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HTC's next flagship appears to flaunt 20MP camera in leaked shots

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Leak happens, and poor HTC might have just become the first victim out of the MWC lot this year. What we're looking at here are two alleged spyshots of the company's upcoming flagship, the "Hima" aka "M9," courtesy of Nowhereelse.fr, who has since removed the images. While the French blog has a mixed record of credibility when it comes to leaks, we're struggling to find signs of tampering in these photos, but that's not to say we're convinced just yet.

For one, the amusingly large camera hump on the back (remember the M8 Prime?) is a total eyesore on the familiar-looking but seemingly slimmer body; and it even reminds us of the Huawei Ascend Mate 7's own imager. If real, then HTC better have a very good justification for this. Maybe some love for a stealthy optical zoom feature? Or a larger sensor for bigger pixels? As for the pseudo-depth-sensing camera normally positioned at the top, the tipster may have cropped it out just to irritate us all.

The second spyshot gives us a good look at the front side of this mysterious device. Gone is the thin black frame around the top glass sheet, but the BoomSound stereo speakers are preserved with the same design language. That said, the proximity sensor plus the front-facing camera appear to have been upsized, which is just as well; we understand that the front imager here will use HTC's efficient UltraPixel sensor for quicker and brighter selfies.

This tidbit is backed up by Bloomberg's own source, who added that the M9 will also sport a 20-megapixel main camera (but hopefully with a larger sensor than what Sony uses on its Xperia Z3), along with Qualcomm's octa-core Snapdragon 810 chipset plus Sense 7.0 UI. Other rumors indicate a screen size of somewhere between 5 inches (like the M8) and 5.2 inches (like the Desire Eye). Additionally, Bloomberg's report says HTC's March event will finally unveil the company's first smartwatch.

There's still a good chance that this is either a very good fake, or actually a real but sloppily disguised prototype based on the M8's design. We're leaning towards the latter, given that HTC is known to have done this in the past -- like the M7 prototype that we got to play with. We'll found out in about 40 days, or maybe even beforehand if an overly-joyous Peter Chou decides to whip out the real deal.

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