HTC phones it in with the new One A9s

HTC unveiled the One A9 last October, featuring premium bodywork and upper-mid-range specs. When it emerged that the company was planning to announce a successor to that device at this week's IFA industry expo, many people naturally assumed that it would build on the formula of the original.

But the new One A9s is hardly what you would call a major upgrade - indeed, in a couple of key aspects, it's actually a step down from its predecessor.

The One A9s sticks with a 5-inch display, but instead of a Full HD (1920x1080px) AMOLED, it now has a Super LCD with only HD (1280x720p) res.

The rear camera is still 13MP, but it has a narrower f/2.2 aperture (versus f/2.0) - which will inevitably reduce its low-light capabilities - and no longer offers optical image stabilization. The front-facing camera has also been changed; gone is the UltraPixel selfie cam, replaced by a standard 5MP shooter.

The A9s has an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 SoC rather than the octa-core Snapdragon 617 on the One A9, but the RAM options (2GB/3GB) and storage options (16GB/32GB) remain the same.

The battery does get a welcome boost, albeit only a small one, with an increase in capacity from 2150mAh to 2300mAh in the new model. The One A9s also retains the premium metal bodywork of the original, along with an "ultra-fast fingerprint sensor".

But the most important detail - that of price - remains unanswered for now.

The range-topping One A9 was priced at $399 in the US; but given that handsets like the BLU Pure XR - which has considerably better specs than the best One A9s - are now emerging for as little as $299, HTC will surely have to charge less for its new device if it's to be a sales success.

Source: HTC via @htc

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