HTC 10: Back in the game


  • Tech News
  • Sunday, 18 Sep 2016

The HTC 10s QHD screen has good colour saturation and contrast— TAN KIT HOONG/The Star

The HTC 10 proves that the Taiwanese company is back in the groove.

The HTC 10 is a real return to form for the Taiwanese ­company in terms of design – the smartphone has an all-m­etal body with nice chamfered edges on the back and front.

The phone feels nice and hefty in the hand and the black anodised finish gives the HTC 10 a classy look.

The anodised black finish and the chamfered edges on the HTC 10 make it look classy.
The anodised black finish and the chamfered edges on the HTC 10 make it look classy.

The finish is a little slippery, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that this point is moot as almost all of us use some sort of casing.

Turn on the device and you’ll be presented with a 5.2in (2,560 X 1,440 pixels) screen that’s sharp and bright. No complaints here.

Battling bloatware

HTC has worked hard to remove bloatware. Instead of shoving a load of duplicate HTC and Google apps down your throat, the company has opted to mostly use stock Android apps except when its apps are better.

For example, the smartphone uses the Google Photos app as its photo manager and viewer, but for the camera the company has opted for its own app as it offers more features.

The HTC 10 has almost everything you would expect from a high-end smartphone, namely a Qualcomm Snap-dragon 820 processor and 4GB RAM.

Performance was snappy and it runs Pokemon Go without stuttering.

The fingerprint reader works very fast. — TAN KIT HOONG/The Star
The fingerprint reader works very fast.

There’s also a fingerprint ­sensor integrated into the Home button which works fast and reliably.

The HTC 10 comes with only 32GB of internal storage but it has a microSD slot that ­supports cards of up 2TB in size.

One of the star features is the 24-bit digital-to-analogue ­converter for sound which ­supports high-definition audio.

I couldn’t hear the difference with the built-in speakers but the bundled earphones fared better. In my listening tests, the sound was very good although the earphones tended to have stronger bass than I like.

You can also create custom profiles for different earphones – it involves adjusting the ­volume and response of certain frequencies for each ear – and it made quite a difference.

Sharp shooter

Based on our tests of various HTC devices in the past, its smartphones tend to produce photos with poor exposure and suffered from purple fringing.

The HTC 10 fixes the shortcomings and the 12-megapixel camera on this device actually performs rather well.

The 12-megapixel camera on the HTC 10 is very good, although not outstanding.
The 12-megapixel camera on the HTC 10 is very good, although not outstanding.

Images shot in bright light exhibited good colour, exposure and contrast and looked pretty good.

It doesn’t quite have the ­contrast and punchy colours of some of its competitors, but the images produced by the HTC 10 were good.

So what about the purple fringing? Thankfully, that’s also mostly a thing of the past – in most photos, there wasn’t any purple fringing visible and only a hint of it appeared when shooting images with a strong light source visible.

The camera’s laser autofocus system works well most of the time but there were instances when it would say it’s in focus but actually wasn’t.

The HTC 10 uses a USB Type C connector for its charging port.
The HTC 10 uses a USB Type C connector for its sync port.

Low-light photography has been greatly improved on the HTC 10 as well – although it looks like noise reduction is employed a lot, the algorithm was smart enough to mostly remove the noise but retain the detail.

All in all, the camera ­performed really well and ­produced above average results.

Conclusion

As mentioned at the ­beginning of the review, the HTC 10 is a winner for the Taiwanese company – it’s a well made device with good ­specifications to match.

It’s especially good in the audio department. If you like music, the HTC 10 is great, especially if you are willing to invest in better ­headphones.

The HTC 10 feels weighty in the hands, thanks to its all metal body— TAN KIT HOONG/The Star
The HTC 10 feels weighty in the hands, thanks to its all metal body.

Overall, HTC has a solid flagship ­smartphone that deserves a serious look if you are in the market for an Android smartphone, as it has got a good balance of ­features to ­justify the price.

Pros: Nice build quality; app bloat kept to a minimum; extensive audio customisation for earphones; camera much improved over previous HTC phones. 

Cons: Earphones a little heavy on bass. 

HTC 10
(HTC)
NETWORK: 4G LTE
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 6.0 with HTC Sense
DISPLAY: 5.2in (2,560 x 1,440 pixels)
CAMERA: 12 megapixels (main); 5 megapixels
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 4.2, USB 3.1 Type C, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
MEMORY: 32GB storage, microSD slot (max 2TB)
OTHER FEATURES: BoomSound
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 145.9 x 71.9 x 9.0mm
WEIGHT: 161g
WEBSITE: www.htc.com/sea
PRICE: RM2,799
RATING: 4 stars
Review unit courtesy of HTC Malaysia, 1-800-88-9855 

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