HTC 10 Review
HTC 10 / HTC One M10
145.9 x 71.9 x 3.0 – 9.0 mm
All Metal Unibody
5.2-inch Super LCD 5
Quad HD 2560 x 1440 pixels (~565 ppi )
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
Quad-core (2x2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x1.6 GHz Kryo)
32 GB / 64 GB
microSD up to 2TB
HTC Sense UI
12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm
Laser autofocus, dual-LED, 1/2.3'' sensor size, 1.55µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
5 MP, f/1.8, 23mm, OIS, autofocus, 1.34 µm pixel size, HDR
Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh
Fast battery charging: 50% in 30 min
HTC has been struggling with their phones, for the past few years. Post the success of the HTC One M7 , the HTC One M8 and especially the One M9 failed to impress the world. In India HTC, last year launched the HTC One M9+ instead of the One M9. While this was done to attract more buyers, most swayed away to the other realm of competition especially because Samsung had launched the S6 and S6 Edge and Apple’s iPhone 6s was just around the corner.
While many were skeptical if HTC could make a comeback, the HTC 10 is the ultimate comeback king. This year HTC did not hold back on specifications, which has been an issue for the company in the past. HTC not only loaded the HTC 10 with the best hardware but also made it work really well. So should you be choosing the HTC 10 in your next Flagship purchase, there is more reason than ever, let’s discuss more in our review.
Build & Design
The build of the HTC 10, almost goes back in line with the HTC One M7, a single shell of Aluminum that s used to carve out space for fitting the innards of the phone. The HTC 10 is one beautiful smartphone, it exudes a premium look and is possibly the best-looking metal jacket smartphone out there.
With the design, HTC kept it simple, big bold chamfers on the back not only give it an excellent and unique look but an excellent fit in the palms of your hand whether you have big or tiny hands. The decision to go with the 5.2-inch display as opposed to a 5.5-inch display is welcome and people will find that they not only get a punchier display but also a comfortably sized smartphone.
The front gets Gorilla Glass 4, which gives the phone additional frontal protection. It also keeps the phone safe from scratches on the front. The metal construction is solid and despite several drops the phone is unscathed.
The HTC 10 misses out on waterproofing, which was a big plus on the Galaxy S7 this year. The HTC 10 only has an IP53 rating meaning, it will only survive basic splashes of water.
This phone is loaded with the best of everything on the market right now. The HTC 10 gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with the Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB of RAM and a storage choice of 32 or 64 GB along with expandability up to a massive 2TB when cards are available.
The rear gets improved 12 MP cameras, that HTC dubs “Ultrapixel 2” and the front gets a 5 MP snapper. The HTC 10 is available in two colors the Carbon Grey and the Topaz Gold.
Thanks to a cleaner HTC Sense UI and removal of duplicate apps, HTC has not only made the user experience more simplistic but has also removed redundancy in the day to day use of the phone, hence making the experience a more interesting one. The HTC 10 shows no sign of slow down despite several days of strict usage.
For heavy users, they will find that its a breeze switching between apps and playing high graphic intensity games. The phone scores excellent points on benchmarks and easily crosses the 110,000 mark on apps like Antutu Benchmark and scores 4747 on the Geekebench Multicore test putting it right on top of the comparison chart. The HTC 10 scores significantly better than the Galaxy S7 and the LG G5.
Owners will find themselves not being concerned with the usage of the phone, as it simply performs, so worrying about lag is a non-issue.
Multimedia and Display
HTC 10 uses a new combination of speakers, a mid-range that sits next to the earpiece and a low range which sits next to the charging port. HTC calls this the BoomSound Hi-Fi edition. While we still prefer the original Boomsound layout, with two big speakers blasting loud music directly at our face, this is a more refined upgrade to that. A more fuller sound with a more accurate representation of what you are listening to.
Audio is still loud, and great while watching a video or playing games. The HTC 10 also has a built-in DAC, which converts high-end digital audio to an analog signal. This significantly improves the audio quality of your files and now you can listen to high-res audio from the 3.5 mm headphone jack of the smartphone. Once you plug in your headphones, you’ll be asked to set up a personal audio profile which will enable you to listen for tones with each ear, allowing each user to setup headphones and tones specific to their ears and headphones. The HTC 10 supports multiple profiles for different headphones.
