Deep Dive On HTC 10:Is It The One And Other HTC Bits

The new HTC 10. The beauty of light with chamfered contour and dual-textured finish.

HTC went off the right track, but now it’s going back to the glory days of the HTC One. The new phone is called HTC 10 and we like to read the “10” in binary, making this the HTC Two in a way.
 It’s been interesting to watch HTC’s product strategy over the past couple of years. As Apple and Samsung have eaten up the majority of market share and mind share, the firm has tried to find its niche by focusing its product line more tightly — putting its effort into very few products, such as a premium smartphone and its recently released virtual-reality headset.

Between having to settle for a pair of merely average flagships and seeing the company’s profits tank, HTC fans have had a rough time in recent years. As it turns out, though, HTC might have the cure for those woes (and no, I’m not just talking about the Vive).

Earlier today HTC officially unveiled the HTC 10, dropping the One moniker and giving its design language several notable tweaks including switching up the speaker layout and beautiful chamfered edges that surround the phone’s whole chassis.

The phone itself is nice to look at and certainly not ugly in any way, but it’s not a hugely groundbreaking design. At least it doesn’t look like an iPhone.

In the smartphone world, HTC’s bread and butter has always been design. The
 One M7 is widely considered to be one of the most attractive smartphones to date, and the company even managed to improve on that design language with its 2014 flagship, the One M8 . Then with the
 One M9 in 2015, many consumers were torn. With poor battery life, a lackluster camera experience and a design that failed to turn the heads of most, the One M9 was a good phone, but it wasn’t great. Now the company is hoping to bounce back with its new flagship, the HTC 10.

Distinguishing features
 
The main distinct selling points for the HTC 10 are its speakers and camera.

There’s been no shortage of rumors surrounding this handset over the past few months, and I’m excited to take a look and see what it has to offer. Without further delay, here’s what you need to know about the HTC 10.

HTC 10 specifications
 The HTC 10 is a flagship on the spec sheet through and through. It has a 5.2-inch Super LCD 5 display with curved-edge Gorilla Glass, and a resolution of 2560 x 1440. That’s right folks, HTC has finally brought us a flagship smartphone with a Quad HD resolution! While just about every major OEM adopted these higher resolution panels back in 2015, HTC forwent that decision and instead included a Full HD screen on the M9. Aside from the bump up in resolution, HTC says the 10’s display is 30% more colorful and 50% more responsive to touch than its predecessor, so this should be more than enough of an upgrade for users who weren’t impressed by the M9.
 HTC has always included top-of-the-line processors in their flagships, and the 10 is no different. Under the hood it sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, backed by a massive 4GB of RAM. It also comes in both 32 and 64GB variants, and you’ll be able to throw in a microSD card (up to 2TB in size) if you need more storage space.
 Under the display sits a capacitive home button, much like the one found on the
 One A9 . This home button doubles as a fingerprint sensor, and HTC says it will be able to “recognize your finger from almost any angle.” We really enjoyed the fingerprint reader on the One A9, so we’re hoping this one works in a similar fashion.
 Moving around back, you’ll find a rear-facing 12MP UltraPixel 2 camera sensor, complete with laser autofocus, a 1.55µm pixel size, optical image stabilization (OIS), and an f/1.8 aperture. All in all, this seems like a major step up from what HTC offered on the One M9. The camera will be able to launch in as little as .6 seconds, and the second-generation laser autofocus implementation will allow the camera to focus much faster. Of course, we’ll need to wait until our full review to give you our complete thoughts on the camera, but we’re happy to say things are looking promising.
 The HTC 10 sports a 5MP front-facing “UltraSelfie” camera as well, with a pixel size of 1.34µm, OIS and an f/1.8 aperture. The front camera comes with a wide-angle lens and screen flash, so this should be more than good enough for your selfie taking needs.
 This handset comes with a non-removable 3,000mAh battery, which is a nice bump up from the 2,840mAh cell on the M9. While it doesn’t support wireless charging, you’ll be able to charge up the device in no time at all — it comes with support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 and can reach a 50% charge in only 30 minutes. As you’ve likely noticed in the spec sheet, HTC’s flagship also makes the move over to USB Type-C for charging.

HTC 10 design, software and features
 The HTC 10 isn’t too much of a departure from the One M9, though there are a few things we should note. It’s still mostly made of aluminum, though the 10 does sport some beautiful chamfered edges that surround the entirety of the phone’s chassis. The front is also completely covered in glass this time around, which helps make for a more seamless look.
 This device is also certified for Hi-Res audio. It comes with a headphone amp that will deliver two times the power of a conventional headphone amp, and the ability to upscale from 16-bit to 24-bit audio, which will certainly make audiophiles happy. HTC has also included a new Personal Audio Profile system that will let you create unique profiles that will dynamically adjust specific sound frequencies to each ear. The 10 comes with re-engineered BoomSound Hi-Fi edition speakers that feature a separated tweeter and woofer design. The speaker on the front (above the display) is simply a standard speaker, while the second speaker, located on the bottom next to the USB Type-C port, acts as the subwoofer, making for a fuller, richer sound experience overall.
 On the software front, the 10 comes with
 Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense. HTC has reduced the number of pre-loaded applications this time around, so you should notice a lot less bloatware on the device (at least on HTC’s part).

