HTC has announced the One A9, a mid-range Android 6.0 Marshmallow-powered counterpart to the One M9 smartphone.
The Taiwanese firm did not specify prices or a release date, but did confirm that the One A9 will launch in early November at a lower price than the One M9.
The One A9 is clad in an iPhone 6S-styled aluminium unibody, and includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor comprising four 1.5GHz cores and four 1.2GHz cores.
This gives it less power on paper than the One M9, but the One A9 does add some enhancements of its own, such as a fingerprint sensor in the home button and the latest version of Google's Android operating system.
The One A9 also features a 5in FHD display, a 13MP rear camera, a 4MP Ultrapixel front-facing camera, a 2150mAh battery, NFC support for compatibility with Android Pay, and 16GB of internal storage with 2GB of RAM, or 32GB of storage with 3GB of RAM. Both models accept microSD cards.
Overall, it seems broadly similar in specs and concept to the HTC Desire Eye released late last year as a cut-price alternative to the HTC One M8. That said, the One A9 is slightly thinner and lighter at 146x71x7.3mm and 143g.
The HTC Sense custom skin will also be laid over Android 6.0 Marshmallow. HTC has updated this with a focus on camera capabilities, adding a "simplified" camera UI and the ability to process RAW image files on the handset itself. Previous HTC smartphoneswere able to capture, but not process, RAW files.
HTC Zoe, a shooting mode that captures snippets of video before and after taking a still, is included as well.
The fingerprint sensor is an encouraging case of HTC adding top-end features to its cheaper handsets, but the firm was recently criticised by security researchers for storing sensitive fingerprint data in an unencrypted image format. This vulnerability has since been patched.
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