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HTC abandons aiming for ‘the best’ with ‘cheap plastic’ One E8

HTC has taken a page out of Samsung’s “cheap plastic” smartphone playbook by releasing a polycarbonate clad version of its One M8 that is designed to capture market share in key Asian markets.

Related: HTC One M8 review

The One E8 boasts an almost identical design to the company’s current flagship handset except that the casing is plastic and it is priced at a more affordable price point than its older sibling.

Unfortunately HTC has omitted a few features from the original phone, according to CNET’s HTC One E8 review, including the dual-camera set up that was lauded by many new owners laying hands on the One M8.

What it does boast is a 5in full HD display with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution as well as front-facing BoomSound speakers and it comes in white, red or grey. Under the hood there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core chip clocked at 2.5GHz, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage with a microSD card slot for those pining after yet more space.

There is a single 13-megapixel camera on the back with an LED flash, which is a departure from the dual-camera the M8 brings to the table though it does boast the 5-megapixel selfie-friendly snapper on the front.

The lack of the One M8’s dual camera setup means that there is no chance to magically refocus pictures though the higher resolution camera means that photos, on the whole, can be zoomed in further and give slightly more detail

Additionally it runs HTC’s Sense 6 UI found on the One M8 that is based on Google’s Android 4.2.2 KitKat OS and retains the same Motion Launch gesture controls that first appeared on the One M8.

Right now it is priced at S$698 [£330] SIM-free in Singapore and it is likely to also hit the shelves in India, Taiwan and of course China with European or North American availability still yet to be confirmed or denied.

Related: HTC rumoured to be releasing a cheaper, plastic HTC One M8

The fact HTC has broken with its hardline metal stance and produced a plastic version comes after comments made just months ago that it was going after a different customer that didn’t want “cheap plastic” and was after the “best”. Whether that policy still rings true in the European market remains to be seen.