HTC One M8-Google Play Edition-Silver-4

We've seen several pictures of what are believed to be leaked HTC One M9 handsets over the past week, but according to sources familiar with HTC's plans, they aren't all that they seem. While they are genuine HTC devices, they are merely decoys used for testing purposes.

The images we've seen so far have suggested the One M9 will look almost identical to its predecessor; the only noticeable difference over the One M8 is its rear-facing camera setup, which now consists of just one sensor, and has a reshaped lens design.

But according to a source who has speaking with the HTC Source blog, the handsets that have been pictured so far were built just for testing.

"The leaked images of the HTC One M9/Hima that have been shared this week are real, but a source familiar with the matter has shared that they portray decoy test units and do not accurately represent the final design of the HTC One (M9)," HTC Source says.

HTC has struggled to keep upcoming handsets under wraps in the past, so when we saw those alleged One M9 images last week, we had no reason to believe they weren't genuine. But HTC is said to be working hard to keep its next-generation flagship a secret before its big debut.

According to HTC Source, the real final design of the One M9 will have an edge-to-edge display, more subtle grilles for its BoomSound speakers, and a larger front-facing camera that will sit in the center of the device — like on the Desire Eye.

The changes "should silence a large number of critics who were not pleased to see leaked images that looked nearly identical to last year's model," HTC Source says.

Personally, I was pleased to see the One M9 could look like its predecessor, which was by far one of the prettiest devices of 2014. My only real complaint with last year's model was with its rear-facing UltraPixel sensor.

Having said that, I would certainly welcome an edge-to-edge display, and more subtle BoomSound speakers without all those holes. If HTC could make the handset a tad thinner, too, then that would be just fantastic.

HTC is expected to announce the One M9 on March 1 at Mobile World Congress, and the company's first smartwatch could debut alongside it.