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HTC One A9s revealed – affordable iPhone rival or cheap Android clone?

HTC has revealed its latest handset in the form of the HTC One A9s, which bears more than a little resemblance to the iPhone. Is it an affordable rival to Apple’s phone or just a cheap Android clone? Here’s what you need to know.

Over at IFA 2016, HTC has quietly unveiled the follow-up to 2015’s generally disappointing HTC One A9. At the time, we noted that it was a “blatant iPhone rip-off” and it appears that little has changed, at least aesthetically.

The same knock-off design features are still front and centre on the A9s, right down to the apparently offensive antenna lines and slightly clunky camera housing.

Under the hood, there are a few incremental upgrades, in keeping with HTC’s – or is that Apple’s? – odd-year ‘S’ model upgrade habits. Except in some instances, they’re actually downgrades. Weird, huh?

The A9s is a 5-inch device with an underwhelming sounding 720p HD screen (the A9’s was 1080p), octa-core MediaTek chipset (the A9 was equipped with a Snapdragon 617), 2GB or 3GB of RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of on-board storage (expandable up to 2TB via the microsSD card slot).

Elsewhere, there’s a 13-megapixel primary camera and 5-megapixel front snapper with various selfie modes, a 2,300mAh battery with support for fast-charging, NFC and a fingerprint scanner.

The device ships with an unspecified version of Android (presumably Marshmallow) overlaid with HTC’s Sense skin, which you either love or hate.

Colour options are currently unconfirmed, but official renders indicate there will be black, silver, grey and gold flavours, with UK pricing and availability also up in the air – it’ll likely cost around £400, if last year is anything to go by.

If HTC could be accused of playing down the A9s’ launch, there’s probably a reason for that – because it’s a distinctly average iPhone lookalike that will probably (like last year’s model) come with an inflated price tag, despite its alleged ‘affordable’ positioning.

No, the HTC One A9s certainly isn’t going to go down as one of IFA’s highlights, but there have been plenty already, so watch the video below for some of the best.

Related: iPhone 7 news, rumours and release date

Watch: IFA day 1 highlights

Care to differ? Let us know in the comments below.

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