HTC 10: Beautifully crafted with stellar performance
Vinu Varughese Oommen
Over the years, HTC has been one of the most renowned smartphone brands, with the previous HTC One M8 being one of the most popular Android smartphones in the market. After the disappointment of the HTC One M9, the company is back with their latest and best flagship iteration, simply called the HTC 10.
Design Philosophy and Display
HTC appears to have put a serious thought into the design factor of the HTC 10 flagship smartphone, so no more will critics point out that this is a possible Apple iPhone 6s company. The device is beautifully crafted with a metal rim that flows around the device. The HTC 10 holds a thickness of just 9mm (On the contrary, the HTC One M9 is 9.6mm thick).
The metal seamlessly continues to the rear in a curved fashion, just like the previous HTC One M8/HTC One M9, but with a newly introduced chamfered edge that look absolutely stunning. While the curved rear side is something HTC loves to implement, it can be troublesome to use when the device is placed in a straight surface. The smartphone wobbles when you try to type a message or browse the net. Thankfully, there isn’t any glass on the rear of the device which could attract fingerprints and smudges, something that’s seen on many flagship smartphones these days.
While HTC didn’t feature the traditional dual-front facing BoomSound speakers on the HTC 10, the main speaker grill is placed next to the USB 3.1 Type-C port underneath brings (Also BoomSound speakers with Dolby). Playback audio also comes also from the normal speakers that’s used for phone calls. But most of the quality audio comes from the bottom speakers which are surprisingly great to hear.
On the front, HTC has done a bit of rearranging on the basic controls. There are three capacitive buttons, with the left one serving as “back” function, the right key as “recent apps”, and the middle button that works as the Home button and wake up call. While the HTC 10 is the first flagship smartphone from HTC to come with a Samsung-like home button, the button actually doesn’t offer any sort of feedback when pressed. The button can actually confuse many users to think that the button is stuck. These are users who would have used many Samsung or other brands in the past, and it can be really annoying to get used to it. The only USP of that physical looking key is that it houses the fingerprint scanner. HTC could have created a mechanism to allow the button to offer a push-in feedback. On the left, you get the dedicated MicroSD slot, and on the right side, you get the power key, volume rockers, and the Nano SIM tray compartment. The keys are well-built without any sort of cheap materials, and the power key boasts a grip like design.
Instead of going for a very large screen, HTC decided to use a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 screen that features a 1440p resolution. The 5.2-inch display size is ideal and comfortable to hold for most users out there, and it’s quite easy to type with one hand. The screen is guarded by Gorilla Glass 3 for resisting all your accidental scratches. The colors of the display are vibrant, and the viewing angles are great. However, outdoor visibility could have been better.
Specifications and Performance
The HTC 10 is a powerhouse that holds the latest quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor, and coupled with 4GB RAM space for a smooth Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS experience. The HTC Sense skin atop Marshmallow appears to be fast and snappy most of the times, thanks to the reduction of bloatware out of the box. Still, apps like BlinkFeed may not of be an interest for everyone. Most of the UI pages, the settings page and drop down menu is left as stock. Our Antutu Benchmark score for the HTC 10 is 131694.
HTC has also introduced improvements in the optical department, with the main camera module on the rear holding a 12MP image sensor that’s 1/2.3-inch in size for more detailed image captures. The camera is backed by a sharp F1.8 aperture lens for stellar night photography and sharp focuses, and Optical Image Stabilization feature to reduce shakes and blurs. There is also a powerful dual-tone flash. Our time with the main camera has been great, and the HTC 10 produced great quality images (not up to what we had experienced with the Samsung Galaxy
The front camera holds a 5MP image sensor, also with a sharp F1.8 lens so that you can capture bright selfies and high quality video calls.
All that high-end specs are backed by a non-removable 3000 mAh battery. To be honest, the standby time of the smartphone is impressive. It stayed for almost a week with slight usages. At regular use, the HTC 10 could last almost a day with 70% brightness, camera captures, internet surfing with WiFi and 3G, and using social chat apps.
HTC has once again proved that their smartphones offer one of the best Android performances with a beautiful design to compliment with it. Compared to the HTC One M9, the new HTC 10 has considerably improved by a big margin in terms of build quality, camera, software enhancements, battery reliability, and features. However, the device could have been a bit sleeker on the rear instead of the curved back. For those hoping to replace their old HTC flagship smartphones, the new HTC 10 is worth the shot.