Looks like HTC is carrying on its legacy of producing awesome sounding smartphones. The HTC 10 is no exception. It is by far the smartphone with the best audio quality when it comes to music and videos. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor running under the hood also helps the phone throw up a competitive fight against other flagships on the market. When you combine these benefits with a sleek design and attractive software enhancements, you get a smartphone that walks away with PC Mag Middle East’s Editor’s Choice award, in style!
The HTC 10 feels like a big slab of metal measuring 5.74-by-2.83-by-0.35-inches (HWD) and weighing in at 165-gms, though all that matte aluminum gives the impression that it’s bigger than it is. The front of the phone is mostly a 5.2-inch, 2,560-by-1,440 Super LCD 5. It looks about as bright as most flagships on the market, though it isn’t always on.
Below the screen, there’s a combination home button/fingerprint sensor, which is flanked by capacitive back and multitasking buttons. The body is slightly water-resistant, but not waterproof. Fair warning – don’t take it on a snorkelling session, though. The fingerprint sensor on the device is quite fast, too. The back of the phone is ultra chamfera—a relatively large, shiny, angled slide that comes down to a more conventional right angle at the edge of the phone.
The overall design and look and feel of the device definitely stands out. The back is domed enough that the phone will rock on a table if you push it. On the side, the power button is ridged to make it easy to find, like the one on the HTC One A9. That’s a really useful touch.
The phone has a microSD card slot that had no trouble with a 200GB SanDisk microSD card, and it charges with USB-C and Qualcomm’s Quickcharge 3.0 technology. HTC says the phone can charge 50% of its 3,000mAh battery in 30 minutes. Battery life is quite good. We got 7 hours, 34 minutes of video streaming time, which is solid.
That isn’t the whole picture, though: HTC’s software bleeds somewhat less battery in standby, and the phone comes with an app called Boost+ that sips power by reducing the screen resolution when you’re playing games. With Boost+, we found that after seven and a half hours in standby, the HTC 10’s battery had only dropped by 2-3%.
In terms of connectiity, the HTC 10 supports 4G LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The phone’s Wi-Fi performance is also good. Call quality is very good, thanks to vigorous speakers and excellent LTE connectivity. Test calls were clear, loud, and sharp, and the bottom-ported speakerphone was easy to hear outside. Noise cancellation was also effective.
The HTC 10 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC’s latest version of Sense. HTC said it’s trying to slim down duplicate apps, and that effort is appreciated. The apps HTC kept are a mix of its own and Google’s: HTC’s camera, Google Photos, HTC Mail, Google Calendar, and Google Play Music, for instance. The only obvious bloatware comes in the form of apps for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, which you’ll probably use anyway.
There are two major, obvious changes from Google’s stock Android here. First, if you swipe to the left of the home screen, you get HTC’s Flipboard-like Blinkfeed aggregator. And second, in HTC’s Theme Store you can download new Freestyle themes, which are so open that they’re almost disturbing. There’s no icon grid. You can place icons, widgets, and stickers (oversized icons) wherever you like.
In terms of performance, the HTC 10 is on par with other Snapdragon 820 devices, with one notable exception: If you use the HTC 10’s Boost+ software to knock screen resolution down to 1080p in games, you’ll boost your frame rates, too. HTC is well-known for awesome audio experiences. It introduced front-facing BoomSound speakers on the HTC One M7 three years ago, and has since paid attention to things that really make a difference, like headphone amps, as opposed to things that are largely inaudible, like 32-bit DACs.
The HTC 10 doesn’t have front-facing speakers. Instead, it has a front-facing tweeter up by the earpiece, and a woofer that doubles as the speakerphone along the bottom. This creates mono sound that’s a little hard to measure the volume of, because it’s radiating from the whole phone rather than coming out of a specific point. It sounds less tinny than most phones, but not room-filling.
But when you plug in headphones: Wow. The 1-volt headphone amp, more powerful than most flagships on the market. You can drive high-end headphones like no other phone can. The payoff is in gorgeously round, textured, detailed sound, whether you’re listening to pop, jazz, or classical. It only gets better as you turn the volume up.
Headphone audio quality is further improved by a Personal Audio Profile (PAP). PAP surveys your aural faculties and enhances the frequencies where your hearing is slowly fading. The result for me was discovering that there are bass notes in some of my favourite songs that I just hadn’t been noticing at all. I almost can’t work when using the phone to listen to music, it’s that good.
Listening to A. R. Rahman’s Tamil-language songs, was an awesome experience. Some of my favourite tracks just took me into a totally different dimension. Bollywood songs sound mind-blowing, while many English-language tracks will make you realise, you were missing a lot of detail, until now. And, it gets even better! This is the first Android phone to officially support Apple’s AirPlay, the formerly proprietary Wi-Fi streaming protocol that a number of wireless speakers support.
In a panel in the settings menu, you can quickly connect to Chromecast, Miracast, and AirPlay devices. The phone can stream video via Chromecast and Miracast, but only do audio through AirPlay. That’s fine. It’s a cherry on top of the best audio playback phone available.
The story with the HTC 10’s camera is a little bit more mixed than with the audio. The HTC 10 can shoot stills in RAW or JPEG, its camera app has some Pro Mode controls, and it can record up to 4K video at 30 frames per second. It has built-in slow-motion and hyperlapse modes, too. Both of its cameras have optical image stabilixation to smooth out videos. Sticking with the audio theme, it also records high-quality audio up to twice as loud as other phones without clipping.
The main camera is a 12-megapixel unit with 1.55µm pixels. In good light, photos looked great, however under low-light conditions, we did come up with some noisy images. The front-facing, 5-megapixel camera, with 1.34µm pixels, offers good performance. It’s a little soft in low light, but at least it doesn’t do the irritating super-smoothing thing that other flagships tend to do.
The HTC 10 is the best music phone on the market, and a strong performer all around. Its solid, all-metal body, quick performance, and fast fingerprint scanner make for an elegant experience. The phone’s Snapdragon 820 chipset is much faster, and its newer modem handles connection drops far better than the other models. While it isn’t running stock Google Android, HTC’s Sense has relatively few superfluous apps and is full of new, useful features like AirPlay support.
Hence, the HTC 10 walks away with the PC Mag Middle East Editor’s Choice award for smartphones.
Hello. I am a Web Developer. a Blogger.an illustrator.a writer.a freelancer.an inventor.a wordpress Designer .a coffee lover.
I live in a small town somewhere in the world.
I am passionated about Web Development and Website Front-End designing.