HTC One E9 and HTC One M9 Plus, the first ever quad-HD phones from the Taiwanese brands, will launch in India by the end of March or early in April, and will carry price tags of around Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively.
UPDATE: The HTC M9 Plus has been launched at Rs 52,000 today.
The E9 is a 5.5-inch model, while the M9 Plus is a 5.2 inch model. The specifications of both models have leaked out only in the last few days.
The HTC One E9 will definitely come with a MediaTek processor, the MT6795, while the M9 Plus is expected to come with a Snapdragon 810 processor.
In other internal specifications, both phones are almost exactly the same.
“We are expecting stocks to come by end of this month,” said a Delhi-based distributor. “It could spill over to early April. But HTC should have quad-HD competitors in India by the time the (Samsung Galaxy) S6 launches,” he added.
Interestingly, Samsung is also prepping to launch two quad-HD phones in India by early April – the Galaxy A9 and the Galaxy S6. While the Galaxy A9 would be priced below Rs 40,000, the Galaxy S6 will be priced around Rs 55,000 for the normal version and around Rs 60,000 for the ‘edge’ version. Both models are expected to be available in India by early April.
HTC’s quad-HD strategy is also similar – a cheap One E9 priced around the Rs 40,000 mark and a costlier, flagship grade phone at Rs 50,000 range. In fact, even in display sizes, the four Quad-HD phones are remarkably similar.
While the HTC One E9 will come with a 5.5-inch display, the Galaxy A9 will also have a 5.5-inch display. Similarly, the higher priced M9 Plus will have a 5.2-inch display, while the Samsung Galaxy S6 will come with a 5.1 inch screen.
All the four phones, except the A9, are confirmed to have 64-bit chipsets and Android L. Details about A9’s specifications are not available.
Most other specs are also the same.
All three come with 3 GB of RAM, while both HTC models are expected to have 20-21 megapixel cameras and the S6 will have a 16 MP shooter at the back.
In a break from tradition, Samsung has chosen not to use a Snapdragon processor for its latest flagship. Instead of the 810 series, it is using its own Exynos 7420 made with a 14 nanometer process – the smallest in the world. In comparison, other chipmakers use 22 nanometer technology.
In case of HTC, the Chinese version of the M9 Plus is expected to come with MediaTek MT6795, while in some markets such as the US, the company is expected to use the Snapdragon 810 processor. We are not sure which processor will be included in the India model, but given the higher price, it could be the Snapdragon.
The HTC M9 One Plus will have the biggest battery of all, at 2.84 Ampere-hour, while the Galaxy S6 will have a 2.55 Ah battery and the HTC E9 will have a 2.8 Ah battery.
The most crucial factor, in a market like India, will be the price. Given that the 5.2-inch, Quad-HD Moto Turbo is available for Rs 42,000 in India, it would be difficult for other brands to charge Rs 60,000 for a similar phone and hope for big volumes.
That is probably why both HTC and Samsung are addressing the 40,000-price point with their quad-HD offerings as well, while still leaving some space for true, high-margin flagships.
It is also left to be seen as to how the Taiwanese company will price the HTC One M9 (without the ‘Plus’) in India. The phone was launched in Taiwan yesterday, but those who expected a quad-HD phone were in for a disappointment as the model came with a full-HD screen.
The M9 will be available in Taiwan starting next week at about Rs 42,000 (in local currency). Except for the display, the M9 will have share most of its specifications with the ‘Plus’ variant.