Software
 The HTC 10 will ship with Android Marshmallow, Google’s latest operating system, and has taken pains to cut down on app bloat by preinstalling fewer apps. The layout is designed to be more customizable, meaning that users can choose their own icons and place them where they wish. Rather than the traditional grid, HTC said in a news release, “instead you can get creative by dragging icons, stickers and widgets anywhere you like. Layer them, group them, link stickers to apps or get rid of screen icons altogether, the choice is yours.”
 A hands-on article from PC World notes that HTC has ditched its own calendar app in favor of Google’s and doesn’t have its own Gallery app. Instead, it uses Google Photos. While some of the duplicate apps have been eliminated, the article said, there are still some duplicate apps, such as for text messaging.
 One of the biggest changes with the user interface is the addition of the new Freestyle Layout mode. When you select this option, you no longer have to use the on-screen grid that dictates where you put your apps and widgets. You can layer them, group them, and even add stickers to make the experience a little more fun.
 HTC is also including a new Boost+ app on the 10. This app is designed to help make your phone faster, consume less power and provide additional app management features. Boost+ includes a mode called smart boost, which automatically optimizes your device’s memory, a game battery booster that will help conserve battery during gameplay, and a new PowerBotics system that will auto detect and shut down apps that use excessive power. Boost+ will also let you utilize App Lock functionality, which will allow you to lock any app of your choosing.

HTC 10 pricing and availability
 Depending on which market you’re in, the HTC 10 will be available in two variants with different Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. One variant will come with the Snapdragon 820 CPU, while the other version is unspecified. HTC says both versions will come with the same design, audio, camera and display, as well as “similar software experiences and battery life.” We’ll be sure to let you know what changes are being made as soon as we get the details.
 The HTC 10 will be available sometime in April in Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver and Topaz Gold color options. Pricing and exact availability is to be determined.

Display
 5.2-inch Super LCD 5 display with curved-edge Gorilla Glass
 2560 x 1440 resolution
 564ppi

Processor
 2.2GHz quad-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor

RAM
 4GB

Storage
 32/64GB of on-board storage
 MicroSD
 Yes, up to 2TB

Fingerprint sensor
 Yes

SIM type
 Nano SIM

Connectivity
 USB Type-C
 3.5mm stereo audio jack
 Bluetooth 4.2
 Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5GHz)
 NFC
 DisplayPort
 DNLA
 Miracast
 Google Cast
 AirPlay
 HTC Connect

Software
 Android 6.0 Marshmallow
 HTC Sense

Cameras
 Rear: 12MP HTC UltraPixel 2 (1.55µm pixel size) with laser autofocus, OIS and f/1.8 aperture
 Front: 5MP (1.34µm pixel size) with OIS and f/1.8 aperture

Sound
 HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition
 Dolby Audio 4

Battery
 Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
 Quick Charge 3.0 compatible with cool charge

Dimensions and weight
 145.9 x 71.9 x 3.0–9.0mm
 161 grams

Colors
 Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver and Topaz Gold

Why HTC 10 is the perfect 10
 HTC‘s newest flagship phone is no longer just the”One”, but the Taiwanese phone maker does hope it is a perfect 10.

Design and build quality
 At first glance, you can tell the HTC 10 keeps plenty of characteristics that made its predecessors so well-received. That gorgeous all-metal construction is still around, but there are some things that have been changed around. Some of these changes are actually features we saw coming to the HTC One A9 , so they may seem a bit familiar.
 Let’s start with the front. The device sports a 5.2-inch display, which makes the handset reasonably easy to handle with one hand. One of the biggest differences is that when looking at the bottom bezel you will notice one of the front-facing speakers is gone. Does this mean the awesome audio is also absent? Not quite.
 There are now capacitive buttons on the bottom part of the front, as well as a home button that doubles as a fingerprint reader. The second speaker has simply been moved to the bottom of the phone. It is placed right next to the USB Type C port and it’s said to function more like a sub-woofer. This is supposed to provide fuller and richer sound when listening to audio.

Oh, and HTC is licensing Airplay from Apple to stream audio to even more hardware. How’s that for keeping an open mind?

The next major difference is the design element in the back, which HTC is calling ‘Silhouette Design’. You can find edges (or slopes) all around the backing of the HTC 10, which provide a bit of a curve and make the phone more comfortable to handle, contouring to the shape of the palm.

Hardware
 2.5D glass covers the SLCD 5 display, which comes in at a QHD resolution (2560×1440). So far we can tell you the colors look quite nice on this screen, but HTC is all about the fact that it is supposed to adhere to the NTSC standard much more than other phones out there. Inside we can find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4 GB of RAM and also a microSD card slot.
 The fingerprint sensor seems to work pretty well so far. The process is just as easy as with any other modern Android smartphone. Simply hold your finger over the particular area — the phone will then wake itself and unlock.
 The HTC 10 carries a 3,000 mAh battery, which is currently the standard for handsets with a good capacity. We can speculate it will last at least a full day, but don’t take our word on that just yet. HTC does state about 30 minutes of quick charging (QC 3.0) could grant a full day of battery life, though.
 HTC is known for its media consumption capabilities, which means audio couldn’t be left out of the equation. This phone carries a DAC and a headphone amp, which means it should provide one of the best audio experiences out there.

Camera
 Let’s be honest… cameras haven’t quite been HTC’s strength. This time around the UltraPixel camera returns with a 12 MP sensor that should let in more light than traditional phone cameras, thanks to the 1.55-micron pixel size. Laser auto focus and OIS are also included, amping up this f/1.8 aperture package.
 There is no lack of options in the camera settings. In fact, there is a ‘Pro Manual’ mode that will help photo buffs set up everything for the right shot. The HTC 10 also enjoys 4K video recording, as well as hi-res audio recording.
 The front camera is not bad either. It boasts 5 MP and an f/1.8 aperture, with a slightly wider field of view for better selfies. But what I really love about this front-facing camera is that it actually has optical image stabilization. This is not something we see in smartphone front cameras.

