Last year’s One E8 was the plastic equivalent of the top-of-the-line M8. For the E9, which just broke cover thanks to China’s TENAA certification agency, HTC appears to be shaking things up quite a bit.

The device, bearing the “E9pw” code number, has been spotted in the database of TENAA (China’s telecom authority) by Engadget Chinese, along with images, dimensions, and a handful of specs.

The pictures show a plastic design that is similar to HTC’s recent Desire series phones, like the Desire Eye or the Desire 826. The device is flatter and thinner than the metal M9, at 7.54 millimeters, and features a two-tone color scheme with what appear to be golden accents. The most distinctive design element is clearly the large camera module on the back, though its placement very close to the edge of the phone is a bit questionable.

In terms of specs, the listing reveals a Quad HD screen of 5.5-inches (a bump up from the M9’s Full HD), an octa-core processor clocked at 2GHz (probably a MediaTek model), 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 2,800-mAh battery, and a 20MP rear camera.

The One E8 had limited worldwide availability, though it did make it to the States via Sprint, and it’s likely that the One E9 will follow the same path. HTC has recently hinted at an upcoming “huge announcement” that would bring “extreme differentiation between Samsung and the iPhone.” Whether that’s the One E9 or a different device (the One M9 Plus comes to mind), we’ll find out in mid to late March.

What do you think of this device?