For the past couple years, HTC phones hasn’t done very well with their flagship smartphones. They featured HTC’s signature design but fell short in key aspects which combined with poor marketing efforts, lead to lacklustre sales. 2016 is the year HTC needs to change that, otherwise the company could risk falling out of contention in the savage smartphone market.
HTC has not taken this threat lightly and their newest flagship, the HTC 10 could be their savior. With the HTC 10, the company dropped their previous naming scheme signaling a significant change in their product.
The 10 is a gorgeous piece of hardware which combines the aesthetics of last year’s A9 smartphone with the One M9. The result is a metal bodied beauty that looks fresh but stays true to HTC’S design roots.
The biggest eye catcher is a very wide and bold chamfered edge that spans the perimeter of the 10’s back. Unfortunately, the signature front facing dual speakers have not made their way onto the 10. Instead we get a single front facing tweeter paired with a mini subwoofer on the bottom. The 10 also comes with a fingerprint sensor/home buttons along the bottom of the screen flanked by capacitive keys. HTC claims the fingerprint scanner unlocks the device in only 0.2 seconds.
HTC claims that the build quality on the 10 is phenomenal. They rigorously tested the sleek body, putting it through 168 hours of extreme temperature torture along with over 10,000 drop, scratch and corrosion tests until HTC’s desired quality standards were met.
The cameras on the previous HTC flagships have disappointed, failing to shine against the strong competition. DxOMark got the HTC 10 early and ranked it’s camera on par with the Galaxy S7’s which is currently the best in the industry. The main shooter is a 12 MP Ultrapixel 2 sensor with optical image stabilization, f/1.8 aperture and 1.55 micron pixels. The front facing 5MP camera also has an f/1.8 aperture and is the first in the world with optical image stabilization. The camera application launches in 0.6 seconds and is quick to snap photos with the aid of the second generation laser autofocus system.
Specifications wise, the 10 is similar to most 2016 flagships smartphones. It has a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 5.2 inch Super LCD 5 2K display (2560 x 1440 pixels, 564ppi), 32/64GB built in storage, microSD expansion up to 2 Terabytes, USB Type C and a 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0. HTC is using a very clean version of android 6.0 Marshmallow which has been optimised to provide up to two days of battery life. The battery will go from 0% to 50% in half an hour when using the bundles fast charger. A built in theme engine will allow you to customize the 10 to your taste too.
The 10 is exactly what HTC needs for 2016. While we would have liked to have seen the company take a few risks and show us something new like LG, the 10 looks to be a very safe and powerful product. Considering the flagships unveiled by Samsung and LG, HTC has produced a device that should be able to go toe to toe with them. However the company will have to rely mostly on their excellent design to sell the 10. Unlike the LG G5 and Galaxy S7, the HTC 10 really does not have many cards to play. The HTC 10 is already up for pre orders and will retail for $699 which is a very good price point. It will be available in Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, and Topaz Gold finishes.