Leaked: HTC One M9 could have a second phablet-size model with a home button

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Credit: Michael Homnick

Leaked photos of HTC's One M9 show a phone pushing to be, if not first, then not late, with the coolest features. 

Did we say phone? Make that two phones—one a larger, phablet-sized model. And what's that on the front? It looks like a home button, although online scuttlebutt seems to favor a fingerprint reader.

These new features are starting to make the One M9 sound like a reprise of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, but HTC's not entirely a copycat. HTC already has a phone pair (see the One and One Max). However, it would definitely be the first home button or fingerprint reader on any HTC phone. 

Perhaps these two big changes were enough to rouse the gadget leaker Evan Blass, formerly known as @evleaks, out of retirement so he could drop these purported pictures of the phone. To offer perspective, Blass added pictures of previous versions of the One alongside his newest leak.

The pictures confirm other speculation surrounding HTC's next flagship. It has a sharply reduced bezel and slimmed-down set of speakers, though we hope they’ll maintain the quality of the company’s BoomSound. The front appears to be all-glass and already looks like a contender for best-looking Android phone.

This is the first time we’ve seen any kind of home button on a One. It could be a fingerprint scanner, or just another way to make managing a larger device easier with one hand, as you wouldn’t need to fumble for a software home button.

Blass had a good track record on gadget leaking before announcing his retirement, so there's likely truth to his information—though we'll continue to keep an eye and ear peeled for more tidbits to fill out the story. The HTC One M9 is widely expected to be introduced at Mobile World Congress in early March. 

The story behind the story: The HTC One is an important phone for the company. Offering two models should satisfy those who are happy with a five-inch device and those who want to go big. It certainly worked for Apple

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