Tuesday, 16 August 2016

HTC 10

HTC has launched it's 2016 flagship the HTC 10 last month , some might say it's a bit late than usual but we don't mind as long as it's coming out with something extraordinary (think Vive) ...or is it ? Let's find out.



Design & Hardware


The HTC 10 is one of the best looking devices in the market thanks to HTC maintaining its aesthetics since HTC One's days and continuing with the single Aluminium block design.The finish is smooth and slippery with curved edges at the back. It's got a 5.2” Super LCD 5 panel with Quad HD resolution & Gorilla Glass protection.It's one of the finest displays you'll see on a phone with the option to chose between Vivid or sRGB colour profiles . There's a home button that acts as the fingerprint sensor and backlit keys on either side . At the top is 5MP OIS enabled front camera.


On the right edge is the slot of the Nano SIM card while left edge has the slot to insert Micro SD card upto 2TB . Below it , is the volume rocker and the Power button with ridges for easy identification. The USB Type C port is at the bottom while the 3.5mm audio jack is at the top edge.
The 12 UltraPixel 2 camera with dual tone LED flash is at the back.

In terms of overall hardware, the soul of the HTC 10 is the Snapdragon 820 Quad Core SoC with 4GB RAM & 32GB ROM ( 64 GB variant available as well) , bluetooth 4.2 , NFC, Dual band WI-FI , OTG . No FM Radio ( Don't care anymore !). It also acts as a power supply / power bank for any of your other devices and can charge if it's a USB input. Considering the battery is only 3000 mAh this is more of a show off feature than something that's practical. Give me a 5000 mAh pack and then we'll talk! In the box you'll find the Quick charge 3.0 compatible charger & a headset.

Software


Android Marshmallow 6.0 overlaid with HTC Sense UI now moves to a minimalistic design and feels light and zippy.Blinkfeed still makes it presence felt when you swipe right from the home screen though it can be turned off . For those who don't know, it's like an All in One for your social network news feeds, calendar events, nearby places etc. A new addition is called the Freestyle theme which can be activated by long pressing the home button . It replaces your default home theme with more funky stickers which can be linked to apps or just used to make your lock screen look cool! There's also a Boost+ app similar to CCleaner / RAM booster apps available in the Play store to clear junk files etc. Some old HTC apps like Gallery & Music are replaced by Google's own but the Zoe Video editor still survives to make short videos from your favorite pics.


Gaming & Multimedia


There aren't any heating issues associated with the Snapdragon 820 even when recording videos or playing graphic intensive games. AnTuTU scored 115275 which is pretty impressive & amongst the highest scores you can get. In terms of sound , Boom Sound is aided with Dolby Audio & you have a dual – speaker set up each powered by it's own Amp! If you have high quality FLAC files for your music, you're in for a treat! You can also create audio profiles specific to how you want and it considers how you hear sound in your left & right ear separately. Talk about Attention to Detail!

Disappointed with the 3000 mAh battery esp when you're giving an option to use the phone as a power bank for other devices. Min 3500 is what we needed just for the phone & 5000 mAh to be sued as a power bank! Continuous testing and usage over 4G, Wi-FI, Mortal Kombat, 4K recording definitely drained the phone quicker than a normal 12-14 hr run. Thankfully the Quick charge 3.0 can charge it up to 50% in just over 30 mins.

Camera


HTC has been maintaining that Megapixels are a myth and continued with its UltraPixel technology that has now moved to version 2.0.The rear 12MP camera now has a larger pixel size of 1.55um along with a larger f/1.8 aperture , OIS & Laser Auto Focus. In Bright daylight this camera is perhaps the closest you can get to the S7 Edge and definitely better than the iPhone 6S. It's could've been better in the low light conditions which is the true test of a camera but then there are very few who succeed there!


The Camera app has all settings on the left which has modes like Zoe Camera ( to capture a few secs of video befor the photo) , Hyperlapse, Panorama, Pro etc. Video can be recorded in 4K & audio can go upto 24-bit as well.Hyperlapse & slow – mo look amazing as well. The HTC 10 is the first phone to feature OIS in the front camera department . It's 5MP with larger 1.34um pixels & f/1.8 aperture give you good wide angle selfies.


Conclusion


The most impressive HTC phone till date and the most expensive as well. It beats the S7 edge at the launch price and it's a very hefty price tag for a flagship device that could have been made better or priced lower. HTC fanboys would jump at this one but if you just want a great flagship look at the S7 edge with much better overall specs and close to a 9/10 device than this at 8/10. There's also LG G5 & the cheapest flagship One Plus 3 but they have their own pros & cons.

I'd give the HTC 10 - 4/5.

 ★★★★☆

Pritesh Khilnani



HTC 10 at CeX

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