The Once Over: The HTC 10 Review

Early in 2016 at the Mobile World Congress, HTC unveiled its latest flagship - the HTC 10. With the rebranding of its flagship line, HTC sticks both feet into the mud to battle hard against fierce competition. The question remains--have they done enough?


Main specifications:

  • Software - Android 6.0, HTC Sense 8.0

  • Display - 5.2”, QHD (1440 x 2560)

  • Camera - 12 MP with dual LED flash

  • Processor - Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

  • Ram - 4 GB

  • Battery capacity  - 3000 mAh

  • Available colours - Black, Grey, Gold

  • Additional features - Dust resistant (IP53), fingerprint scanner, Boomsound speakers


Design

At first glance it’s hard to differentiate the HTC 10 from its predecessor. In fact it’s quite hard to differentiate it from most of HTC’s premium flagships. The phone retains its magnificent metal, but what stands out this time is that the edges of the phone have become much smoother, making the phone easier to hold.


These changes are definitely welcome, especially when looking at the behemoth bezels that the phone has. The buttons on the side now feel a lot more tactile. The Taiwanese manufacturer has also opted to revert to the capacitive buttons with a fingerprint scanner/home button in the middle. However, the protruding edges is still something HTC’s design team needs to work on. Nevertheless this is easily overruled by the cool touch of the metal on the back.

Display

The HTC 10 has a 5.2” QHD display, which means that it has a very high pixel density of 565 ppi. The HTC 10 has an ultra crisp display, with vivid colours. The colours are not as saturated as the Samsung Galaxy S7 which is why the colours are less vibrant but this is not a bad thing per se as it means that the colours produced by the display are very true to life. The screen of the phone stands among the best in the massive sea of flagship smartphones available today.


Camera

Over the previous years, HTC’s flagship smartphones have been found lacking in the camera department. The HTC 10 tries its best to be better. The 12 MP camera also contains UltraPixel technology. This means that the phone’s camera can gather more light at a time, improving its night time shooting capabilities. The phone also has Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which means that video and image capture is much more stable. The phone also has a 5MP front camera, which produces very clear and detailed images.


Audio

HTC claims that its Boomsound technology is still present in its latest flagship, but this time in a different form. There are no longer dual facing speakers on the phone, but instead, only one. This speaker’s assisted by the woofer at the bottom of the phones, which provides the phone with better bass. The speakers may not produce the loudest audio, but it certainly is some of the best I’ve ever heard in a smartphone. The phone’s headphone jack also has a built in 24-bit DAC that provides plugged-in ear buds with hi-res audio.


Battery Life

The battery capacity of the phone has been increased to 3000 mAh, which allows for long-lasting battery life. The phone lasts nearly a day with  medium use. The battery life is definitely the best ever when compared to the other flagships in the HTC One line.


Performance

Graphically demanding games are handled with a breeze on this phone. Almost ZERO lag. While playing many of my favourite games, I demanded that the phone could play the games easily, and it did like a champ! As well as this, the roaming through the UI was seamless. There are definitely no faults with the HTC 10 when it comes to its performance.


Additional features

The HTC 10 is also equipped with a bevy of features that are only found in the most premium of handsets. The phone is dust and water resistant  as it has a rating of IP53, so a few raindrops can do no harm. In addition to this, the phone boasts a microSD card slot which means that there is available storage expansion. The phone also has a fingerprint scanner, which is a must have for the flagship these days. Furthermore, HTC has also joined the long list of the manufacturers that have replaced the micro USB slot with USB type C. Lastly, the HTC 10 comes with the aforementioned Boomsound technology that helps its speakers to be #1.


All in all, the HTC is the device that is needed to bring HTC back to the top and once again compete with Samsung and Apple. We’ll just have to wait and see if this bold move from HTC can indeed live up to the hype. Only time, and sales figures, will tell.