Software
 Let’s talk software. We do see HTC Sense returning here, with the regular home screens and an app drawer (just in case you were worried it was gone). Of course, BlinkFeed is also still around.
 HTC has made it a point to work with Google to try and consolidate its apps with the search giant’s. Where there was once duplicates, there may now be just one application. For example, the HTC 10 comes pre-loaded with Google Photos, as opposed to having its own gallery app in there.
 We can find other software additions like Boost Plus (a memory and battery manager) and an enhanced theming engine.

Price and conclusion
 Want to sign up? The HTC 10 is available for pre-orders today (April 12th) and should be shipping in early May. As for the price, the unlocked edition will cost $699. It will come in silver and grey.

Extended Review
 If HTC wants to even come close to perfection with its latest flagship, the 10 must deliver a very strong camera performance. After all, the hit and miss camera on last year’s M9 was one of the main reasons that phone turned into a massive flop.

The good news is early signs are very positive. In fact, the camera experts at
 
DxOMark have put the HTC 10 through its paces and declared it the best in their ranking.

With 88 points, the HTC 10 ties for the first place the Galaxy S7 Edge, a device that has been almost unanimously praised for its excellent camera.
 DxOMark praised the HTC 10’s “very good details preservation,” “fast and accurate autofocus in all conditions,” and “good exposure. Good noise reduction in low light and accurate colors are also the 10’s strong suit, notes the review. Blown-out highlights in bright scenes, some loss of sharpness, and some flash issues were listed among the cons of the HTC 10’s still camera, which overall received a score of 88 points.
 The video side is almost as good — DxOMark assigned the HTC 10 a score of 86 points, noting the good stabilization, exposure, and white balance, with fast and accurate autofocus. From the cons list, the HTC 10 is reportedly suffering from “occasional focus failures while panning (device stays unfocussed).”
 The HTC 10 features a 1.55μm UltraPixel sensor with optical image stabilization and laser-assisted autofocus, and an f/1.8 lens that lets 135% more light in every shot compared to older HTC devices.

Flagship Showdown:HTC 10 vs Galaxy S7 vs LG G5 vs Xperia X vs Huawei P9
 Hardware certainly isn’t everything, but when you’re in the market for a high performance smartphone you’re almost bound to wonder how your hardware stacks up with the competition and if you’re getting value for money. Today we’re going to compare how the newly unveiled HTC 10 stacks up, at least on paper, against rival flagship smartphones from Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Sony.

THE COMPETITION:
 Let’s dive right on into the display tech. While other manufacturers were relatively quick to hop on the Quad-HD resolution display train, HTC had kept a 1080p resolution for all of its previous flagships. This all changes with the HTC 10 though, as the manufacturer moves up to a competing QHD Super LCD display, that will offer up that little extra sharpness to match the likes of the
 Galaxy S7 and the LG G5.
 At 5.0 to 5.5-inches, the difference between 1080p and QHD is not massive, but it’s not a minor con that can be held up against HTC’s latest flagship any more. Pixels per inch calculations for 5.2-inch QHD and 1080p displays come out at 564 and 424 respectively, which are both right around that very roughly approximated 450PPI sweet spot for typical smartphone viewing distances. The more telling question will be to see how this resolution upgrade impacts on performance and battery life.
 Fortunately, HTC has managed to pack in a suitable sized battery. The handset features a 3,000mAh cell, which stacks up well against the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge’s 3,000 and 3,600mAh sizes. It’s also slightly larger than the LG G5’s 2,800mAh and the Xperia X Performance’s 2,700mAh batteries.
 Unlike last year, most of this year’s flagship smartphones have settled on a single processor — the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. There are still some exceptions though. The Samsung Galaxy S7 offers up the company’s own Exynos 8890 SoC in many regions outside of the US. The new Huawei P9 also opts to use its own in-house Kirin 955 processor, which is much more like the octa-core processors that dominated last year’s field. We’ve seen some performance differentials between these processors, but overall it’s a much closer field this year when compared with the medley of Snapdragon 810, 808, and Exynos models that appeared last year.

