HTC on Tuesday morning unveiled its new HTC 10 smartphone, a powerful new handset that takes everything HTC is known for and mixes in huge improvements that had previously been weaknesses for the company. We knew what to expect weeks ahead of the phone’s official announcement thanks to leaks and rumors, but none of those reports seemed to do the phone justice. It marks a huge step forward for HTC, and fans seem to be excited so far.
But what are the new HTC 10’s best features?
First and foremost, HTC has made an insanely bold claim with the new HTC 10. According to the company, its new flagship phone will last up to two days on a single charge.
That’s unheard of for a flagship smartphone, and it’s seemingly accomplished using some smart software optimizations coupled with a giant 3,000 mAh battery. HTC says the phone will last for up to 73 straight hours of music playback, or up to 13 consecutive hours of web browsing.
Also of note, the HTC 10 supports Quick Charge 3.0 charging tech, which charges the battery from 0% to 50% in under 30 minutes.
Design and Build Quality
HTC has never had any issues when it comes to smartphone designs or build quality, and the HTC 10 is a great reminder of how good the company is.
The HTC 10 is made almost entirely of aluminum and glass. The face of the phone is a solid glass sheet with only two interruptions, one for the ear speaker and a second for the home button. Then, aside from the plastic pieces needed to let the antennas breathe, the rest of the phone is aluminum.
HTC’s new flagship phone picks up where earlier models left off. The back features a nice ergonomic curve that is just 3mm thick at the edges, making it very comfortable to hold. It’s also surprisingly light, which is something users will undoubtedly appreciate.
M-series smartphones have never had particularly good cameras, and it has really held HTC back with many users. But the company is now looking to make up for its earlier shortcomings, and then some.
According to DxOMark, the HTC 10 is tied with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 for the distinguished honor of having the best smartphone camera on the planet. If we had told you this time last year that an HTC phone would have the best camera on the planet, you would have laughed us out of the room.
The new 12-megapixel rear camera launches in just 0.6 seconds and uses second-generation laser focus for autofocus that is three times faster than the camera on last year’s One M9. It’s also 136% brighter and includes optical image stabilization.
More details can be found here in the full HTC 10 specs.
Of note, the front “UltraSelfie” camera also features OIS, making the HTC 10 the first phone to include optical stabilization on the front-facing camera.
We spoke at length in a recent article about the difference between the user experience on iPhones and Android phones. While a discrepancy remains, HTC has narrowed the gap tremendously with the new HTC 10.
The company spent a great amount of effort improving touch response on its 2016 flagship phone. In fact, according to HTC, the HTC 10 has the lowest touch latency of any smartphone in the world, including Apple’s latest iPhones.
“The first-generation iPhone had a super smooth touch experience,” an HTC executive said during meetings ahead of today’s announcement. “We wanted to replicate that.”
Some early testing during our hand-on time with the phone confirms that the HTC 10 indeed offers the smoothest and most responsive touch experience of any Android phone we’ve ever tested. The difference in user experience is tremendous, and we hope this prompts other Android phone makers to focus on improving their own devices.
Last but not least, the software on the HTC 10 is dramatically improved compared to earlier flagship phones from HTC.
Each year, HTC works to strip away the bloat and trivial features in its Sense software and let Android shine through more. With the HTC 10, the company has made its biggest stride yet.
The company dumped nearly all of the duplicate apps it created and opted instead to use Google’s apps for things like calendar, photo gallery, calculator and so on. And where HTC did decide to include its own app — email, messaging, etc. — it designed gorgeous Material Design apps that fit perfectly with Android Marshmallow.
Bottom line: Forget everything you know about HTC Sense.
Honorable mention: The audio quality of wired headphones, even the ones that come packaged with the phone, is absolutely phenomenal. The personalized tuning, audio upscaling and “BoomSound HiFi Edition” amplifier on the headphone jack combine to offer the best wired audio experience of any smartphone, ever.