HTC 10 Review


HTC has been behind Android from the beginning. Almost literally since the beginning. The G1 and T-Mobile is what helped Android hit the mainstream smartphone market. But HTC has lost out to bigger competition as the market became crowded in recent years. They seem to struggle every quarter and haven’t had a real breakout device since the HTC One M7 WAY BACK in 2013. It’s now 2016 and HTC has a new One hitting stores…the 10.

HTC has shaved off the “M” moniker, but make no mistake, this the One M10. It is a direct reflection, and refinement, of the One series that have followed the M7. While it may now exude an immediate wow factor in the industrial design, I really like the hardware. The new chamfered edges make it feel really nice in the hand. The metal doesn’t have the slipperiness many all metal phones have, and I really found the weight to be just right.

Hardware
Inside you will find some run of the mill spec sheet material. The 10 is powered by a quad core SnapDragon 820 paired with 4GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage. Storage can be expanded up to 2TB via the microSD slot. Power button and volume rocker are located on the right side per the usual HTC placement.

The front of the device is framed by a beautiful 5.2” Quad HD 2560x1440 display. While I still think Samsung has some of the best screens, you aren’t missing it by much with the 10. The colors are sharp and clear with good brightness levels. Just below the screen are the return of the capacitive navigation buttons with the Home button pulling a double shift as the fingerprint sensor.

Camera
Let’s get to the main concern for past HTC owners out the way before we continue. The camera. The rear camera is a 12 mega-pixel shooter that shows a genuine improvement over previous generations. Samsung and LG are killing it in this arena on mobile and HTC has truly stepped their game up. The 10 offers optical image stabilization and laser auto focus.

I found most shots to be pretty comparable to my Nexus 6P which I consider to take really good photos. The more shutter centric types may find some faults with the HTC, and my Nexus for that matter, but I found it to be a solid camera for most users.

No modern smartphone is complete without the selfie view and the HTC 10 has you covered there as well. Here you’ll find a 5MP camera with its own optical stabilization that HTC says is a first for a smartphone. I’m not a huge selfie guy, but captures with it were sufficient to say the least.

Performance
I have found the HTC 10 to be one of the best performing smartphones in recent memory. HTC has worked closely with Google to exceed expectations on a smooth experience. Sense is all but gone with some minor tweaks and bundled apps here and there. Apps launch quickly as does multitasking. The one software thing I’ve always hated is the persistent notification of being connected to WiFi that HTC provides no way to turn off…it’s time to say goodbye to that.

Battery life
Battery life has been pretty good. Not great, but good. I am seeing a consistent 14–15 hours of normal usage before having to reach for a charger for the 3,000mAh battery. In comparison to the last “flagship” I tested, the Samsung S7, the 10 out performs it by a couple of hours. HTC has included quick charge for those times you do need to top off during the day.

Boom Sound
HTC has always had top notch sound quality. Gone are the dual stereo speakers, but HTC promises that this is refined iteration of Boom Sound. I tend to agree. Sound quality is a step above most other premium phones. I can easily rock out to my Google Play jams with ease in a larger room without it sounding distorted.

Conclusion
HTC needs a reboot. They are trying to keep up with truly massive competition in the Android space. The HTC 10 is a solid contender and should be on anyone’s short list. While it doesn’t have any knockout features, the overall package is a very good one. It feels better in the hand than, and has longer battery life than the Galaxy S7. It also know its identity unlike the LG G5. From the build quality to the improved camera, HTC has a flagship that it can be proud of, and I hope more people give it a shot.

If you think the HTC 10 is for you, then trot down to your local Verizon store and check it out. Pack a cool $648 for full price, or if you prefer, $27 per month can send you home on a payment plan.

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