There’s also not much to tell between the handsets in terms of RAM or memory options, although the Xperia X Performance is a little behind with just 3GB of RAM. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t often come out and tell us the exact speeds of their memory configurations, although we do know that the G5 uses LPDDR4 RAM and Samsung is making use of UFS rather then eMMC flash storage. All of which can make minor differences to app loading times and the like.
 Performance should be very similar, if not virtually identical across all of these handsets. Although the lower resolution of the Sony Xperia X Performance’s and Huawei P9’s displays might lend them an edge in some gaming situations. UI optimizations may also make some minor differences. Samsung has stripped back TouchWiz a little, while Sony and HTC have typically offered slightly more lightweight default launchers. Regardless, consumers are unlikely to be dissatisfied with the performance offered by any of this year’s flagship smartphones.
 Smartphone camera technology remains a big selling point this year and all of the manufacturers in our list are touting notable improvements over their previous generation flagships.
 HTC has long used its Ultrapixel terminology to describe its larger light collecting sensor pixels but there’s a surprising similarity between the image sensors found inside the HTC 10 and the Galaxy S7 this time around. Both handset’s boast a 12 megapixel main camera with similar f/1.8 and f/1.7 apertures and 1.55um versus 1.4um pixel sizes for additional light capture. The Galaxy S7’s camera is proving to be a real winner, so there’s a lot to be excited about with the similarly specced HTC 10. However, the HTC 10 does not feature the fast auto-focusing sub-pixels found in the Galaxy S7. Although you will find a laser autofocus module in the HTC handset, a feature that LG has had for a while now and one that Huawei has just adopted with the P9.
 The Sony Xperia X Performance features a higher resolution 23 megapixel sensor, but with much smaller pixels. The LG G5 is arguably the strangest of the bunch, with a 16 megapixel f/1.8 sensor and a separate 8 megapixel sensor with a wide angled lens. The new Huawei P9 also boasts a dual-camera setup with one monochrome and one color sensor, along with Leica designed lenses. So there’s some major diversity in the market place right now.
 Much like Sony, HTC has paid additional attention to the front facing camera this time around, boasting a f/1.8 aperture, 1.34µm pixel size, and, for the first time, optical image stabilization. It’s going to be quite interesting to see how this seemingly low resolution 5 megapixel selfie snapper compares to the Xperia X’s 13 megapixel front facing sensor. Video enthusiasts are also going to face a conundrum here, as choosing between the HTC 10’s OIS or the Galaxy S7’s QHD front cam option might be tough. There really is something to like about each of these smartphone cameras, but no two setups are completely identical. We’re going to need to conduct some camera shootouts I think.
 The HTC 10 wouldn’t be a flagship smartphone without a suite of extras to woo us over, and HTC doesn’t disappoint here. Fingerprint scanner technology sweeps the board here, with all of this year’s flagships offering up biometric security. USB Type-C is not quite so universal, with the Galaxy S7 and X Performance opting for the more widespread micro-USB ports, but this won’t be a deal breaker to many.
 The HTC 10 doesn’t boast an IP rating for dust or water resistance, so it’s either the Xperia X Performance or Galaxy S7 if you’re looking to take your smartphone for a quick dunk. Speaking of more unique features, the Galaxy S7 and LG G5 feature Always-On display technology, which can help save battery when glancing at your phone to simply check the time or see if you have a new notification. While the Huawei P9 is the only option if you want a “Force Touch” display.

Audio remains a key selling point for HTC’s flagship series, and the HTC 10 boasts Hi fi audio across the board. We’ll have to see how the phone sounds when stacked up against the LG G5’s Bang & Oulfson modular DAC, as the promises of 24-bit playback mean nothing on their own. However, the 10 doesn’t feature front facing speakers any more. BoomSound returns, but there there’s one speaker on the front top and one on the bottom, making it a more familiar setup to other phones on the market. The inclusion of a dedicated sub-woofer is an intriguing design choice, but I’m sceptical about how much of a difference this will make due to the limited speaker size.
 The LG G5 and HTC 10 boast Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, while the other phones have settled for last year’s 2.0 version. The 3.0 upgrade doesn’t make a notable difference to change times, but it is more efficient and might mean that your phone doesn’t heat up as much during charging. Fans of wireless charging still really have just one option though, and that’s the Samsung Galaxy S7.
 We won’t say too much about build quality until we have the phones side by side, but it’s safe to say that the HTC 10’s metal body is very well made. The glass back on the Galaxy S7 is certainly nice too, but we have not been so won over by the LG G5’s design and the recent metal primer fiasco hasn’t helped either. Aesthetics are certainly going to be one of the more subjective points, but HTC looks to be back on form with the 10.
 The HTC 10 certainly matches up well against the best that Android has to offer, on paper at least, and could well be the handset that fans of the manufacturer have been waiting for.

Specs Go Head To Head
 HTC 10
 Galaxy S7
 LG G5
 Xperia X
 Huawei P9

screen size and resolution
 5.2-inch LCD
 2560×1440 resolution
 5.1-inch Super AMOLED
 2560×1440 resolution
 5.3-inch LCD
 2560×1440 resolution
 5.0-inch LCD
 1920×1080 resolution
 5.2-inch LCD
 1920×1080 resolution

SoC
 Snapdragon 820
 Snapdragon 820 / Exynos 8890
 Snapdragon 820
 Snapdragon 820
 Kirin 955

CPU
 4x 2.2GHz Kryo
 4x Kryo / 4x Samsung M1 + 4x Cortex-A53
 4x 2.15GHz Kryo
 4x 2.15GHz Kryo
 4x Cortex-A72 +
 4x Cortex-A53

GPU
 Adreno 530
 Adreno 530 / Mali-T880MP12
 Adreno 530
 Adreno 530
 Mali-T880MP4

RAM
 4GB
 4GB
 4GB
 3GB
 3GB/4GB

Storage
 32GB/64GB with microSD
 32GB/64GB with microSD
 32GB with microSD
 32/64GB with microSD
 32GB/64GB with microSD

Rear camera
 12MP, 1.55µm pixel size, F/1.8 aperture, OIS, laser autofocus
 12MP 1.4µm pixel size, F/1.7 aperture, OIS
 16MP 1/2.6″ sensor, with F/1.8 aperture, OIS and laser autofocus
 8MP wide angle lens
 23MP 1/2.3” Exmor RS
 with Predictive Hybrid AF.
 dual 12MP, 1.25µm pixels, F/2.2, PDAF, laser autofocus

Front camera
 5MP, F/1.8 aperture, 1.34µm pixel size, OIS
 5MP, F/1.7 aperture
 8MP, F/2.0 aperture
 13MP 1/3”, Wide Angle Lens, F/2.0
 8MP, F/2.4

Battery
 3,000mAh
 3,000mAh
 2,800mAh
 2,700mAh
 3,000mAh

Dimensions
 145.9 x 71.0 x 9.0mm
 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm
 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm
 143.7 x 70.4 x 8.7 mm
 145 x 70.9 x 7 mm

