In a final roll of dice, HTC today unveiled their latest smartphone, the HTC 10.
With the same excellent design aesthetics that we have come to expect from the Taiwanese company, HTC 10 seems to have more differences from its predecessor than the HTC One M9 had from HTC One M8.
While HTC's One M9 boasted of smaller differences, apart from a new different build quality, HTC 10 seems to have all the essentials in place to make this a real contender in the market place.
At the briefing, I was told that they focussed on three parts of the mobile tech business: the established: phones; whats hot: wearables and the future of tech: Valve and I would probably agree with them. HTC's Vive thats been made in collaboration with Valve has had rave reviews from all who have tried and has top billing amongst all the VR propositions out there in the market right now despite its hefty price tag.
HTC Vive hands-on: I saw the future and I loved it!
HTC 10 also marks ten years that the Taiwanese manufacturer has been in the business for. Tagging it as a magical year and a magical number, by their own admission, they say they wanted and aimed for perfection with the 10.
And they have tried.
Look and feel
They say they are aiming for perfection and the phone does look very good, dual chamfered edges makes it quite a looker and the solid metal build thats synonymous with HTC gives it a bit of heft at 161grams.
The curved back goes from about 3.0 - 9.0mm and is sheathed in 2.5D glass. The power button on the left has a serrated feel to it with the smoother volume toggle above it. HTC have stuck with a physical button on the display and it doubles up as a fingerprint sensor too.
It is the same processor on the HTC 10 that's on the LG G5, Sony Xperia Z5 and Samsung's Galaxy S7. The difference is in the way it manages heat and dissipates it. While the Samsung flagship has liquid circulating inside the body to keep the temperature down, I cannot wait to run video on the HTC 10 to see how it handles overheating.
HTC have gotten rid of bloatware and unwanted apps and incorporated a tighter integration with Google so there are just a handful of apps onboard and so HTC's camera with Google photos gives the user a more unified look and feel with material design. The HTC 10 runs Android 6 (Marshmallow) and material design has been baked into the phone's profile.
The primary camera has a 12MP Ultrapixel 2 camera which promoses to let in 136% more light. The result according to HTC will be sharper pictures with more details and that are more vibrant. The camera launches in .6s and comes with a 2nd gen laser guided auto focus that's 3X faster. Other modes include: Auto-HDR, Panorama, Pro mode with manual control and 12-bit RAW format support, Hyperlapse, Zoe capture, Video Pic, and continuous shooting up to 8fps.
The lower aperture at f 1.8 should make low light photography super smooth too. The phone also has the World’s 1st 4k video with 24-bit Hi-Res audio Personal audio profile- designed to enhance the sound output to match the user's hearing capabilities.
The earphones that come bundled with the HTC 10 automatically upscale all music and when I tested them out, the music did sound the same if not better than on the Macbook that they handily had lying around.
Apple AirPlay support
HTC have decided to put the ability for users to use the phone for Airplay in a move that will make those who have invested in Apple TVs. And all it takes is a three-finger swipe for the HTC 10 to stream to Apple TV, or any AirPlay-capable device without the need for any other apps.
Freestyle app layout
Users are able to customise the wallpaper to the maximum including the ability to, not just have a theme running through but also be able to place stickers, and areas on any part of the available screen real estate to lock away apps or place them there.
Boomsound shake up
HTC have followed the traditional layout of speakers with a tweeter at the top and the bass at the bottom on their phones so even though front facing Boomsound speakers are no more, the personalised audio profiles should help take care of all audio needs owing to the 13mm speakers that are now 70% larger.
Fast charge and battery
Rapid charger 3.0 comes in the box and the 3,000 mAH battery can be topped up to 50% in 30 minutes giving it enough juice to take you through the day.
HTC are collaborating with JBL by Harman to bring the World’s first USB-C sport earphones with noise cancellation and adaptive noise control soon.
HTC seem to have gotten it right with the looks, features and specs on their latest flagship. Obviously, I need to use the phone for longer before I am able to bring you my final verdict. All the latest improvements on mobile phones like high-res audio, 4k video recording and 2k display, fingerprint sensor, expandable memory etc are all present and correct. But for HTC it might finally come down to the pricing on the handset that will see if it is a hit or not.