Can the HTC 10 Save a Fading Brand? (all-too-early edition)
IT is no secret that over the past few years, HTC has been one of the Android OEMs whose flagship people most look forward to. You know it is going to have a great unibody, Aluminum heft, and be one of the best smartphones around. Yet, it is also no secret that they are losing market share to other manufacturers that have stepped up their game, and their camera blunders. So where does the HTC 10 fit in among this years premium slabs? Is it enough to save HTC?
For the past two years HTC has been on someone of a downward fall. Their stocks have gone from around $250 during the release of the One M7 to $84.50 at the time of this writing. They have constantly been iteratingating, and not always improving. That was most evident last year with the One M9, and it’s nearly identical look to the M8, which looked like the M7. Yet, they could have possibly pulled off a Apple “S” cycle to a smaller extent if it was not for that camera. HTC phones are great, besides for the camera. So while HTC boasts about all the “extreme temperature tests” that the phone endured for real world use and about “the small details” that it paid attention to perfect the phone, to the general consumer that does not matter. I won’t bore you with specs, and they’ll be at the bottom, but what you need to know is that it is what you should expect out of a 2016 flagship from a company trying to restore itself to prominence. Why else do you think that there is a huge chamfer on the back? It is probably the only way you can tell this phone apart.
More importantly however, this is the phone that will have to save HTC. And it stands a good chance. They almost did not compromise on anything with this phone. From working with Google to eliminate bloatware, to a great camera that got a DxOMark score of 88 (subject to review knowing their track record), they are delivering. They have created as stock of an Android phone as they are willing to create, and that is a good thing. People love stock (just look to what the most popular TouchWiz theme is), and it is great that HTC is making an attempt to let us realize that dream on a high end flagship.
So, why does this phone matter?
1. It should keep HTC relevant, and provide stiff competition to the iPhone and Galaxy S7/Edge. We need another OEM who will make great phones to push the smartphone market forward (and I’m sorry LG, but that software will kill you before you gain significant market share), and HTC has the fans and the passion to make it happen.
2. Google is taking back Android. By working with Google to put their apps as the main apps on the HTC 10, they have provided the presence that Android phones have Google Services. This is the kind of reputation that Android will need if it wants to be more like Project Butter without an abundance of RAM and super processors — better battery life might actually be possible then.
3. Hints at the next Nexus. There have been rumors floating around the internet of an HTC Nexus coming this year. This could be the beginning of a change in luck for the company, and a return to form by HTC to what they used to be. A great camera here means probably a great Nexus camera. Great build here could hint at a pretty tight all-metal Nexus. Compromises in the front firing speakers could happen with the next Nexus. And the fact that Google worked very close with them to make this happen points at this phone becoming reality. Oh the hype.
Time will tell if HTC has built the Android standard, or if they built another M9. They probably have made the great evolution of HTC, and although it is not a revolution, it should restore some of the dignity the M9 took away. But at $699, this phone will compete against the iPhone, LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7/Edge, and other great phones, but its ideals of no compromise and great metal design should appeal to many. Everyone is rooting for you HTC, as long as dat camera is as good as you say…
Operating System: Android 6.0.1
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Display: 5.2-inch QHD Super LCD 5
Rear Camera: 12MP Ultrapixel + OIS, f/1.8 lens
Front Camera: 5MP Ultrapixel + OIS
Storage:32GB + SD
Connectivity: USB-C 3.1 gen