HTC Finally Unveils the HTC 10 and HTC 10 Lifestyle
The leak train has finally reached its last station as HTC has officially taken the wraps off the device.
Meet the HTC 10, HTC’s flagship for 2016:
Starting off with the design, the HTC 10 makes refinements and changes to HTC’s previous flagships. You still get the metallic unibody with a very gentle curve starting from the middle and tapering towards the side edges. To make the phone stand out from the current flood of metal and glass smartphones, HTC has added on a chamfer all around the back edge, giving the phone a very distinct look indeed. You have the SIM tray on the right, along with the volume rocker and the ridged power button.
On the front is a 5.2″ QHD (2560 x 1440) Super LCD 5 display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the top. Instead of virtual navigation buttons like previous HTC flagships, the HTC 10 comes with a home button-on-fingerprint scanner with capacitive backlit buttons for back and recents. The fingerprint scanner also sits visibly recessed on the main display.
Moving on to the inside, the HTC 10 is definitely a flagship of 2016, as it packs in all that you would expect. Except if you live in India and other such market areas (more on this towards the end). For the flagship variant, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 coupled with Adreno 530 GPU. You also get 4GB of RAM and internal storage options of 32GB and 64GB. If you wish, you can also expand this with microSD card support of up to 2TB.
The HTC 10 also comes with a decent 3,000 mAh battery, which is non-removable unfortunately (a trade-off of unibody designs), but if you have been following HTC products, this is no surprise. Fortunately, you get a USB 3.1 Type C 1.0 port with Quick Charge 3.0, which claims to charge your battery by 50% in 30 mins.
For the software experience, you get a streamlined HTC Sense with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. HTC claims that they have worked with Google to get rid of duplicate apps, relying on more and more Google apps (which receive updates via the Play Store) instead of pre-installing their own apps as well like some other manufacturers are known to do. HTC is also including a freestyle layout form, which removes the on-screen grid interface on the homescreen. You get freedom to place icons, stickers, and widgets as per your liking without being restricted by a grid. You can also layer them and group them, or remove all of it entirely, which is neat for a stock out-of-the-box launcher. HTC has also attempted to populate the HTC Themes apps, so you hopefully get more good themes to suit your personal style. Also included in the software package is Boost+, which is HTC’s take on a task killer [Hint: They are still bad and unnecessary].
The camera on the HTC 10, often the weakest link in various HTC flagships over the years, has seen an overhaul this year. HTC is still sticking with the UltraPixel moniker, which is a term to denote larger pixel size. The rear is a 12MP UltraPixel 2 camera with f/1.8. You also get laser autofocus and Optical Image Stabilization, and the ability to record 4K video with Hi-Res Audio, along with a Pro Mode for photography. For the front, the HTC 10 comes with a 5MP camera with f/1.8 and an “ultra wide angle” lens. HTC has also brought the OIS love to the front camera, so that should definitely help in less blurry selfies.
So far, the HTC 10 is shaping up to be a very interesting package. With its current setup, it will be competing for the top spot. But there are a few caveats with the HTC 10.
For starters, the iconic BoomSound speakers are gone. In their place, you get a bottom facing speaker. HTC claims that the woofer resides on the bottom, with the speaker being on the top-front of the device. They both work in tandem to give a stereo experience, which HTC is calling the BoomSound Hi-Fi edition. But with the speaker scenario, HTC has indeed downgraded based on pure specs. We hope the hands-on experience with the audio is at par with previous HTC flagships, but we aren’t really holding our breath on it.
The second flaw with the HTC 10, will be a second variant. This particular HTC 10 variant, called the HTC 10 Lifestyle will not be a flagship, opting to be a glorified mid-end warrior instead. HTC has replaced and downgraded various key specifications for reasons best known to them. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 gets replaced in favor of a Snapdragon 652. The 4GB RAM gets a downgrade to 3GB, and the internal storage is restricted to 32GB (with expandability). Even the USB Type C cable gets a version downgrade from v3.1 to v2.0. Mind you, these are still good specifications which should satisfy the needs of a vast majority of users. But, if you want to be called a flagship, you have to be a flagship and not be a shadow “lite” version.
The HTC 10 will come in two variants with different Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors to cater for different market needs. They will both offer the same design, audio, camera and display, with a similar software experience and battery life.
The HTC 10 Lifestyle will not be a choice. Some regions, like India (and other developing markets), will get the Lifestyle variant by default as they “different market needs”. If you are in the market for a true flagship and willing to shell out money for it, the HTC 10 will not be a recommendation in these regions. We recommend that you check which version is sold in your market before purchasing.
The HTC 10 will be available in four colors: Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, Topaz Gold and Camellia Red. Pre-orders for the HTC 10 begin today in the US across major carriers, with shipping in early May. HTC will also be selling an Unlocked Edition at HTC.com, which will cost you $699 and comes with Uh-Oh protection. Availability of the HTC 10 Lifestyle is unknown at this stage.
What are your thoughts on the HTC 10 and HTC 10 Lifestyle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!