It's no secret that HTC's prepping a plastic variant of its flagship One (M8) phone, but we've never taken a proper look at it until now, courtesy of the company's China website. And no, this isn't a leak. Ahead of the device's June 3rd launch, HTC's limited edition giveaway campaign unveiled almost everything about the M8 Ace, aka "Vogue Edition," of the One. The clear product renders -- shown in black, white, blue and red options -- indicate that this upcoming phone carries a similar design language as the metallic, award-winning M7 from last year; but the new plastic-only construction means you get a cleaner look on both the back and the profile sides.
Update: HTC has since then announced that this will be known as the E8 outside China, but there's still no news on the price.
The page also confirms some main specs that are identical to that of the flagship M8: a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 SoC (the M8 for Asia is clocked at 2.5GHz instead of 2.3GHz, by the way), a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers, Motion Launch gestures and extreme power-saving mode. As we already know, the M8's funky Duo Camera is replaced by a single 13-megapixel camera here, and it appears that the TV remote feature is also absent on the power button. On the flip side, we can just about make out China Mobile's 4G LTE logo on the back of the phone, which is good news for the locals. There's no mention on the screen size, but we've previously heard from our sources that it'll be the same 5-inch 1080p panel as found on the M8. The leaked dummy in the above picture, courtesy of Sina Weibo user ASAMKI, suggests the same.
The ultimate question is: How much will HTC be charging us for this so-called Galaxy S5 competitor? Its "mid-range flagship" Desire 816 costs ¥1,899 (about $300) in China, whereas both the M8 and the Galaxy S5 cost ¥5,299 ($850), making for a midway point of ¥3,599 ($580). HTC will really need to stick to the lower half of the price segment to threaten not only Samsung, but also other local brands like Smartisan, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei (all mainly in the ¥3,000 sector), plus the notoriously aggressive duo: Xiaomi and OnePlus (from just below ¥2,000). Will HTC be able to surprise us? Tune in next week to find out.