With 2016 now almost halfway done, smartphone makers all over the world are reaping the rewards of their flagship launches early on in the year. One company however, has decided to come late to the party, and that is HTC. HTC didn’t get much of a pop at the MWC earlier this year, and many were left wondering as to what exactly was going on behind those closed doors. Well, the curtains are finally off, and what we have is a flagship that portrays the best of HTC thus far. HTC has been synonymous with some brilliant designs in the past, and with the A9 gaining reasonable popularity, they finally looked ready to take the quantum leap ahead, and with the new HTC 10, it seems they made the jump after all. While HTC has brought back past concepts like the Ultrapixels and the Boomsound software, but in a new and evolved state,which should get the people back on board for sure. So, enough build up, lets get right to it –
DESIGN AND DISPLAY –
HTC has never compromised on build quality, and the HTC 10 is no different. The premium build is right up there or even higher than the other flagships in the market. Now I too criticised HTC a lot when I saw the early images of the device with its big chamfered edges on the top, but after looking at the phone in the flesh, I completely get why HTC went for that design route . The phone feels amazing in the hand, while the chamfered edge nicely improves the ergonomics of the device.
While most phones today are all about curved backs and endless wobbles on flat tables, HTC has actually made the mid section of the device flat, so that the device does not give you those annoying wobbles when you place it on a flat surface. I would have loved to see the camera fit into the phone, but that is not the case unfortunately. The camera does protrude, and when the device is placed on a surface, the entire weight of the device will act on the camera ring, which does not bode well in the long run. So, keep that factor in mind, or just buy a phone case along with he device and fix this problem then and there.
Another noticeable change is the speaker grilles. HTC decided to phase out the dual front facing speakers, and instead, place the tweeters in two different locations on the device. The lower bass and mids are restricted to the bottom firing speaker, while the mids and high tones are taken care of by the earpiece speaker.
Another past element making a comeback is the capacitive key set. If you look closely the HTC 10 has a lot of negative space in the lower bezel area, so placing capacitive controls on there is a really smart move in my opinion. As far as the other controls are concerned , the power button is not found below the volume rockers. Don’t worry though, HTC has placed a texture on the power key, so its easy to find even when you’re not looking.
Coming to the display, the HTC 10 features a 5.2 inch QHD display with a staggering pixel density of 565 ppi. Not only will the display give you a super clear output, it will also put a smile on your face.
PERFORMANCE AND SOFTWARE –
With the HTC 10 software, I can safely say that HTC finally listened to their fans, and thats why, the new Sense UI is closer to Stock Android than ever before. HTC has also brought in theme support with a wide array of available themes to choose from. This will allow users to really make their HTC 10 device personal. Another new addition to the HTC 10 software is the Freestyle layout. With this, the users can arrange app icons, widgets and stickers however and wherever they want on the home screen. You no longer have to stick to the grid based layout as before.
HTC went a step further and cleaned duplicates of several apps in their suite. For those who don’t know, HTC phones until now, featured the google apps, as well as proprietary apps from HTC which performed the same function. For example, you had the Gmail app for your emails, while you also got an HTC mail app. Not only did this hog into your phone memory, it also made things very annoying. In the HTC 10, all that is now a thing of the past, as HTC has removed all duplicated apps, while retaining the smoother app among the alternatives.
Coming to the touchscreen response, HTC has amped up the responsiveness of the HTC 10 by almost 50%, which means the touch on the HTC 10 is smoother than butter smooth.
Performance wise, the HTC 10 has absolutely nothing to worry about. The device comes loaded with the Snapdragon 820 chipset, an Adreno 530 GPU, and 4GB of RAM.
The Snapdragon has been given its fair share of benchmark tests, and the common conclusion is that no matter what resolution you throw at it ( 1080p or even 1440p ), the Snapdragon 820 will not break a sweat.
When HTC first introduced the Ultrapixel concept with the HTC One, People ridiculed it , and there was a world wide petition for HTC to switch back to conventional camera sensors. The end result was HTC giving in to the pressure and introducing the conventional sensors in their future devices. Now however, it looks like HTC has regained its flair, which is why they have reintroduced the Ultrapbixel camera, but this time, better than ever before. The Camera is a 12 MP unit, but the pixels now measure 1.55 um , which is bigger than those on the Galaxy S7 and same as the ones on the Nexus 6P. What gives the HTC 10 the upper hand is a brighter aperture and OIS.
The Selfie snapper is a 5 MP unit, with nigger pixels here as well. Though this sounds tempting, the overall quality appears to be a bit ordinary, and not exactly the flagship grade as well. Video recording again is a flagship affair. You can record videos at 4K quality at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps and 720 p at 120 fps as well.
Overall , it looks like HTC has the camera department fully primed for the competition.
The HTC 10 comes with a non removable 3000 man battery. Now, personally, I would have liked a higher rated battery, but I guess the 3000 mAh unit should last you the day with ease. HTC has proved the quick charge 3.0 technology in the HTC 10, so in case your device runs out of juice, you can quickly get it going. If my numbers are correct, your HTC 10 should get to 50% charge in a mere 30 minutes.
All in all, I can say that HTC did come late to the party, but when it did, it definitely delivered a punch in the flagship competition . As far as the device goes, there is absolutely no problem. Its all a matter of just marketing the device well, and HTC will be back on top in no time.