Weight
 161g
 152g
 159g
 164g
 144g

Extras
 USB Type-C, fingerprint scanner, stereo Boomsound speakers, Quick Charge 3.0
 fingerprint scanner, wireless charging, Quick Charge 2.0, IP68
 USB Type-C, fingerprint scanner, Quick Charge 3.0
 fingerprint scanner, Quick Charge 2.0, IP68
 USB Type-C, fingerprint scanner, Force Touch, Leica optics

HTC 10 vs Google Nexus 6P

Arguably one of the biggest surprises last year in Android land, the Huawei-made Google Nexus 6P flexed its muscles to win the adulation and support from consumers. Seriously, it was — and continues to be — one of the darling gems with its incredible specs sheet, killer industrial design, and oh-so sweet pure Android experience. Slapped with a killer price point, too, the Nexus 6P is a force to be reckoned with and a challenge to all Android smartphones.

Prior to the Nexus 6P, very few phones were close to matching the designs that
 HTC has been stellar at doing over the years — especially when it comes to designs that employ metal bodies. Now that HTC is the underdog that everyone is rooting for there’s a lot of anticipation riding on HTC’s latest effort, but how does it stack up to the might of Google and is the HTC 10 the metal phone you’ve been waiting for? Let’s find out.

Design
 Like we said, the Nexus 6P is an impressively good looking metal phone! Not only is it incredibly solid with its construction, but the design by itself is an original, refreshing one that doesn’t look like anything else we’ve seen previously. Some folks have even gone on to say that Huawei has supplanted HTC as being the king of metal phones. However, this kind of competition is seemingly putting good old HTC back to what it does best: designing metal phones.
 True to that claim, the HTC 10 is sure to please with its one-of-a-kind metal design that HTC claim is “ inspired by light and sculpted to perfection .” Not only does it appears to be a more meticulously designed phone, but it’s also considerably more compact and easier to handle with a single hand. The Nexus 6P, despite its slick metal design, is quite a handful to operate at times — requiring more two-handed operations than most other smartphones.
 As much as we’d like to say that the HTC 10 has once again reclaimed its position at being the best at phone designs, we’ll have to play around with the two a bit more before we can make a reasonable claim. Similarities aside, both of these devices offer incredible looks, feel great in the hand and have excellent spec lists that will likely keep most people happy.

Display
 Naturally, their overall footprints directly dictates the size of their screens as well. Due to its larger size, we have a bigger 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 AMOLED screen in the Nexus 6P. That, of course, makes the 5.2-inch 1440 x 2560 Super LCD 5 display of the HTC 10 quaint by comparison. Nevertheless, we can agree that the two displays produce plenty of sharp visuals and incredible detail — albeit, the HTC 10 technically has the edge with this one, thanks to its higher pixel density count of 564 ppi.
 As an AMOLED panel, the Nexus 6P’s display tends to appear over-saturated unless you’re in Developer’s Mode and set its color calibration to the sRGB mode — wherein colors then proceed to appear more natural in tone. In contrast, the HTC 10’s screen also appears to be saturated, but not as much as its rival. It’s tough to gauge the two panels indoors where artificial and natural light are conflicting, so we’ll leave our final judgments until we can better inspect what the HTC 10 has to bring to the table with its new screen.

Hardware
 It’s been a while since we’ve seen a fingerprint sensor on an HTC-made device, so it’s quite refreshing to see HTC employing a modern one with the HTC 10. It’s pretty much the same fingerprint sensor we found already in the HTC One A9, but regardless, it works in the same capacity as the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor of the Nexus 6P.
 Being a last-generation device, the Google Nexus 6P leverages the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC for its firepower, which is undoubtedly more than equipped to handle the most of intensive tasks. As most of us have seen, its hardware is still quite capable by today’s standards, even in the face of newer, more powerful equipped smartphones like the HTC 10 coming to the scene.
 Speaking of the HTC 10, it’s no surprise that it’s utilizing the latest and greatest from Qualcomm’s camp — the Snapdragon 820 SoC — paired with a generous 4GB RAM and the Adreno 530 GPU. Much like its distinguished predecessors, the HTC 10 maintains a pretty smooth operation, especially for a phone running a customized skin. In comparison, the stock Android experience of the Nexus 6P has been traditionally fluid, but overall, the two devices offer very similar performance.
 Both devices are configured with 32GB of base storage, but it’s the HTC 10 that benefits from having expandable storage thanks to its inclusion of a microSD card slot. Yes, Nexus 6P users should be jealous about that because there’s no room for expansion with Google’s flagship. Therefore, if you plan on getting the Nexus 6P, just know that there’s no room for expansion once you’ve used up all the space.

The HTC 10 is official and is looking good so far. Early rumors indicate that the latest and greatest from HTC is destined to be repurposed as Google’s Nexus 2016 flagship phone. Judging from the specs and features that were unboxed with the device, the HTC 10 could very well be the next Nexus.

Briefly checking out the two phones, it’s really tough to say which one delivers the better performance. Basic tasks don’t test them out a whole lot, so it’ll be interesting to see how the new HTC 10 can handle graphics processing — something that the Nexus 6P has shown to be good at.

Software
 This is where things get interesting, as Google’s interpretation of the Android experience is showcased in full form by the Nexus 6P. It’s clean, direct, and logical with its layout, but best of all, you can count it to receive the latest, most up-to-date updates as soon as they become available. Again, that’s the main benefit of going with the Nexus 6P.
 HTC, on the other hand, does a few things to simplify the latest Sense UI experience. Depending on your taste, you might continue to take fancy in Sense’s peculiar style, which of course, offers users even more personalization with the addition of stickers. While some folks might be swayed in how the Nexus 6P will receive updates faster, we can’t neglect to point out HTC’s impeccable track record of getting its devices up-to-date. Given that the HTC 10 is the flagship, you can expect that it will adhere to this hasty process.

