HTC opted to play it safe this year with their flagship line. The HTC 10 still has a metal unibody design like in years past but its more refined that last year’s HTC One M9.
After using the HTC 10 for a few weeks, I wouldn’t say it’s the absolute best phone out there but it’s definitely a runner up to the smartphones that have released so far, in 2016.
In this review, I will cover the following areas:
- Design & Hardware (hardware and specs)
- Software (all about that Android)
- Camera (a picture is worth a thousand words right?)
Design & Hardware
The HTC 10 has a metallic design which looks like HTC’s previous flagship devices. However, it can be slippery in the hands, so I would recommend a case or even a full body decal to help with this.
The HTC 10 feels more of a refinement of HTC’s past devices, which is a good thing because HTC makes some great hardware that is on par with the likes of Apple.
The battery in HTC 10 is 3000mAh and it lasts all day, even while using LTE. The stand-by time of the battery is also great, thanks to Doze in Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
The HTC 10 also has support for Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 and will charge the HTC 10 to 80% in about 30 mins. The HTC 10 also comes with a USB Type-C port.
The display on the HTC 10 is a 5.2-inch Quad HD display which looks great. It looks great from any angle and the colours are bright and detailed but I’ve been so used to the 6-inch display on my Nexus 6 that the HTC 10 is small in comparison.
There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the front (like the Galaxy S7 and Apple iPhone 6S) which is quick but not as quick as the fingerprint sensors on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X.
Instead of the usual BoomSound speakers setup where there would be two front-facing stereo speakers. The HTC 10 has one front-facing stereo speaker and that’s paired with a down-firing stereo speaker to create the HTC BoomSound speaker setup. Audio does sound great through the speakers but I’m so used to the front-facing speakers that my Nexus 6 has that it seemed like a missed opportunity on the HTC 10.
Inside the HTC 10, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM and everything runs smoothly. There’s also 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for up 2TB (but none exist yet), so for now, we’ll have to live with a 200GB microSD card. For this review, I used SanDisk Ultra 200GB Micro SD (which I used for this review and work well and was quick and reliable by offering speeds of 90 MB/s).
The HTC 10 is available in two storage capacities, 32GB and 64GB and comes in Silver, and Carbon Gray. The HTC 10 is about $899 CAD off-contract or $349 CAD on-contract and it’s exclusive to Bell in Canada or you can buy it unlocked from HTC.
The HTC 10 is the second HTC phone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the first being the HTC One A9. And just like past HTC phones, it’s running HTC’s Sense on top.
The latest version of Sense is much more refined and is closer to the Google Now Launcher found on Nexus devices.
Other than that, you’ll still get access to Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s new features like Google Now on Tap (which has become more and more useful), custom app permissions, granular app & memory management, improved microSD card support.
It’s also good to note that HTC opted to get rid of some duplicate apps and replace them with Google’s apps instead, like for example, Google Photos is the gallery app for the camera on the HTC 10.
There’s also plenty of ways to customize your HTC 10 using the HTC Themes store. There’s one created by other users and ones designed by HTC.
The camera on the HTC is a 12-megapixel UltraPixel 2 camera with OIS, dual-tone flash and laser auto-focus. The front-facing camera is also 5-megapixels which should be good enough for taking selfies.
Photos look great on the HTC 10, you can see a lot of sharp detail and colours pop. The camera might not be great for every type of situation especially in low-light settings but it’s great everywhere else.
The HTC 10 is also capable of taking 4K video at 30fps and 1080p as well as slow-motion video.
The video quality from the HTC 10 looks fine and should be great for the average user.
Below are some camera samples taken on the HTC 10 and if you want to see them uncompressed, take a look here.
HTC did a great job to help refine their flagship phone for 2016 but they could have tried something radically different to help it stand out among the sea of Galaxy phones.
The HTC 10 is a great phone; it may not be the best (that would have to go to the Galaxy S7) but it’s a great alternative for someone who doesn’t want a Nexus 6P or a Galaxy S7.
+ Great display
+ Solid performance
+ Awesome camera
+ Great battery life
+ Nice design
+ Expandable storage
– Slippery body
– Device gets warm at times