Today, HTC launched the One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition. The rather verbose and mildly surreal name probably gives away what this phone is, which is a variant of the One M9+ with some significant changes to the camera. The spec sheet below should give a pretty good idea for what to expect.

  HTC One M9+ HTC One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition
SoC MT6795 2.2GHz 8xA53 MediaTek Helio X10 MT6795 2.2GHz 8xA53 MediaTek Helio X10
RAM/NAND 3GB LPDDR3
32GB NAND + microSD
3GB LPDDR3
32GB NAND + microSD
Display 5.2” 1440p IPS LCD 5.2” 1440p IPS LCD
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (MediaTek Category 4 LTE) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (MediaTek Category 4 LTE)
Dimensions 150.99 x 71.99 x 9.61mm 168g 150.99 x 71.99 x 9.61mm 168g
Camera 20MP Rear Facing w/ 1.12 µm pixels, 1/2.4" CMOS size, f/2.2, 27.8mm (35mm effective)
2MP Duo cam

4MP Front Facing, 2.0 µm pixels, f/2.0 26.8mm (35mm effective
21MP Rear Facing w/ 1.12 µm pixels, 1/2.4" CMOS size, f/2.2, 27.8mm (35mm effective)
Laser AF + PDAF + OIS

4MP Front Facing, 2.0 µm pixels, f/2.0 26.8mm (35mm effective)
Battery 2840 mAh (10.79 Whr) 2840 mAh (10.79 Whr)
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1, GNSS, NFC, DLNA, microUSB 2.0 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1, GNSS, NFC, DLNA, microUSB 2.0
SIM Size NanoSIM NanoSIM

As you can see, the big change here is the camera. Instead of the 2.1MP secondary camera, HTC has added an IR laser rangefinder for short distances, which should dramatically speed up auto-focus in low light and macro shots. The sensor is now a Sony IMX230 with phase detect auto focus, so in conditions with good light it should be possible for the sensor to traverse straight to in-focus instead of bracketing the in-focus point with contrast detection. However, the optical characteristics are unchanged from the One M9 and M9+ with an f/2.2 aperture likely to keep edge distortions under control. OIS is also added to improve low light performance for still photos and improve video stability.

The One M9+ Supreme Camera edition will go on sale in Taiwan on October 6th for $630 USD in gunmetal grey and two-tone silver/gold. This is likely to remain an Asia-only variant, although we may see a similar camera in future devices.

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  • KillaKilla - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    Panasonic CM1 Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - link

    Too bad they used a mid-range SoC with mediocre performance.

    Even the old Snapdragon 801 at 2.5GHz can run circles around the Cortex A53, not to mention the excellent 808.
    Reply
  • leo_sk - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - link

    Well if you check out a cpu only benchmark you will see that helio x10 (mt6795) is faster than snapdragon 810, 808, 805,801 etc trailing behind exynos 7420 only. It is the graphics where it loses to snapdragon 810. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - link

    Something is wrong in the table, if the megapixels went up, either the pixel size would need to go down, or the sensor size would need to go up. Neither of those happened. Reply
  • JoshHo - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - link

    Although the sensor size is the same, the processes are different. I'm not able to access any in-depth analysis of the Toshiba T4KA7 sensor though so I can't comment on what differences lead to the larger number of pixels on the IMX230. Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - link

    Looking up the specs on GSM Arena, it turns out to be something rather mundane. The new model has a squarer sensor giving more total area for the same size number. The M9+ Supreme uses a 4:3 sensor vs the base model using a slightly wider/shorter 1.43:1 sensor. (5376 x 3752 1.43:1 vs 5248 x 3936 1.33:1) Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - link

    The difference is small and could be accounted for by differences in the spacing between pixels (better isolation can be narrower). Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - link

    Am I mis-remembering from astronomy classes I took a dozen+ years ago, or have the conventions for specifying sensors changed at some point over the interval? What I remember from then was the pixel size including the spacing material as well as the part actually collecting photons.

    This was relevant there because the sensors in dedicated astro-imaging cameras were generally available in two types: Blooming and anti-blooming. The specified size of the sensor, pixel count and pixel size were identical between the two; the difference was that anti-bloom sensors (like what you'd use in a conventional camera) used significantly larger amounts of the pixel area for insulation. This would keep bright point sources (aka stars) compact even on long exposures; but required significantly longer exposure times than bloom sensors because more of the photons were lost because they landed in the dead zones between.
    Reply
  • RandomUsername3245 - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - link

    Astronomy (especially back then) was entirely concerned with CCDs vs. today's CMOS cameras, but they have similar concerns. Generally a good pixel will not crowd out the active area of a pixel with additional features (electronics or isolation barriers). They overcome this quite a bit by using microlenses over the pixels to focus light onto the active part of the pixel and by using back-side illumination where they fabricate the circuitry on the front side and have the active pixel area on the back side. Reply
  • vishnukumar - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - link

    Really expecting good things to happen with this change??? If this change doesn't help HTC, i think they are in for a grave danger of loosing THE Asian market as well..... When will this be available in India??? Reply

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