The display is bright, and vivid, and has an excellent color representation and wide viewing angles. The HTC 10 has a Super LCD 5 display running at Quad HD resolution. The color is much more refined than that of Samsung Galaxy S7’s Super AMOLED panel which tends to over saturate colors to make the screens look better than life. If you do prefer a more vibrant setup, the settings panel will allow you to switch your color modes.
The HTC 10 is also the first Android phone that supports Apple’s Airplay streaming, not only is this a welcome feature, it is the easiest and the best way to stream music if you have an Airplay device or an Airplay multiroom audio setup.
Software & UI
Here is where HTC excelled with the HTC 10. The company had already been reducing the influence of Sense on Android as a UI layer. With the new Sense 8, HTC has gone into minimal interference while elevating the customer experience. The base of everything still remains Android, Android 6.0.1 this time around and HTC does still have things like the Blinkfeed interface which sits to the left of the main screen. Blinkfeed also should suggest some restaurants and Cafe’s where it is supported.
You can still change the size of the app drawer and you can still personalize the HTC 10 with custom themes, colors, and wallpapers. HTC’s apps are very limited but work really well , including the camera application, and the ZOE editor.
The phone dialer gets the usual HTC flavor with swipeable tabs, and the messaging app gets the stock Android treatment. The User interface is simple and flowy and easy to navigate through and HTC seems to have found the right mix with the HTC 10.
The main camera on the HTC 10 is a 12 MP shooter, and while the Galaxy S7 gets a lot of praise for the camera, the HTC 10 hold up a fantastic arena of its own. While HTC’s cameras in the past have failed to impress, that is certainly not the case this time around.
The f/1.8 is only 0.1 behind the f/1.7 on the Samsung Galaxy S7’s 12 MP camera. There is another difference here, while the HTC 10 has a Ultrapixel sensor which means that the pixels are 1.55 micron in size, those on the Galaxy S7 are only 1.4 micron in size. A larger pixel means more detail per pixel and more light passing through.
The camera is a breeze to operate, just like most of the UI, the experience of the camera is excellent. Low light performance is exceptional and the camera is quick to snap the moment. Laser autofocus with Phase detection comes into play and most of your snaps will end up being in focus right where you need them to be.
Both the front and main cameras support optical image stabilization, so whether you are capturing selfies on a trampoline or just 4k video from the main camera, the stabilization is not only apparent it is great.
Pictures are sharp and well saturated and have little noise in extremely dark environments. The contrast on the images is good, and the HTC 10 allows full manual control for those interested. You also have the ability to save RAW image files to tweak later on.
Phone and Battery
The HTC 10 has full support for 4G LTE networks in India and you will get a solid sound on your calls as you would expect from an HTC device. Network switching is slow compared to others, so if you find yourself turning 4G off often, the dial times may take a while. Audio noise cancellation is superb and the HTC 10 outperforms most with respect to audio quality on phone calls.
The Quick Charge 3.0 on the 3000 mAh battery of the HTC 10 has been around way before “Dash Charge” from the OnePlus/ Oppo team. The protocol allows for the phone to achieve over 80% charge in less than an hour, easily attaining 60% or more in 30 minutes. This will not only change around how you charge the phone but how much less you care about charging the phone. While the LG G5 holds on to this feature, the Galaxy S7 ships without Quick Charge 3.0 and retains an older charge system.
The battery when fully charged will easily last you a day with a lot of online usage and camera. We traveled with the HTC 10 and seldom found ourselves looking for charge points even into late night hours.
You can easily get across 24 hours with the HTC 10 and then charge for 1 Hour and 15/20 minutes to get a full charge.
- Talk Time : 6 Hours
- Standby : 3 Days
- Online : 5 Hours
- Video Loop Test 50% Bright : 11 Hours
- Video Loop Test 100% Bright : 8 Hours
The HTC 10 stands in a time frame much after the competition had already proven to be flagship defining . The HTC 10, however, redeems the top spot by simply undoing everything HTC did wrong and re-doing everything they did right. The HTC 10 ticks all the right checkboxes and in the right way. The company has not held back on their promise of building a quality product that will not let you down over time. The HTC 10 not only looks good on paper it looks even better in your hand, outperforming everything in its path with a certain poise.
Snappy and Responsive UI
Good Battery Life
Works with AirPlay
Price is a Bit High
Less Brand Awareness