Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Review: HTC gets back in the game with its latest Android smartphone
When HTC released its One M7 in 2013, it not only proved that makers of Android smartphones could create phones that were as beautiful as Apple’s, it also pushed competitors like Samsung and LG to finally build handsets that weren’t made of creaky plastic.
But with the phones it released since then, HTC seemed to stop innovating, and it quickly fell behind the competition.
Which brings us to the new HTC 10. Available for preorder for $700 and on sale in early May, the 10 is the handset that HTC hopes will win you over again and make you forget about Apple’s iPhone 6s and Samsung’s Galaxy S7.
Sporting a sleek new look and packing a vastly improved 12-megapixel camera, the 10 stands a fair chance of doing just that.
When HTC unveiled its One M9 last year, the company took a lot of heat for failing to make any meaningful changes to the handset’s design. It was as if HTC simply copied and pasted the plans from 2014’s M8, made a few small tweaks, and called it a day. Worse still, the M8 itself was essentially a carbon copy of HTC’s One M7.
Thankfully, the company seems to have woken up when designing its HTC 10.
Like its predecessors, the 10 is built on an all-aluminum body. But while it pays clear homage to the One M7, the 10 is no clone.
Sporting embellished chamfered edges that beautifully reflect light and a rounded camera lens, the 10′s futuristic exterior easily makes it one of the most attractive phones around.
Up front, HTC got rid of the dual front-mounted Boom Sound speakers found on the M7, M8, and M9 and instead coated the 10’s face with an edge-to-edge glass panel that gives the phone a cleaner look. (It also happens to ape Apple’s iPhone 6s.)
Boom Sound isn’t gone, though: HTC moved the speaker previously located below the phone’s display to its bottom edge. The top speaker, meanwhile, has been redesigned to look like a traditional phone speaker.
Because of its contoured back, the HTC 10 tends to look bulky next to the likes of the Galaxy S7, but it’s really not. Measuring 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.35 inches, the 10 is in fact taller, wider, and thicker than the S7 (5.6 x 2.7 x 0.31 inches), but only by the slimmest of margins.
Nonetheless, the 10 is significantly bigger than the iPhone 6s (4.4 x 2.6 x 0.28 inches), but that’s because the 10 has a 5.2-inch display, compared with the iPhone’s 4.7-inch panel.
HTC’s designers failed to keep up with the competition in one significant way. Samsung introduced waterproofing with its Galaxy S7, promising that the handset can survive in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes. HTC says the 10 can easily shake off getting a glass of water spilled on it, but that’s not quite the same thing. I’d rather know my phone can take a dip and keep on ticking without issue.
The HTC 10’s 5.2-inch display packs a 2560 x 1440 resolution. By comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 rocks a 5.1-inch panel with that same resolution, while Apple’s iPhone 6s has a 4.7-inch, 1334 x 750 resolution screen.
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