While the Chinese variants of the HTC One won't be formally introduced until April 24th, we've managed to get our hands on its cousin device: the 603e that sports a similar earpiece design as the One, but without the front-facing BoomSound stereo loudspeakers. The retail name of this dual-SIM (WCDMA 900/2100 and GSM 900/1800/1900) device is actually E1, and HTC pitches it as an affordable Android 4.1 (with Sense 4+) phone with a 2.1-megapixel f/2.0 wide front-facing camera -- likely identical to HTC One's, judging by our own comparison -- along with beautification features and the company's much publicized ImageChip technology. But the real selling point of the E1 is its role in HTC's new e-commerce strategy in China: while you can get hold of one at an authorized HTC store, HTC's Chinese "eShop" throws in custom options for the built-in storage (8 or 16GB), main camera (five or eight megapixels, both with only 720p video capture) and one of the six body colors plus patterns. Choosing the top spec combo will also get you a special red body interior.
Gallery: HTC E1 hands-on