CDMA still have different propagation and load patterns such that I still drop into 3G on my devices. Perhaps it'd be better in a few cases if it tried to hold onto the weaker LTE signal, but having that backup is still incredibly useful when the LTE signal is too weak to work effectively.
I hope Verizon can start repurposing 3G spectrum more aggressively in the upcoming years so that this doesn't remain true for much longer.
First, this is not a phone that Verizon will be selling directly...