HTC One M9(s) looks to be better deal-on-paper than One A9, is Taiwan-exclusive

Update 2: We can now confirm that the screen is Gorilla Glass, not sapphire.

The One M9(s) is still looks like an interesting One M9 refresh that could go line-to-line with the recently released One A9 on paper. Which do you think you would buy at this time, given the chance to do so?

Update: We’re getting word from HTC’s Jeff Gordon that only the camera lens is made of sapphire, which would be the case as on the original One M9. In the interest of transparency, here is his tweet to us.

If and when we get further clarification, we’ll pass it along to you.

Our original story is below.

Is HTC subverting its own current device philosophy after some questionable preliminary results from the One A9? Or is it just hedging the bets as best it can and as best as it needs to? Is HTC insecure about its home turf as ASUS keeps the pressure on as number one global brand in Taiwan as well as some extra ZenFone 2 models that probably don’t need to exist?

You’ve got us beat. But someone at HTC thought that Taiwan needed the One M9(s), so the country will get it starting November 21.

Unlike the Frankenstein act we saw earlier this year with the One M9+, the One M9e, the One ME and others we can’t bother naming right now, the One M9(s) will be take essentially the same build from the original model. One (heh) big difference? No Gorilla Glass, but a sapphire screen that brings close-to-incomparable scratch resistance.

Those parentheses might look pretentious, but that “s” is definitely a special one, given how many parallels we’ve drawn between HTC and Apple. Especially regarding sapphire. It might make sense that the limited availability of the One M9(s) would owe to testing out the material.

The specs will see a switch-off, though:

Component Type
Screen size 5 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel density 441 ppi
SoC MediaTek Helio X10
Type 64-bit octa-core
Speed 8 x 2.2GHz
GPU PowerVR G6200
Storage 16GB (microSD-expandable)
Camera 13-megapixel f/2.0 BSI rear with OIS & sapphire lens / 4-UltraPixel f/2.0 front
Flash Dual-LED
Battery 2840mAh
OS Unknown version of Android
SIM type Single nano-SIM
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5GHz)
Sensors Ambient light / proximity / accelerometer / compass / gyroscope / magnetometer / "sensor hub"
Build Dual-layer double-anodized aluminium
Dimensions 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.6 mm / 158g

Interestingly enough, we see a so-called “sensor hub” that was mentioned in both of this year’s Nexus devices. Given this — HTC has not confirmed it on its product splash page for the One M9(s) — but it could be that the device may be the second device from the company to sport Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The closer integration with Google to offer security updates for the HTC One A9 within 15 days of initial release might have led to this development, but at this point, we’re only speculating.

The details that we are more sure about come down to the chipset change from Qualcomm to MediaTek and a rear camera unit that may end up being similar to the one found on the One A9.

Pre-orders are currently on until November 20 with regular sales starting the day after for NT$12,900 (US$393 as of this post). You can access them on the first page.

Is this is the One A9 we didn’t deserve? Or is Gotham sinking and we’re just strangling a bad reference?

Source: HTC Taiwan (1, 2)
Via: (Google Translate)

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.