By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 07, 2013 11:29 AM EDT
An unlocked, tweakable version of the brand new HTC One smartphone is now available for pre-order in the U.S., directly from HTC, with a $649 price tag.
This version of the HTC One is a Developer Edition and is not for the average smartphone user. As the name itself suggests, this model is designed for developers, hackers and tweakers who want to play around with the handset without the restrictions of the usual, locked version.
HTC confirmed on Twitter that the HTC One Developer Edition is available for pre-order as of 7 a.m. PT on Friday, April 5. Interested buyers now have the chance to order their unlocked HTC One directly from HTC, on the company's website.
The HTC One Developer Edition packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, a full 64GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, as well as an unlocked SIM card slot. The package further includes an unlocked bootloader, which means users can root and reprogram the handset with custom ROMs.
Custom ROMs basically carry only the operating system and a couple of apps, without the bunch of extra stuff the manufacturer and carrier impose. The HTC One Developer Edition is currently available only in the U.S., while supplies last - it comes in limited quantities.
The $649.99 price tag might seem steep for some, but unlocked smartphones usually cost even more. The unlocked, contract-free iPhone 5, for instance, costs $649, $749 and $849 for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, respectively. In other words, the 64GB HTC One Developer Edition costs $200 less than the 64GB version of the iPhone 5, while offering more in terms of specs and features.
The regular HTC One, meanwhile, is available for pre-order from Sprint and AT&T. Sprint offers the 32GB version of the handset for $200 with a two-year contract, with black and silver color options. AT&T also started taking pre-orders for the HTC One on Thursday, April 4, selling the 32GB version for $200 and the 64GB model for $300, both with a two-year contract.
T-Mobile will carry the HTC One. The carrier will sell the device for $99.99 with 24 payments of $20, i.e. a $579.99 grand total, and throws in a free car kit for online orders. The HTC One should start shipping on April 18.
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