Thursday, April 16, 2015

HTC's One E9+ ("A55") Unveiled, Packs Quad-HD; 1080p One E9

The HTC One E9+ smartphone/phablet embraces a premium display at the cost of a lower end chipset

For those miffed at HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498) decision to snub quad-HD (QHD) (aka "2K") display technology with its flagship HTC One M9 (codename: "HTC Hima"), the HTC One E9+ (codename: "HTC A55") may be the device you were hoping for.

The E9+ was quietly announced via HTC's Chinese language website.

With a 5.5-inch display, the E9 Plus is bigger than the HTC One M9.  It's big enough you could call it a phablet, although some will view it more as a "large smartphone".  The star of the show is a new QHD screen.  The body is a little less premium with a hybrid plastic/metal design, versus the all metal two-tone diamond cut unibody of the One M9.  The processor is more powerful, but less power efficient.

HTC E9 Plus

HTC One E9+

HTC One E9+

Here's a more in-depth look at what's different between the HTC One E9 Plus and One M9:

  • Looks
    • Materials
      • The backplane is now metal-tone plastic, although the front frame is metal and glass.  This makes this a hybrid design somewhere in between the premium One M7/8/9 line and the Desire line.
    • Colors
      • There's metal two tones, but the available colors are a bit different.  You get to pick between Gold trim & gray back; Gold trim and white back; or gunmetal trim and back (black).
    • Dimensions
      • The device is bigger with a 156.5 x 76.5 mm (6.16 x 3.01 in.) front face vs. 144.6 x 69.7 mm (5.69 x 2.74 in.) on the HTC One M9.  Thanks to the hybrid body it's also thinner @ 7.54 mm (0.296 in.) thick vs. 9.61 mm (0.378 in.) thick for the HTC One M9.
    • Weight
      • With its battery the One E9+ weighs in at 150 grams (5.29 oz.).  That's a little lighter than the 157 grams (5.54 oz.) the One M9 weighs.
  • Display
    • There's now a 5.5-inch QHD 2,560x1,440 (534 ppi) (16:9 aspect ratio) display onboard.  That's a step up from the 5.0 inch 1080p in the HTC One M9.  Some may view this as superfluous and the higher resolution will adversely impact battery life.  But to some the higher resolution may be worth the cost. 
  • Chipset
    • The HTC E9+ is driven by a  MediaTek, Inc. (TPE:2454) system-on-a-chip (SoC), the MT6795M.  This is a 64-bit instruction width design utilizing four ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) Cortex-A53 cores and 4x Cortex-A57 cores which can clock up to 2 GHz.  Speeds are controlled by MediaTek's CorePilot technology.  Graphics are provided by the onboard PowerVR G6200 "Rogue" GPU from Imagination Technologies plc. (LON:IMG).  The Mediatek chip is buil on a 28 nm process.
    • MediaTek MT6795 benchmark

      By contrast the One M9 uses a Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon 810 which packs a mix of 4x Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.5 GHz and 4x Cortex-A57 cores @ 2.0 GHz, along with an Adreno 430 GPU.  This chip is built on a 20 nm process.

      In raw processing power, Geekbench scores put the Mediatek chip ahead of the Snapdragon 810.  It's midway between Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935) Exynos 7420 (which is found in the Galaxy S6) and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 in its Geekbench score.

      In other words, expect the HTC One E9+ to pack more processing power than the HTC One M9, but some of that power will be eaten up by the cost of rendering for the higher-resolution screen.  Additionally expect inferior battery life to the HTC One M9
  • Other differences
    • Memory
      • The chipset uses LPPDR3 clocked at 933 MHz, rather than the LPDDR4 uses by the One M9
    • Camera
      • The dual LED flash has been replaced with a single LED and the camera enclosure goes from a square barrel to a circular one.  The resolution (and supplier) are otherwise unchanged, though.
    • Battery
      • The battery is a tiny bit smaller -- 2800 mAh on the E9 Plus and 2830 mAh on the One M9.
Otherwise the spec (32 GB NAND storage; microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC up to 128 GB; 3 GB LPDDR4; 20 megapixel rear camera; 4 megapixel "Ultrapixel" front-facing "selfie" camera / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC / 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac / multi-mode 4G LTE cellular / Boomsound stereo speakers) is identical to the HTC One M9.

HTC One E9+

HTC One E9+

Here's some additional pics of the E9 courtesy of Chinese Twitter Inc. (TWTR) leaker @upleaks:The E9 Plus is expected to get a downgraded baseline companion the HTC E9 (sometimes referred to as the HTC E9 "Minus") (codename: "HTC A53").  This device has not been announced, but is expected to pack a lower resolution (13 megapixel) rear camera, 16 GB of NAND flash, 2 GB of LPDDR3, and a lower resolution 5.5-inch full high definition (FHD) 1,920 x 1,080 pixel (aka 1080p) display (16:9 aspec ratio).