HTC has been in dire straits the past few years, their past 3 phones have bombed, been heavily criticised by many. The company itself has been losing money hand over fist. So this year seems to be a case of do or die. They have the HTC Vive, which looks like a great VR system, but probably not enough to save the company. Now they have launched the HTC 10 and it looks like they have tried to pull out all the stops.
Let’s get the initial specification out of the way, the HTC 10 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset with 4GB of RAM. There’s 32GB/64GB of storage with support for microSD expansion, and a 3000mAh battery, supporting Quick Charge 3.0 via the USB Type-C connection on the bottom. HTC says the charger draws heat out of the phone for even safer charging, which I am not sure how believable/useful that sounds.
The camera re-introduces UltraPixels but this time you also have a decent number of pixels with a count of 12-megapixel and it offers optical image stabilisation.
It is tooled out of a premium metal unibody with a chamfered edge around the body. Initial observations say the phone build quality is exceptional.
Gone are the days of the front facing speakers, now you have a woofer in the bottom of the phone and a tweeter up top, so high and low frequencies come from above and below. Some people seem to think this is not a good thing, but I personally don’t understand why anyone would be listening to a phone through its speakers voluntarily, either way, it should still sound better than its competitors.
More interestingly, the M10 upscales all audio to 24-bit quality, which should sound good on the included hi-res certified earbuds. They have also licenced Airplay from Apple to stream audio to even more hardware. It is a bit of an odd decision, and there are already plenty of 3rd party apps that do this, but every little counts when this could be your last big phone. JBL is also working with HTC on a pair of high-res earbuds/earphones that connects through the USB Type-C port. While I am sure this is great I hope it doesn’t become a trend for earphones as we have already heard rumours about Apple implementing this option.
As usual you will get HTC Sense, and it will be running on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Luckily HTC have decided to ditch many of their own Apps in favour of keeps Googles stock apps.
You can pre-order the unlocked version of the HTC 10 for $699/£569 via HTC but there is no word on launch. For the time being if you use the promo code HTC10 you can get 10% off bringing the total cost plus shipping down to £516.81.