The HTC 10 is here. Will HTC’s best put it back in the game?

It’s been heavily rumoured. Teased. Much-talked about. And now, it’s finally here. The HTC 10. The best of the best from HTC. Can the power of 10 bring HTC back the glory of the One?

In terms of design language, the HTC 10 doesn’t detract too much from the award-winning lines of the HTC One series, namely the One M9 and A9. It’s still beautiful and sleek. The metal unibody now comes with chamfered edges so it’s easier to hold, and less slippery. If you love HTC’s design language like me, then you’ll definitely find this appealing.

HTC 10
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On the front, it sports a 5.2-inch QHD Super LCD5 display backed by the famed BoomSound speakers. HTC says these are the best BoomSound speakers it has ever made and are calling them the BoomSound Hi-Fi edition. If you’ve owned or used a HTC device before, then you’ll agree that front-firing BoomSound speakers offer the best audio experience. This time you get a front-bottom combo. I’ll reserve my judgment until I get a proper hands-on.

A fingerprint sensor sits on the home button, flanked by two capacitive buttons.

Under the hood, the HTC 10 is powered by one of the most powerful processors on the planet right now – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 rated at 2.2GHz. Yes the same that powers the ‘insanely fast’ Mi 5.

HTC didn’t skimp on its flagship, packing 4GB of RAM with either 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage. There’s a microSD slot that supports up to 2TB of additional storage.

First class camera

Its claim to fame is its “World First, World Class” camera. Now, cameras in HTC devices have been a little touch and go. It went UltraPixel, Duo Camera, back to a single camera set-up. You name it.

On the HTC 10 though, HTC might have done it right. And its boldly boasting about it too. The main shooter is a 12MP UltraPixel 2 module with a superfast f/1.8 lens. This is backed up OIS, laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash.

Like Apple, HTC has often avoided the megapixel game in terms of its camera. Instead, it believes more in using bigger pixels for better low light performance. The HTC 10 camera uses 1.55 pixel size, similar to the Nexus 6P. Coupled with the fast lens, this sounds like an ideal set-up, at least on paper.

On the flipside, it gets a 5MP UltraSelfie camera also packing a f/1.8 wide-angle lens and OIS.

It’s going to be interesting how the HTC 10 camera stacks up against the best smartphone camera at the moment – on the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Underneath its svelte unibody, the HTC 10 features a large 3,000mAh battery. While not as large as some of the flagships (the Galaxy S7 edge has a 3,600mAh), it’s the biggest so far on its flagship device. HTC claims battery life is up to two days. It also has 3.0 Rapid Charger for super fast charging – that’s 50% charge in 30 minutes.

In terms of software, the HTC 10 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, with the latest HTC Sense on top. HTC Sense now has a Freestyle Layout that shifts from the conventional grid-based systems.

Pricing and availability

The HTC 10 goes on sale in the US next month for US$699. It will be available in two colours – Black and Silver. Global markets will see a Gold option, and apparently Japan will get a red.

HTC is opening up the HTC 10 for pre-orders of the unlocked version on its online store starting today. Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint in the US will also be offering the device.

Initial impressions

The HTC 10 looks great on paper. While I think I still prefer the M9 or A9 in terms of looks, it’s still a beautiful phone. Unlike the M9 though, I think HTC has packed in the best of the best hardware into its new flagship.

Let’s see how well it sells. What do you think? Do you like the HTC 10?

By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.