Camera
 If there was a phone that totally wowed many by its performance, it has to be the Nexus 6P’s 12.3-megapixel camera. Quite frankly, it showed us that cameras don’t need beefy megapixel counts in order to win the approval of users. Rather, it’s the combination of things that helped propel it to snap better-than-average photos — like its f/2.0 aperture lens and 1.55 μm sized pixels. Most surprising, though, is that it manages to even do a handy job under low light.

As for HTC’s newest flagship, they’re reimagining the “ UltraPixel ” camera by gracing it with an attractive new configuration. This time around, it’s a 12-megapixel camera with a wide f/1.8 aperture lens, 1.55 μm sized pixels, laser auto-focus, BSI, and a dual tone LED flash. All of this is making the team over at HTC a little bit excited, as they might finally shed the “ UltraPixel’s ” unsavory reputation. There’s a strong emphasis with low-light performance, so it’s shaping up to be a strong contender to the Nexus 6P.
 With a DxOMark score of 88, the Nexus 6P has something to be worried about, because the HTC 10 might potentially live up to the expectations. In our quick look at the new camera interface of the HTC 10, it already seems to be a bit more comprehensive than what the Google Camera app offers with the Nexus 6P. Not only are there a bunch of shooting modes to choose from with the HTC 10, but there are also manual controls for still capture that enthusiast will find useful.

Is the HTC 10 camera better than the Nexus 6P? That remains to be seen.

Conclusion so far
 The last piece to the HTC 10 is its final price point. The official word places it at
 $700 outright through HTC directly which means it’s hovering around the usual flagship price point we’re used to seeing. It’s obviously competitive against all the other existing flagships out there, but if there’s one area where the Nexus 6P is untouchable, it’s none other than pricing.

Factoring in that metal design with a healthy specs sheet, the Nexus 6P absolutely offers a ton of value at $500 outright and unlocked. That’s a statement like no other, since it undercuts the pricing of most flagships. Even if the HTC 10 does indeed come in at a higher outright price point, there might still be a lot of reasons why HTC’s champion might be the superior one.
 Is the HTC 10 better than the Nexus 6P or does Google’s king reign supreme still? Only time will tell.

HTC 10 vs HTC One M9
 If you haven’t realized it yet, HTC has dropped the “ One” moniker off its latest flagship, choosing instead to shorten and simplify its name to the HTC 10. That’s a radical move on their part, but a necessary one because this new smartphone is differentiating itself immensely from its previous efforts. When the HTC One M9 was introduced last year, it was quickly overshadowed by the competition because it just didn’t have the kind of firepower to keep up with the gang. You can say it was forgettable, a mistake that HTC doesn’t intend on doing again.

Enter the HTC 10, a smartphone that not only looks dramatically different from its predecessor, but also features specs to ensure that it’s justified to be superior in every facet to its underperforming kin. By looking at the two, it’s almost tough to discern any similarities that would indicate that they’re made by the same company. When you’ve been thought of as an underdog for so long, it’s no surprise that HTC is coming out swinging with something unbelievably more ambitious, but is the HTC 10 that much better than its predecessor? Let’s find out below.

Design
 Metal has always been the core material that HTC has established with its flagship devices, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of metal with these two phones — and we mean a lot! They naturally embody the qualities that make them “premium,” but we certainly find the HTC 10’s design more riveting than the One M9 . Sure, it’s a smidgen taller, wider, and heavier than the One M9, but the HTC 10’s total redesign and attention to detail makes the One M9’s design appear elementary.
 Some of the stark changes to the HTC 10’s design include its thicker beveled edge around the back, capacitive Android buttons, reverting to a traditional earpiece grill, and a single button that makes up its volume control. As for the HTC One M9, we’re still not a fan of how the phone feels a bit sharp around the corners, especially more so when it resembles its predecessor very closely. In fact, the HTC 10’s revamped looks is one we have to applaud because it proves that they’re still experts when it comes to designing phones out of metal.
 Just by looking at the snapshots we’ve taken of the two phones side-by-side to one another, we can’t help but fall in love with how the HTC 10 has an unmistakable silhouette.

Display
 With the apparent size increase, the HTC 10 also packs along a slightly larger 5.2-inch 1440 x 2560 Super LCD 5 Display — whereas it’s a 5-inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD 3 screen with the One M9 last year. There’s just no comparison here folks, mainly because the HTC 10’s panel is more detailed with its pixel density count of 564 ppi. Don’t get us wrong, the 1080p resolution of the One M9’s display is plenty detailed on its own, but the HTC 10’s jump to Quad-HD resolution definitely ups its game to match its foes in the mobile space.
 Well, as much as we’d love to proclaim the HTC 10’s display as the superior one, it’s really tough to gauge the other qualities of the panel until we put it through some serious testing. Indoors, it seems as though the two panels emit the same level of luminance, but we do notice that there’s just a smidgen more saturation with the HTC 10’s display — albeit, it’s not by much.
 Whatever the case, HTC has finally submitted to upgrading the resolution, which was something we were actually expecting last year with the One M9. Oh well! Either way, it’s nice that things are looking mighty sweet for its latest flagship.

