HTC One M9 revealed ahead of official launch

The new 5-inch phone is one of several coming at Mobile World Congress

The HTC One M9 as shown on BestBuy's website

The HTC One M9 as shown on BestBuy's website

HTC's new flagship Android smartphone, the One M9, has been revealed by a U.S. retailer hours before its expected launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Best Buy is listing a 32GB version of the handset for use on AT&T's 4G LTE network in the U.S. for US$650.

It says the phone is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor running at 2GHz and Google's Android 5.0 operating system, popularly known as "Lollipop." It has a 5-inch screen with 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution, a 20-megapixel front-facing camera and a 4-megapixel rear camera.

The phone is one of a number of new handsets being launched at the event, which is the biggest annual get-together for the mobile telecommunications industry.

Samsung, LG and Microsoft are among the companies that have scheduled press conferences here where new phones are expected to be shown.

One of the most highly anticipated is Samsung's Galaxy S6, which is expected to be unveiled later on Sunday. The phone comes as market leader Samsung has slowly been losing market share to Apple and other Android phone makers.

HTC's previous flagship phone, the One M8, was critically received. It's important for the company that the One M9 is also successful as it looks to secure financial growth after some rough quarters.

Both Samsung and HTC are vying for a slice of 1.2 billion [b] Android phones that IDC estimates will be sold in 2015. Both companies are coming under pressure from Chinese handset makers, which are having success in emerging markets thanks to a mix of high specifications and low prices.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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