HTC’s recent “hero” phone the One A9, was something of a surprise in the industry. For many people, the concept of a “hero” phone is that it offers a bleeding edge specification but in the One A9’s case, they meant that the device offered what they believed defecting iPhone customers might want from a device – a slim, metal build, not-too-large a screen size, a good quality camera, great sound and Android 6.0 Marshmallow combined with HTC Sense 7. We have now seen that HTC may have another One device being prepared for launch, but this one could be what many Android enthusiasts believe a “hero” phone should offer customers going by the specifications.
The new device is purported to be the HTC One X9, with a model designation of E56. We have seen a number of rumors claiming what the device specification is, which are of variable quality: all state that the device will ship with a 2K screen, that being 1080p or Full High Definition (FHD) with an unknown screen size. Some rumors state that the One X9 will use an “octa core Snapdragon 820” main processor, which is inaccurate as Qualcomm’s new flagship chipset will have four application cores, not eight. Other rumors point towards the One X9 using the MediaTek Helio X20 System-on-Chipset, which has ten application cores from the ARM Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A72 families. Different rumors point towards the device having either 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, or 4 GB of RAM and a choice of 64 GB or 128 GB of storage. It’s possible that HTC are releasing the device in all of these configurations, not so unlike the One A9, which is available with 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, or 3 GB, 32 GB capacities. Other consistent details include that the device will have a metal build, a 23MP rear camera (this could be the new flagship Sony camera assembly) and a 4MP front facing Ultrapixel camera. The device will also come with HTC’s characteristic BoomSound front facing stereo speakers and will contain an embedded 3,500 mAh battery. There’s no word about the software that the One X9 will be released with, but we would expect the new device to ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, especially as the purported chipsets are not yet ready so the device cannot be released for some time yet.
It’s difficult to know how to place this device. The very high capacity battery might suggest that HTC are preparing a large screen handset with a 1080p screen, but the flagship-sounding main rear camera and System-on-Chips might be at odds with this. We could be seeing a convoluted rumor of the next generation flagship device, the M10, likely to be released close to the end of the first quarter 2016 – but unfortunately it is impossible to disentangle the likely truth from the speculation with this rumor.