Hardware
 Arguably one of the biggest introductions we’re getting with the HTC 10 that was missing with the One M9, is the addition of a fingerprint sensor. Slapped right below the display, it gives the HTC 10 that extra sense of security, not only for unlocking, but also for mobile payments — making it modernized for the times.
 One interesting change, however, relates to the company’s decision to go away from the usual dual front-firing speaker configuration we’ve been accustomed to seeing with the series. Instead, there’s now just a BoomSound Hi-Fi speaker above the display, and a bass one positioned at the bottom of the phone. Most folks might be sad to see this deployment, but HTC insists that the quality with the HTC 10 is going to be superior.
 And why’s that? Well, they’re achieving a higher level with its audio experience, one that intends to be immersive thanks to the addition of Hi-Res audio. Not only do they state that the headphone jack will achieve a peak output of 1V, but it also has the ability to upscale from 16-bit to 24-bit. All of this audio stuff is complemented by the new Personal Audio Profile system that they’re putting in place.
 Being the newer phone and all, the HTC 10 benefits from being outfitted with the newer hardware — a quad-core
 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and the Adreno 530 GPU. In contrast, the One M9 features hardware that was regarded as top-of-the-line last year. It’s not to say that the One M9’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip is underpowered, but considering that the HTC 10 now has to contend with Quad-HD resolution amongst other things, you have to believe that there’s going to be a better performance with the Snapdragon 820.

All told, last year’s M9 wasn’t that different from the M8, while the A9 felt like an iPhone, so the 10 seems like HTC’s design at its best, if only because it clearly didn’t phone it in this time.

Storage-wise, the two handsets offer the same base 32GB of internal capacity, but can be supplemented by adding in a microSD card of some size into the available slot. Strangely enough, HTC, much like its rivals, has pulled the plug on the IR blaster — a decision that some will find as unfortunate, but a logical one at the same time. Since it seems as though few users actually end up using the IR blaster on the One M9 a whole lot, it’s a good reason to axe it off with the HTC 10.

Camera
 Sadly for the HTC One M9 last year, its upgraded camera didn’t live up to the expectations that critics believed would’ve helped to shed the series’ lackluster reputation. Whereas previous efforts tried desperately to showboat the usefulness of the UltraPixel camera, last year’s One M9 was a departure due to its upgraded 20-megapixel snapper. That, of course, was a shocking revelation, as the increase in pixel count was something we haven’t seen before.
 Despite its improvement in the details front, the One M9 still couldn’t take photos under low light if its life depended on it. Well people, the HTC 10 brings back the “ UltraPixel ” name back to the rear camera, as it’s slapped with a 12MP sensor, 1.55 µm pixels, f/1.8 aperture lens, laser autofocus, BSI, and a dual tone LED flash. All of this new hardware certainly sounds delicious, but it’s really emphasizing the camera’s performance — including low light, which has been HTC’s Achilles Heel.
 Already boasting a DxOMark score of 88, the HTC 10 seems very promising from the onset, but considering we also felt the same optimistic sentiments with last year’s effort, we’re going to be a little bit more pragmatic and cautious here until we can actually see real-world results.

Software
 HTC’s Sense UI has always been a favorable custom experience in the Android community, as it does its best to deliver a good balance to meet the needs of users. This year’s Sense UI is an evolutionary one that’s running on top of
 Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Even though the general layouts and visuals of Sense past are still evident here, HTC has somewhat streamlined the experience here with the HTC 10.
 That’s a really good thing, mainly because many if HTC’s own apps conflicted with those from Google’s staple. Therefore, users are given just the relevant apps right from the start — as opposed to being confused with duplicates (think HTC’s Gallery, Music, and Internet apps). Of course, being the new phone has its benefits, which is quite apparent here in this quick comparison. On top of the usual array of personalization options we’ve been given with Sense, like its vast collection of widgets and downloadable themes, the HTC 10 gives users the option of also placing stickers throughout the homescreen.
 So far, it’s tough to say if this new version of Sense has anything substantial that the One M9 won’t receive through future updates, but we will say that the simplification and elimination of duplicate apps is a good direction for them.

While Samsung works very hard to compete with Apple on the same level and LG rolls off into a corner to try innovative gimmicks, HTC is standing there right in front of you, a glossy smile on its lips, and a hungry look in its eyes. The company wants to succeed, and it will do whatever that takes to do it.

Story so far
 History has shown us that HTC is still in that stage of rebuilding. After last year’s underwhelming One M9, it seemed as though that a rebound was impossible. Thankfully, that doesn’t appear to be the case because the HTC 10 seems like a polished product that’s worthy of the flagship status. This year’s effort already appears to be far more ambitious than the One M9, which unsurprisingly did very little to give consumers reasons to go with it over the competition.
 Things are a bit more optimistic though with the HTC 10, a phone that doesn’t only look vastly better, but it’s been combed over from head-to-toe to ensure that it’s something that’ll attract consumers who were sorely disappointed last year. Will HTC’s hard work pay off?

Optimize and Declutter your Android Smartphone with HTC’s Boost+ App

It’s not just the HTC 10 that was announced yesterday. HTC has also announced that the Boost+ app included in the HTC 10 will be made available in Google Play on April 14 for all Android phones running Android Lollipop and above.

So what does HTC Boost+ do? Well, it’s actually a combination of things. It will declutter your phone by clearing up temp files, cached data and app installers as well as what HTC is calling “advertising clutter”, meaning trackers and the like.

