Telstra’s new Android handset is an HTC A9 (more or less)

Alex Kidman 27 April 2016

TelstraSignaturePremium

Telstra’s latest own-brand handset, the Telstra Signature Premium, is essentially an HTC A9 with a bit of Telstra-specific tweaking.

Most of the time when you buy a carrier-branded handset, you’re doing so because it’s among the cheapest devices available. Historically these have tended to be devices produced by manufacturers such as ZTE or Huawei,. However, Telstra’s latest device, the Telstra Signature Premium is instead an HTC developed device -- or in this case, essentially a rebadged HTC One A9.

Telstra announced the new handset yesterday, noting its Telstra-specific features, such as compatibility with the carrier’s 4GX network, support for both Wi-Fi calling (which it pegged it would launch back at Mobile World Congress) and Voice over LTE (VoLTE), all sitting in an Android device with a 5.0 inch display.

Telstra had already announced that it was working on a signature device with HTC, and looking at the specifications for the Telstra Signature Premium, it’s not hard to see that this is, in essence, the HTC One A9 with a little bit of tweaking. The HTC One A9 is actually a 2015-era smartphone, but one that never saw official release in Australia; our next official HTC phone will be the premium HTC 10.

Here’s how the baseline specifications for the Telstra Signature Premium and HTC One A9 handsets compare.

SmartphonesTelstra Signature PremiumHTC One A9
Screen size5.0in5.0in
Storage32gb16/32gb
Weight143g143g
ProcessorQualcomm MSM8952 Octa-CoreQualcomm MSM8952 Octa-Core
Rear camera13MP13MP
Front camera"Ultrapixel"4MP
Battery2150mAh2150mAh
Resolution1920x10801920x1080
Display density440ppi440ppi
Price$648N/A

The only real difference there, beyond Telstra opting for the higher storage variant of the A9, is the stated camera quality. Telstra simply lists the front camera as an "Ultrapixel" camera; that’s an HTC-specific term in any case, and most Ultrapixel cameras have tended to have 4MP sensors in mid-range models.

Telstra has announced outright pricing for the Telstra Signature Premium at $648 if you wanted it off-contract.

Here's what you'll pay for the Telstra Signature Premium if you want it on a Telstra contract.

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