HTC 10: Back on track but a little too late?

The Taiwanese firm which garnered the world’s attention with its stylish uni body all metal phones is back again with its next installment. Enter HTC 10! Supposedly they have dropped the ‘M’ because according to #HTC, 10 stands for perfection (Duh!) and they want a solid phone 10/10. Full marks on the thought but do they deliver on it?. Lets find out.

DESIGN

Well from the design point of view, it feels like a lot has changed and at the same time, a lot has not. The HTC 10 has a prominent chamfer all along the back edges that sort of engulfs the phone. The early images of the design of the phone were polarizing but the end product does seem great. The light bounces off that chamfer elegantly giving it a sparkling finish aesthetically and it also feels better in the hands, giving it a more natural feel on holding. The basic body is a blend of the iconic M8 and A9 designs with the antennae bands at the back. The side volume buttons are aptly placed and the texture on the power button feels great. The 3.5mm jack is at the top centre.

HTC seldom does wrong when it comes to design and the same goes for HTC 10. It has premium written all over it.

HARDWARE

HTC 10 has a 5.2 inch Super LCD5 Capacitive touch screen with 565 ppi. Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 makes up the chipset with 4 gb of ram. Battery has been amped up to 3000 mAh which HTC claims to get you 2 days of usage. The phone also has the Quick Charge 3.0.  And as has been the case with HTC phones, we have the microSD slot with built in 32/64 gb of memory which is great.

SPEAKERS

Earlier HTC had ‘quietly brilliant’ as their company tagline but ironically their loud crisp speakers have become their USP now. The speakers on HTC 10 have gone under the knife for a  major revamp. HTC has ditched the front facing dual stereo speakers this time for better or for worse. HTC 10 now has a top speaker and a sub woofer at the bottom that is supposed to give better crisp low sounds. They probably arent as loud as the previous iterations but sure are much better and definitely crisper than the competition. But put in a good headphones and the magic conjures up. HTC has now put in a 23 bit DAC and a headphone amp in the 10 which makes the Boom sound go, well…BOOM!

CAMERA

The camera has always been the missing link for HTC and it was something they were falling short way behind the competition. This time HTC has really outdone themselves in the camera segment. HTC 10 has a 12 MP shooter with bigger pixel size (1.55 microns) and OIS. The camera app has been streamlined with the various camera options at the left and the controls on the right. 4K recording is there in case your wondering and this time you can even record better crisp audio for videos (what use are those crisp speakers otherwise).

But well the major development took place in the front camera which has OIS as well which is a first of its kind. This is a boon for the vloggers and 5MP certainly goes a long way. HTC 10 definately has the best camera ever by made HTC and well it was about time for them to do that. Its still not the best out there but it can easily give you a consistent performance as your daily driver.

SOFTWARE

Marshmallow 6.0 with SENSE makes up the UI. This time the UI is much cleaner with HTC cutting the redundancy of app duplicacy due to their work with Google. So instead of the HTC gallery, we only have the Google Photos and so on. This is a great step by HTC and certainly paves the way for the next Nexus (too soon to talk about?). There is the Boost plus application which cleans up the junk and RAM to speed up the phone. It can also lower the game play resolution to Full HD from Quad HD to save up juice which is great. We still have the Blink Feed and HTC’s Theme Engine engine with few more tricks up its sleeves. With no cartoonish icons and cleaner build, SENSE certainly makes SENSE. (no pun intended).

HTC 10 surely does most of the things right this time which should certainly help them make a come back. It checks most of the boxes and it does the most important things really well. My only regret is that this phone did not follow up the One M8 or M9. A very good camera was long overdue and it took them a while to come up with that. We have already ventured into the world of modular phones (read our last blog), curved glasses, wireless charging etc. and HTC has taken their time to get the basic things right. Why so late? Well I only hope that HTC takes it to the next level with their next phones and dont look back. We expect the same and more from the pioneers of premium metal phones. And rest assured, the HTC fans will be delighted with the 10.

Maybe HTC 10 is not about fighting the competition. Maybe its about showcasing the world that the Taiwanese Giant can still make great head turning phones if they want to. Maybe its about catching the worlds attention again. And maybe it will.

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