Secondly, HTC Boost+ will help improve security and app management by giving you greater control over the apps on your phone and automating some features for you. This means you can password protect certain apps and HTC Boost+ will regularly remind you about apps you haven’t used in a while to see if you want to uninstall them to clear up additional storage space.
 Finally, Boost+ also serves as a memory booster via an option called Smart Boost. Many consider this type of task killer to be nothing more than voodoo because the nature of Android has tasks you just killed firing right back up moments later. Of course, you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to, but the panacea is there for those that want it.
 HTC Boost+ will also show you a nice dashboard of your currently available storage along with a percentage readout of how much you have available. A real-time readout shows your percentage of RAM consumption and there’s also a battery boost mode specific for gaming.
 Whether you’re into all these features or not, we applaud HTC for shifting features like these into an app setting rather than baking them into its software UI, which does little more than slow the update process down.

HTC 10 gets more awesome with this transparent Ice View case.

The HTC 10 isn’t the only HTC product to get a major makeover today, with the familiar Dot View case being replaced by the stylish new Ice View case. Where the Dot View case was very much a “pixellated” offering, Ice View ups the “pixel density” just like the phone on which it belongs.

The reason HTC called its new case Ice View is because it is comprised of a semi-transparent layer of plastic rather than a perforated sheet of rubber. This means that instead of the blocky outlines you might know from the Dot View case, the Ice View case lets you see the full screen underneath, so there are no limits as to what can be displayed.
 When the cover is closed, you can get the usual array of lock screen information on the case like weather, time, notifications and so on. But the real kicker is that you can also launch the camera app and see and shoot photos with the cover closed.
 As if that isn’t cool enough, HTC also notes on its product page: “HTC Ice View also supports 3rd party notifications like Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, QQ and more — so you can follow your favorite social media at a glance.” Not bad for a protective cover.
 The Ice View case costs $49.99 and can be ordered on the HTC website.

HTC 10 Comes With Unlockable Bootloader, Decent Warranty Policy

Just in case you thought you saw everything there is to see about the HTC 10, keep in mind that the device will come with an unlockable bootloader if purchased directly from HTC. Yep, that’s right, unless your device is tainted by carriers, you are guaranteed some XDA fun on this upcoming flagship.

HTC is committed to assisting customers in unlocking bootloaders for HTC devices. However, certain models may not be unlockable due to operator restrictions. We continue to work with our partners on this, check back often for ongoing updates about unlockable devices.

– HTC

You no longer need a developer edition to enjoy flashing goodness, and thanks to HTC’s warranty your phone will be covered even if your bootloader is unlocked! However, it is worth noting that just because the bootloader being unlocked is covered by warranty HTC has
 said that “not all claims resulting or caused by the unlocking of the bootloader will be covered by the warranty”. The specifics of what exactly are covered remains to be seen, so stay tuned for more updates.

HTC Exec Confirms The HTC 10 Is IP53 Certified

So yesterday the HTC 10 was officially announced. HTC made a big deal about the design and feel of the phone and its features, like its 12MP UltraPixel camera. However interestingly enough despite it being a useful feature to have, HTC did not mention that the HTC 10 was IP53 certified, although this has since been confirmed by HTC’s Senior Global Online Communications Manager, Jeff Gordon.
 In a tweet by Gordon, he confirmed that the phone is indeed IP53 certified. What does this mean? Elaborating on the rating on Droid-Life, this means that the phone is capable of withstanding sprays of water. Note that we said sprays, not splashes, meaning that taking into the shower with you and having the display or body mist up should be fine.

However if you want to go swimming against it, that would just be a really quick and easy recipe for a malfunctioning device. Granted this is nowhere near the same level of protection compared to the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge which has an IP68 rating, but hey, we suppose it’s better than nothing, right?

HTC 10 mini coming in September with powerful new specs
   
 Samsung can take credit for making the phablet, a smartphone with a display large enough that it borders on small-sized tablet territory. When it launched the first-generation Galaxy Note in 2011, tech critics deemed the device DOA (dead on arrival) due to its very large (at the time) 5.3-inch display. The experts believed consumers would not want to carry around such a large device, but they were wrong, and phablets have not only increased their display sizes, they’ve also increased their sales, with 5.5-plus-inch devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 and S7 Edge, as well as Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus leading the way.
 Samsung has also released mini sizes of its Galaxy S series smartphones to cater to users who want smaller smartphones. The company released the Galaxy S5 Mini in 2014, and we reported in mid-March that the company is reportedly planning to release a smaller 4.6-inch Galaxy S7 Mini.
 According to a new report , Samsung isn’t the only Android smartphone maker planning to launch a mini variant of its flagship smartphone. HTC will reportedly introduce the HTC 10 Mini in September.
 This won’t be HTC’s first time first time releasing a mini flagship smartphone, HTC last released a smaller variant back in 2014 with the launch of the HTC One Mini 2. Verizon released its version of the handset as the HTC One Remix .
 A new report suggests we could get an “HTC 10 mini ” with a smaller frame and even better hardware later this year.
 The rumor comes from Android-News , an Austrian site that claims to have access to several HTC insiders. It notes that the
 HTC 10 mini will launch in September, packing a 4.7-inch display, 4GB of RAM
 and a Snapdragon 823 processor. Those are flagship-level specs, but it’s possible the company could downgrade the Quad HD resolution on the HTC 10 to 1080p or 720p for the smaller screen on the 10 mini.
 That Snapdragon 823 chip is still just a rumor too, but it has started to pop up in recent reports. Qualcomm’s upcoming processor is expected to offer the same chipset as the current Snapdragon 820, but will allegedly run at a faster clock speed. Rumor has it the chip may also power Xiaomi’s alleged Mi Note 2 .

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Originally published at iamgeorgekamau.wordpress.com on April 13, 2016.

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