In the highly competitive field of smartphones, it’s hard for most companies to go up against juggernauts Apple and Samsung. HTC’s latest phone, the HTC 10, the latest member of the HTC One family, is the all-new, completely reinvented (yet vaguely familiar déjà vu of the M7) smartphone. The HTC 10 highlights are its: its impressive hardware, battery life, fast performance, hi-res audio and customization.
HTC has always been strong in design and it shows in the aluminum unibody design with chamfered edges running around its backside giving it an athletic silhouette - a modern interpretation of a classic smartphone design. The HTC 10 boasts a slightly bigger 5.2-inch screen than its antecedants, and is pixel dense with a 2560 x1440p Quad- HD resolution and covers 99.9% of the sRGB colour gamut. HTC states that the display is 30 per cent brighter and 50 per cent more responsive than on last year's model. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and has a fast fingerprint sensor/ home button.
The HTC 10's rear camera is now a 12-megapixel "Ultrapixel 2" shooter with laser autofocus and dual tone flash, and a 5MP optically-stablised f/1.8 selfie camera in the front. As well the camera shoots 4K video and features the world’s first stereo 24-bit Hi-Res audio recording, capturing 256 times more detail than standard recordings.
The dual front speakers seen on previous versions have been scrapped, with the "BoomSound Hi-Fi" speaker system as a replacement, a combination of one front-facing tweeter in the earpiece and a bottom-facing woofer (for lower frequency sounds), each with its own amp. The results in a powerful bass, better clarity and more volume. There are two settings for the speakers – theatre mode and music mode. With Hi-Res audio certification, 24-bit sound processing, built-in DAC, and a headset amplifier, it’s like stereo-heaven for any discerning audiophile.
According to HTC, which said that the phone is tough - having been subjected to 168 hours of extreme temperature tests ranging from -20C to 60C, plus over 10,000 drop, bend, scratch and corrosion tests.
The smartphone uses Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 820 processor and packs a strong 4 GB of RAM. The default storage space reads 32 GB or 64 GB, but microSD support can be boosted up to 2 TB, via a memory expansion card. HTC 10's massive 3,000 mAh battery is touted to last for almost two days on normal usage and the included 30 enabled Rapid charger will charge the device up to 50% in 30 minutes. The HTC 10 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow topped with HTC's Sense UI.
One of the exciting new software features of the HTC 10 is the customizable home screen - Freestyle Layouts. Getting rid of the usual grid layout on most smartphones, Freestyle allow you to customize the home screen theme by assigning and app shortcuts to different stickers, as well as hide app labels altogether and create a sleek theme with shortcuts hidden in plain sight. In addition, the new App Lock functionality makes your phone more secure, allowing users to unlock any app they choose.
The HTC 10 comes in both an unlocked GSM, for use on carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, and a CDMA version, for use on Verizon. It retails for $699.