HTC's new 'diamond-like' One A9S is not short on superlatives

The specs of HTC's newest phone don't dazzle, but the company is proudly boasting that its design will.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German

I know, I know. In the age of phones as metal rectangles, it's not easy to make your product's design profoundly unique. But HTC is doing its best to wow us, at least in how it describes its newest phone, the One A9S.

With phrases like "perfectly glistens" and "nature-inspired" in the A9S's press release, HTC almost trips into hyperbole. It also promises "diamond-like cut buttons", which is a bit odd given that many phones these days ditch buttons almost completely. We'll give you a report on how the A9S looks and feels when we actually hold one. But if HTC's design history is any guide, it should be something of a looker.

An update to 2015's One A9, the A9S has a slate of popular features without delivering any huge upgrades over its predecessor. Highlights include a 5-inch 720p display, a fingerprint sensor, an octa-core processor and a 13-megapixel camera. The A9S also promises a durable design that will withstand "hundreds of drop and scratch tests in addition to hundreds of hours of extreme weather."

HTC didn't have a final price except that the A9S would cost less than the A9 ($499 or £430). It will be available globally at a yet-to-be-announced date.

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Features and key specs

  • 5-inch, HD 720p Super LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • HTC Sense
  • Fingerprnt sensor
  • Octa-core, 64-bit processor
  • 13-megapixel main camera with LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • 16GB or 32GB internal memory (depends on region)
  • microSD slot takes cards up to 2TB
  • HTC BoomSound
  • 2,300 mAh battery
  • Comes in multiple colors