Update: We’ve updated this post to clarify that the above image isn’t a leaked render, but a mockup made by Steve Hemmerstoffer of NowhereElse.fr.
It’s clearly hip to be square, as just days after French language site NowhereElse brought us pictures of what was claimed to be the HTC One M9 “Hima”, we have an even larger leak, part of which looks to come from a Chinese website, mscellphone.1668.com. This time the offering comes in the form a set of alleged renders of M9 cases, which highlight the angular nature of the device’s single rear camera.
Given that Bloomberg recently published a story that suggested the M9 would look very similar to last year’s handset, these images would definitely seek to not only validate the story, but go a step further and suggest that the device practically is last year’s handset minus the Duo Camera and with the power button now positioned on the right side, below the volume rocker. Thankfully the IR port still seems to be located along the top right portion of the device.
Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence to highlight the similarities comes directly from nowhereelse.fr’s Editor-In-Chief himself. On his Twitter page, Steve Hemmerstoffer has done the dirty work and superimposed the “M9” onto the M8 and the results are positively pretty (similar):
The images would suggest that the changes are trivial in terms of the front. Red arrows point out the slightly diminished bottom bezel (though still replete with the HTC logo) and slightly thinner side bezels. The front camera looks slightly larger than the M8’s. The “prototype” also seems to do away with the trim along the border of the phone’s front, though it could be due to the blurry image quality, or simply the color choice.
With the design issue possibly now out-in-the-open, this would mean the “Hima” has to chiefly rely on its alleged inclusion of superior hardware to last year’s model, which is said to include a Qualcomm 810 CPU (the same one that Samsung may have just dumped due to overheating), Full HD screen, a 4 Ultrapixels front camera, and 20 megapixel (square shaped, single) rear camera.
While it must be stressed that none of these images are confirmation of a finished product, suffice to say that by the time press renders start to surface along side of a leaked “prototype”, it becomes more likely to be true. Should that be the case, Samsung may have a major upper hand on HTC this year provided the Galaxy S6 is indeed rebuilt from the ground up and features truly premium parts. There would indeed be a certain twinge of bitter irony should the decision to reuse last year’s design be the M9’s undoing at the hands of the S6, or even the LG G4. Still, HTC seems pretty confident it’s on the right track in 2015.
Assuming these are in fact, a legitimate look at the final product, what do you think? More than a few commentators in the previous post expressed disgust with the camera module in particular, but what of the other design changes (or lack thereof)?