Welcome to my review of the HTC 10 which came from Clove Technology.
Before I delve deep into my HTC 10 review let’s cover off the key specifications.
- Dimensions – 145.9 x 71.9 x9mm
- Weight – 161g
- Nano sim
- Micro SD with adoptable storage option
- Android v6.0.1
- Snapdragon 820, Adreno 530
- QHD 5.2 inch screen, 71.1% screen to body ratio, 565ppi
- Gorilla Glass 4
- 12mp rear camera f/1.8, OIS, laser autofocus 1/2.3 inch sensor, 1.55 pixels, 4K
- 5mp fron f/1.8, OIS, 1.34 pixel size, HDR, 1080p, autofocus
- 32gb storage, 4gb ram
- Dual speakers – bass, treble
- Audio 24 bit/192 khz
- Active noise cancellation mics
- Battery 3,000mAh, Quick Charge 3, 50% in 30 mins
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band
- Bluetooth v4.2, APTX, A2DP
- USB Type C 1.0
- Fingerprint, accelerometr, gyro, promximity, compass
- Colours – Carbon Gray, Topaz Gold, Glacier Silver
The HTC 10 is made from a solid piece of aluminium. Based on the crazy YouTube stress tests, the HTC 10 is also one of the strongest handsets available, as it survived loads of bend tests. ie. it doesnt bend. Like all aluminium phones it is slightly slippery although not as bad as other phones I could mention.
Call quality was excellent and the recipient to my calls had no issue hearing me clearly. I did notice on the cellular reception the odd occassion whereby the signal strength was one or two bars less and other times when the 4g signal was stronger than my other phone running on the same network.
I had no issues with WiFi, Bluetooth but I could not send via DLNA photos to my old Sony TV as some protocol was missing with the HTC 10. My Samsung S7 and LG G5 for example could easily send wirelessly any photo. Using a Chromecast was the solution in this case.
The screen is a high quality QHD panel. Visibility in bright sun was average. Viewing angles were good too. Battery life has varied from anything to 3 to 4.5 hours screen on time. I do run a demanding setup, location services always on high, 4 email accounds pushing email, a connected smartwatch, 2 twitter acounts, facebook, flickr, 120 apps and a lot more. You get the picture, everything is on NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth and push services and notifications everywhere.
With a Snapdragon 820 and 4gb of ram the HTC 10 flies. In addition HTC has worked hard to remove bloat and duplicated apps. There is a really great feeling of fludidity using the HTC 10. The fingerprint scanner has been perfect everytime. Not one missed reading!
HTC Sense UI has consequently been toned down with the HTC 10. You still have extensive theming options and now a Freestyle mode. This is where you place small images anywhere on the screen and associate an app with this. Looks arty, in practice is not as useful unless you only every want quick access to half a dozen apps. For some people, I can see this being popular, but its not for me at all.
This is why you bought the HTC 10. Even if you didn’t you are in for a treat. 24bit 192khz Hi-Res sound as standard. Hi-res mics as standard too. That means recorded audio is at FLAC standard. The Loudspeaker arrangement is a tweeted on the top front of the phone and the bass comes out the bottom edge to provide Hi-Fi quality sound. The quality is definitely there, but sometimes I missed the higher output volume of previous HTC Boomsound speakers. Listening to podcasts or playing games, that extra speaker fidelity became noticeable for the better.
The real magic is connected wired headphones. The HTC 10 has volume, superb audio quality and the voltage to really deliver magical sound to your headphones. I connected my Sennheiser HD598se, Oppo PM-3, Dunu Titan 5 and Sony XBA-1. They all sounded the best I have ever heard them from any smartphone! Whats more the incredible sound is produced for everything you listen to from YouTube, Tidal, Spotify and more. The HTC 10 also has scale with the music. So for example, if you are listening to a classical track and it suddenly explodes with drums, the HTC 10 amp explodes with it. The underlying audio leans to a slightly warmer side but in a good way. I really “love” the audio from the phone.
Normally this is where HTC phones have not been as good as their competitors, but now with the HTC 10 it is time to rejoice. The camera is really good. The rear camera has huge pixels at 1.55 microns. And Optical Image Stabilisation with laser autofocus. The front facing camera also has large pixels, OIS and autofocus. Not only that but the mics for recording are hi-res, so you get flac audio with your recordings. The HTC Camera app has been redesigned and at first it feels alien to use. However, after a short space of time, it became second nature. There is a Pro Mode (manual) which offers shutter speeds up to 2 seconds. Camera modes include auto, pro, panorama, hyperlapse, Zoe camera and time lapse. 4K video recording is available too.
The burst mode is effective as well. In terms of image quality, I really liked the output. The post processing isnt as heavy as say the Samsung S7 and consequently I preferred many of the photos of my dogs from the HTC 10 vs the S7. I do think the photos lean towards a warmer tone and in auto ,the low light shots ISO levels are far too high, althought the end result is acceptable. In Pro mode, night shots are much better as you can force the ISO at 100. Occassionally when focusing up close the HTC 10 would fall over. Other than that, its a camera you can rely on.
The HTC 10 produced some brilliant shots. George has a wicked smile! Snapped in burst mode.
Sheep crossing the road. I love the atmosphere of this shot.
Accurate colours with this photo of the tree and landscape.
Panoramic shots worked well too. Superb sky.
The large pixels really helped with the night shot of my local church.
To compliment the written review, I have also produced a video below.
The best smartphone from HTC in ages with excellent audio, a decent camera, slick UI all wrapped in a premium metal unibody design. Recommended.
My thanks to Clove Technology for their good service again.