HTC’s latest flagship is fantastic, but not at a price point everyone approves, and the high grade aluminium body might be to blame. But what if HTC made it in plastic… would that encourage more people to switch to HTC?

That might be the ticket HTC is betting on, with talk that HTC’s One 2014, also known as the M8, is getting a budget brother.

In China, HTC has put up a page touting the handset, which the company is calling the One E8. From what we’re seeing, the specs are suggesting it’s close to the HTC One M8 from this year, with a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and a 5 megapixel front camera.

Little else is known about the handset, aside for that it has HTC’s two front-facing speakers known as BoomSound, a 13 megapixel camera to replace the 4 megapixel Ultrapixel camera, and a plastic body replacing the high grade aluminium used in the 2014 One M8

It’s possible we’ll see a different screen, but if HTC wanted to use similar parts across the board and just replace the camera and chassis, we wouldn’t be surprised.

So now that you know the specs and design, the important question for Aussies is will HTC release it locally?

Our guess is that it’s possible, and we base that solely on one of last year’s local releases, which was similar to the One, though made for a different price point.

Technically, for all intents and purposes, HTC already has a plastic One in this country, it’s just not called a One, but rather hits in the brand now designated for the middle and budget end of the market, Desire.

When that handset came out — the Desire 601 — the design was very similar to a plastic version of last year’s HTC One, but with less impressive internals, featuring a dual-core Snapdragon 400 and 1GB RAM, identical specs to what HTC used in its One Mini handset.

Given that we have so many willing to invest in the budget and mid-range sector, we’d find it surprising if HTC didn’t attempt to undercut its competitors with a plastic version of its One, especially when this year’s One is — like last year’s — grabbing so much attention in the media.

But just in case we’re wrong, we’ve asked HTC if the One E8 will be making an official appearance locally. Here’s hoping they get back to us before the announcement is made official.