At IFA 2016, HTC announced the sequel to last year's mid-range One A9, the One A9s. The phone retains the design aesthetic of last year's model, with a few subtle changes: there's no HTC logo above the home button, and the camera sensor at the back is no longer centered. Overall, you're looking at the same minimalist brushed aluminum design with rounded edges and antenna bands along the sides at the back. This time around, HTC is targeting a lower price point, and as such we're looking at revised internals.
The main difference is the 5.0-inch display, with HTC moving from a Full HD AMOLED screen to a Super LCD 720p panel. The One A9s is powered by the MediaTek Helio P10, a stalwart in the mid-range segment. The SoC has eight Cortex A53 cores clocked all the way up to 2.0GHz, and a Mali-T860 MP2 GPU. HTC managed to eke out the most out of the Snapdragon 617 chip used in last year's model, and it is likely we'll see similar optimizations to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
The One A9s will be offered with 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage or 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage based on the region. Other specs include microSD slot that can take in cards up to 2TB, 13MP f/2.2 camera with 1080p video recording and manual controls, 5MP front shooter, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/28/38/40), and a 2300mAh battery. You won't find BoomSound stereo speakers up front, but HTC has included customized sound profiles that kick in when you plug in a headset.
HTC didn't reveal pricing and availability yet — those details will vary by market — but has mentioned that the One A9s will launch globally, including the U.S. The phone will definitely be more affordable than last year's $499 launch price of the One A9, which is obvious given the hardware on offer and the competition in this segment. The renders point to an October 14 launch in London, so that could be an indication as to when we'll hear more.
What do you think of the One A9s?