Just weeks after HTC launched its newest flagship device, which many believed would put to rest the HTC One line, the company has debuted the One S9 in Europe.
The new smartphone joins the ranks alongside the A9, E9 and X9, and closely shares the design of HTC’s previous flagship, the M9. It has a curved metal back – no striking chamfered edges here – and the same 5-inch super LCD screen with Gorilla Glass.
In fact, the only things that really differentiate the two physically is the speaker meshes of the M9’s dual front-facing speakers have been replaced by slits, and the S9 is chunkier by half a millimetre.
Under the hood is where you see the real differences between the M9 and S9, which is clearly a lower-budget phone. It runs on an 2GHz octacore MediaTek Helio X10 processor with 2GB of RAM, as opposed to the M9’s 1.5GHz octacore Snapdragon 810 SoC with 3GB of RAM. It also has a meagre internal storage of 16 GB compared to the M9’s 32GB.
It does come equipped with BoomSound stereo speakers, however, unlike the new HTC 10 which sacrificed the dual front-facing speakers for a fingerprint sensor.
As for the camera, rather than the M9’s 21MP shooter, the S9 has a 13MP with a f/2.0 aperture and OIS. This is closer to the configuration of the One A9.
While this all sounds relatively good for a mid-range phone, HTC seems to have stuck to the near Apple-level pricing model it used for the 10 (approximately $1,000 CAD) and is selling the S9 at €499 euros in Germany. In Canadian dollars that equates to approximately $715.
There is no word yet on whether HTC has plans to bring the S9 to the North American market. We’ve reached out to HTC for more information and will update this story when we hear back.