HTC 10 review


HTC HAS LONG been criticised for the camera technology in its smartphones, despite lofty claims of innovation. The new HTC 10 shows the firm taking another stab at turning the tide, but how does it really fare?

That new UltraPixel camera may get top billing, but further investigation suggests that the HTC 10 is really a handset for those serious about their audio. So why aren’t they making more of a fuss about this?

Design
The HTC 10’s case is crafted entirely from aluminium and glass. You’d be forgiven for calling the angular design unremarkable if it wasn’t for the precision chamfering of the edges and the two-tone finish that really makes the chassis shine.

HTC 10 impresses with its all metal body

The HTC 10 measures 146x72x9.mm. HTC would have us believe that this shrinks to just 3mm at the narrowest point, but this is somewhat misleading as the HTC 10 is anything but svelte. It’s been 12 months since the HTC One M9 and, while HTC may have used that time to refine the design, the dimensions haven’t shrunk at all. It also feels weighty at 161g.

Take a tour of the handset and you’ll notice some differences. Gone are the imposing dual front-facing speakers to be replaced with one across the top bezel and another on the bottom next to the USB-C port. This bottom speaker grille gives the appearance of a set of gnashing metal teeth, and underpins the HTC 10’s cold, industrial facade.

HTC 10 12MP UltraPixel camera

A ridged power button can be found below the volume controls on the right, and a dual-SIM and microSD slot sit on the opposite side. In a change from the norm, the 3.5mm headphone port (with built-in headphone amp) now lives on the top of the device.

Unlike the Galaxy S7, the HTC 10 is not fully protected from water. It’s certified to the IP53 standard, which means it’s protected against rain, but means it’ll unlikely survive a drop in the bath. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

The HTC 10 is available in four colours: Topaz Gold, Carbon Grey, Glacial Silver and Camellia Red.

Performance
The European HTC 10 is powered by the formidable Snapdragon 820 chipset. This is the same as in the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge US variants. It offers a quad-core 64-bit array of up to 2.2GHz backed by 4GB of RAM.

The Snapdragon 820 has a good pedigree, and we were pleasantly surprised by the speeds and results in our benchmark tests.

The HTC 10 was the fastest handset on the market by Antutu standards, at least on our first run.

Antutu 152,509 (S7 Edge 126,904). On second run Antutu dropped to 151,012
PCMark work performance 5,907 (S7 Edge 4,670)
3DMark 2,372 (S7 Edge 2,185)
Geekbench single-core 2,379 (S7 Edge 2,155)
Geekbench multi-core 5,233 (S7 Edge 6,505)

The HTC 10 also scored highly in 3DMark and in the Geekbench single-core test, but falls behind in multi-core.

However, the JavaScript benchmarks didn’t live up to the earlier performance. In both cases, a lower score is better.

Kraken 3,307.9ms (S7 Edge 2,557.5)
SunSpider 627.8ms (S7 Edge 316.2)

HTC 10 5MP UltraSelfie camera

Unfortunately, HTC has reined back the hardware on the HTC 10 in India, where it’s also billed as the HTC 10 Lifestyle. The Snapdragon 820 is replaced with the Snapdragon 652 (quad 1.8GHz and 1.2GHz cores) and 4GB RAM reduced to 3GB.

Elsewhere, we were impressed with the fingerprint scanner that sits between the capacitive buttons on the front of the device. Recognition is super-quick (HTC quotes 0.2 seconds) and highly accurate, so we’re inclined to agree with this figure.

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