The HTC 10 is finally out and has already taken everyone by surprise. Perhaps we have grown used to below par flagships from the Taiwanese manufacturer though all of that is history now that we have the 10 with us.
To begin with the familiar stuff, the HTC 10 has a lot in common with other Android flagships – a Snapdragon 820 chipset coupled to a 4 GB RAM and 32/64 GB storage. The latter is further expandable up to 2TB via microSD cards. Powering the device is a 3,000mAh battery while charging is achieved via USB Type-C port. Also, it’s a 5.2-inch, Quad HD Super LCD 5 display upfront which, according to HTC has 30 percent more color to display compared to its predecessor. There is a layer of Gorilla Glass on top as well for better protection.
Another nice aspect with the 10 is that it comes with almost a stock Android version, which marks a significant departure from the heavily customized Android versions that were stapled with previous flagships. HTC said it worked with Google to keep redundant apps in check though the usual HTC apps such as camera or email are still there. HTC also stated they are providing a Material Design makeover for its own apps to align better with the Android offerings.
Design wise, the 10 does not break any new ground though it still manages to impress with its look and feel. The 10 is really comfortable to hold while the chamfered rear edge does bring in a new perspective to designing flagship mobiles. The shiny edges might tend to highlight the 10’s aluminium build all the more though here again, what comes to the fore is the impeccable build quality of the handset. Its flawless and fluidic that tends to grow on its users.
Special mention must be made of the imaging abilities of the 10, one area where HTC has been lacking repeatedly over the years. So it’s a 12 UltraPixel rear sensor that is now designed to capture more light. This along with the dual LED flash should allow for better low light photography. Then there is also the optical stabilization feature built-in along with laser auto focus. Officially the 10 is capable of shooting 4K videos though it remains to be seen how much of an affect it is going to have on the battery.
Meanwhile, the 10 also comes with a 5-megapixel camera at the front, complete with a wide angle lens for belter selfie shots.
Another standout quality of the 10 is its ability to belt out high-quality audio, which can be upscaled to 24-bit quality. The 10 is also able to output almost double the power via its headphone amp than its peers. That is not all as the 10 also boasts of ‘personal audio profile’ that makes the device tune the audio to suit one’s personal preferences.
HTC also scored a first among its Android peers to offer built-in compatibility with Apple’s AirPlay speakers, something that none saw it coming.
As for the pricing, the unlocked version of the 10 has been priced $699 (£569 in the UK) with shipments set to begin next month. Of course, carriers will be chipping in to offer much-subsidised rates though carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint aren’t spilling their beans just yet. However, AT&T has stated it won’t be joining the HTC 10 party.
HTC has earlier tasted success with its Vive VR headset, and the company is desperate to repeat the feat with the 10 as well. We will have to wait for a clear verdict on this though the 10 surely has won the first round.