E36 - HTC One A9s - Handset - Image - Global

Evan Blass can put another correct prediction under his belt – as anticipated, HTC today unveiled the One A9s, a successor to the controversial A9 from late 2015.

Don’t miss: One A9 review

As the “s” designation might suggest, the One A9s is a (very) slight variation on the A9 formula, with a couple of design tweaks and a very similar spec sheet that actually includes some steps back compared to the A9.

On the outside, we’re looking at the same general design that got HTC in hot water with critics for the high resemblance with Apple’s iPhone. In fact, the most notable change to the appearance of the A9s makes it even more similar to the iPhone 6/S6 – the camera module has been moved to the left side of the device, from the center, where it was on the A9.

This change doesn’t make too much of a difference, so if you liked the One A9, you’ll feel about the same about the A9s, iPhone resemblance be damned. The One A9s will be available in black, gold, and silver, though we’d love to see a ruby red version like the One A9 had last year.

Moving on to specs, the processor is now an octa-core Helio P10 from MediaTek, compared to the Snapdragon 617 from the A9. We would’ve preferred a Snapdragon 625, like the Moto Z Play. You get either 2GB or 3GB of RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of storage space (expandable), depending on your region.

The display is actually a downgrade from 5-inch 1080p to 5-inch 720p, though to be fair, the difference in pixel density is not likely to be jarring.

The rear camera is 13MP (in line with the One A9), with a f/2.2 lens, LED flash, pro mode with RAW support, and HTC’s Zoe capture. The battery is 2,300 mAh in size, a bump from the 2150 mAh unit on the A9 that was achieved by making the A9s slightly thicker at 7.99 millimeters.

The HTC One A9s will be available “globally,” including in the United States, with availability details to be announced on a per-market basis in the coming weeks. It looks like HTC is focusing on the value angle this time – the company did not reveal the price of the One A9s, but it did reveal that it will be cheaper than last year’s One A9. In the United States, the A9 started at $399, and went up to $499 after its first month of availability.

Thoughts on this device?