HTC have finally lifted the veil on their latest smartphone, the simply titled HTC 10, with the hopes that the company can make a strong comeback among solid competition from the likes of Samsung and Apple. Announced today at an event simulcast around the world, the HTC 10 looks to be a necessary step in the right direction, strengthening HTC’s best features and adding some new ones to improve user experience and distinguish this latest model in an increasingly competitive market.
It’s said that customer feedback has played a large role in forging the finer details of the phone, presenting us with an attention to detail that, as they say, appears almost obsessive in a pursuit to create the best possible smartphone available. A described by HTC, the phone “combines a world class camera with gold standard audio, bold new metal unibody design and unparalleled performance”.
The sleek and attractive contours that are found around the edge of the HTC 10 are carved out of solid metal, creating these chamfered edges which give the handset a slimmer look, complemented by a full glass front that merges seamlessly into the metal body. Button placement has played a big part in the new design as well, with the power button appearing beautifully textured with a slightly rough edge that distinguishes it from the nearby volume control buttons, which are more plain and smooth to touch, and the SIM card slot. On the opposite side to the power button is where one will find a MicroSD slot, which allows memory to be extended up to 2TB.
The speakers have been redesigned to complement a sleeker build, one which allows for a 5.2″ Super LCD 5 display through the curved gorilla glass, presenting 30% more colour than its predecessor. The handset size is 145.9 x 71 x 3.0 to help this along, giving a real premium look to the phone without supersizing things too much.
Camera & Audio
Trusted third party review site DxOMark – pretty much the authority on image quality – has awarded the HTC 10 a score of 88, which ties it in first place with the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. This is a huge step up for the brand, as their HTC One M9 last year only scored 69.
This score is obviously the result of a long process of refinement as HTC seemed to go back to the drawing board for the all-important camera, boasting the world’s first optically stabilised, larger aperture f/1.8 lenses (OIS) on both the front and rear cameras, along with larger sensors, and 12MP UltraPixel (1.55um per pixel) camera (main camera). The front camera has 5MP. What this basically means is that HTC have realised that the M9’s 20MP promise wasn’t up to scratch because of the size of the pixels, they’ve fixed this by making the pixels wider and this improves performance in low-light conditions, with 136% more light than the M9 allowed. One would see this improvement in the richness and clarity of photos taken with the HTC 10, assisted even more by an updated laser autofocus technology which powers the main camera, and a wide angle lens and screen flash on the front camera, which they are calling “UltraSelfie”. To date, this is the only selfie camera with OIS for sharper, clearer images; there’s also a wide-angle lens so more faces can fit into the frame.
Video capabilities still reach 4K with the added bonus of the world’s first stereo 24-bit Hi-Res audio recording, which is said to capture 256 times more detail than standard recordings, across twice the frequency range, enabling more accurate recorded content. The certification for Hi-Res audio is obviously a big selling point for the phone, benefiting the audio output of the phone as well.
HTC have been consistent with their sound quality thanks to their BoomSound Hi-Fi edition speakers, and that feature is retained and improved upon here. A new feature is the Personal Audio Profile system which creates a unique profile of the phone handler to better adapt to nuances in individual hearing, dynamically adjusting specific sound frequencies to each ear for a sound experience that takes full advantage of the returning design of separated woofer and tweeter speakers, both with their own dedicated amplifier.
Headphones which will stock with the handset features an 8um thin aerospace polymer diaphragm and 70% oversized drivers, promising the listener a richer sound with twice the frequency range.
With the camera and audio – the two most important aspects for consumers it seems – substantially improved the HTC 10 is looking to deliver on the hype.
As mentioned above, the dedicated microSD card slot allows the storage space to be extended up to 2TB, but in terms of models the HTC 10 will come with 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, which is up to date with today’s market.
The software has been given just as much attention as the hardware it seems with apps that launch twice as fast with an intelligent auto-optimisation algorithm and a next gen quad HD display that is, as mentioned above, 30% more colourful for a more cinematic quality when using the phone. It’s 50% more responsive to touch than its predecessor and this improvement is speed also spills over the fingerprint-focused security tech – they have created a scanner which unlocks the phone in 0.2 seconds and which has been algorithmically designed to recognise the user faster and more accurately over time.
Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon (820) processors have been used to drive this performance along with enhanced 4G LTE support for faster network speeds and hassle free roaming anywhere in the world. Coupled with 4GB RAM, it seems things will be majorly smooth for HTC 10 users this time around, and in addition they’ve also improved the “Boost+” app which ensures the phone is constantly optimised to deliver the best performance, sweeping up unnecessary apps to keep memory clean. This also includes a game battery booster, which uses less battery during gameplay, and a new PowerBotics system, which auto detects and shuts down apps that use excessive power, improving battery life by 30% and keeping to their promise of a full charge that lasts two days. The in-box charger that comes with the headset promises a charge of 50% in just 30 minutes (if we’re going by the baseline promise then that’s one full day of battery). Of course, this battery life all depends on various factors including phone use, cellular network, and feature configurations.
HTC 10 boasts what they are called a Freestyle Layout, with a fully customisable screen that lets users personalise their layout completely, dragging icons, stickers, and widgets anywhere on the grid to layer, group, and link screen icons. There’s also access to thousands of professional looking themes that come with their own icons, backgrounds, and sounds.
The HTC 10 will be available by the end of this month in three colour combos: Carbon Grey, Galcier Silver, and Topaz Gold. More details about pricing and the like will be available before the phones are stocked.
- Display: 5.2-inch, Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels), super LCD 5
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
- Platform: Android 6.0 with HTC Sense
- Memory: 4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage expandable up to 2TB via microSD
- Rear Camera: 12MP (HTC UltraPixel 2), laser autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture, Pro mode, Auto-HDR, Zoe Capture, hyperlapse, 12X Slow motion mode, 4K video recording with Hi-Res Audio
- Front Camera: 5MP (1.34MICROm pixels), autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture with ultra wide-angle lens, Live Makeup, Auto-HDR
- Sound: HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition, Dolby Audio, Personal Audio Profile, Hi-Res Audio Certified, Hi-Res Audio Earphones, Three microphones with noise cancellation, Hi-Res Audio Stereo Recording
- Connection: USB Type-C
- SIM card: Nano SIM
- Connectivity: NFC, BT 4.2, Wi-Fi@: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
- Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, Sensor Hub
- Battery: 3000 mAh