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Meet HTC's brand-new flagship superphone, the One M9. If you're struggling to tell the difference between it and its predecessor, the M8, that's not exactly surprising.

The M9 maintains many of the design cues from the last model, including the all-metal design and front-facing BoomSound speakers. It's a shame not to see some new design flair, but the M8 was already a stunning phone, so I'm glad that sleek design hasn't been spoiled.

The design has been tweaked slightly however and the phone now packs the latest Qualcomm octa-core processor, a new camera and Android Lollipop software.

There's no word yet on exactly how much the phone will cost, but don't expect it to come cheap. We'll find out more pricing details in the run up to its global sales launch at the end of March.

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The M9 retains the full-metal jacket seen on the M8. It's rounded on the back, making it comfortable to hold.

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Here it is alongside its predecessor, the M8. Can you tell them apart?

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The edges of the phone are angular on the M9, rather than rounded. They've also been given a two-tone effect. Here you can see the gold edging of the silver model, but a silver body with a mirrored edge and a gold version with a polished gold edge will also be available.

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The BoomSound speakers, characteristic of HTC's phones, sit at the top and bottom of the phone.

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HTC says it has partnered with Dolby to bring more immersive audio to the phone. How that actually affects the sound from these speakers remains to be seen.

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The "Ultrapixel" camera from the M8 has been moved to the front on the M9. On the back instead is a more standard 20-megapixel camera, which HTC claims has been given tweaks to maximise its dynamic range.

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It arrives with the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop software on board. HTC has also slapped its new Sense 7 interface over the top. Much of it looks the same as you'd see on the existing M8.

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Sense 7 does have some neat new features, however, including the ability to heavily customise the interface. Along with these preset themes, you can selectively choose the icons, fonts and colour schemes to suit your tastes.

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With the same size display (5 inches) as the M8, the M9's body hasn't needed to balloon out at all. I found it very comfortable to hold in my hands on time.

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HTC's news and social network aggregator, BlinkFeed, is still found off to the left of the home screens. You can always remove it if you're not keen.

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I'd settle for nothing less than the latest software on a new flagship.

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It's slim and easy to get into a tight jeans pocket.

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Both the Micro-USB port for charging and the 3.5mm headphone jack are found on the bottom of the phone.

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The Dot View case, which can show notifications as a dot-matrix-style display when closed, will be available for the M9 in a range of styles.

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The display has the same full HD (1,920x1,080-pixel) resolution as the previous model. That's no bad thing -- it looked bright and sharp in my hands-on time.

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The phone has a 2,840mAh battery, which HTC reckons should be good for a whole day of use.

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It's a great-looking bit of kit, but with the Samsung Galaxy S6 on the way, competition will be fierce.

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This shot gives you an idea of how the phone's screen handles sunlight glare.

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The phone seems to strike that typical "large but not too large" size.

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Not the thinnest phone on the planet, but certainly not the thickest.

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Here's a shot that includes both the white and silver models.

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Another white and silver phone shot perspective.

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We sure do like showing off the backsides of phones. But I'm sure you're just as excited to look at them.

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Here we give you the best of both worlds. Both the front and the back.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Rubin/CNET
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