is the latest high-end phone to arrive before a spring and summer lull in new smartphone releases.
But being last comes with its advantages: the HTC 10 is a well-refined phone that has managed to impress us not with gimmicks, but with solid all-around performance. And while there is nothing all that exciting as separate features, it's the overall package with the HTC 10 that catches the eye and the subtle improvements to the quality of the smartphone experience.
Of course, this being the fiercely competitive smartphone market, the HTC 10 has plenty of competition. Its biggest Android rival, without a doubt is the Samsung Galaxy S7
. Samsung's greatest phone, however, has some slight shortcomings in areas, where the HTC 10 manages to deliver. And while it's hard to say that there are some huge reasons why you should get the HTC 10, here are five nuances that we find important enough to consider that might tip the scales in favor of the HTC rather than the Samsung.
Design: no fingerprint mess
The usual smudgy and messy real-life look of the Samsung Galaxy S7
Let's face it: the Samsung Galaxy S7 only looks that shiny on press pictures: pick it up and just hold it for a few seconds in your hand, and instantly - especially with the otherwise beautiful black version - it gets all covered in fingerprint stains. After using it for a few minutes, it just becomes a greasy piece of glass, and at that point, you might just forget about the beautiful design and put a case on it.
That's not what the experience with the HTC 10 is like. Quite the contrary, it's a solid feeling phone with a body that has its distinctive visual style, but also does not get quickly covered in smudges. You would still need to wipe clean the screen every once in a while, but that's something that you have to do with every phone out there.
Much less bloat and cleaner Android
Unlocked HTC 10 strips the poor practice of having two browsers, two mail apps and so on
HTC has made one decision that was long due in the Android world: in the unlocked version of the HTC 10, it has removed many of the duplicate apps. There is no longer two mail apps and two browsers on the unlocked HTC 10, and this simplifies the experience a great bit. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S7 still ships with two and in some cases even three apps that do one and the same thing. Dealing with that many apps that serve the same function is definitely an annoying inconvenience.
Great for selfies
A 5-megapixel optically stabilized
The times of the first-generation HTC UltraPixel cameras are gone, and this might be a good thing as the new HTC 10 features what's most likely the best camera on an HTC phone ever. The 12MP main snapper is good, but we're particularly fond of the quality of selfies with the 5-megapixel front shooter. The Samsung Galaxy S7 also captures good-looking pictures, but tends to blow up contrasts and saturations, resulting in a somewhat artificial look for people, while colors on the HTC look more natural looking and the HTC 10 camera captures plenty of detail. Another advantage of the HTC 10 selfie shooter is that it does an awesome job even in complete darkness. It's worth noting that the HTC 10 is the only mainstream phone to feature optical image stabilization (OIS) for the front camera, which allows for longer shutter speeds and sharper-looking selfies.
High-quality DAC that delivers great audio
In some market (not the US, regretfully), HTC even ships its high-res headphones in the box with the HTC 10
Those who care about high-quality music and have a pair of nice (and likely, expensive) headphones know that why the headset itself might be one of the most important elements in the audio chain, it's not the only one. It's very important to also have a high-quality DAC to drive the signal to those headphones, and the HTC 10 has got just that as it takes pride in its ability to deliver great sound to your good headphones.
USB-C port is a nice, small convenience
Samsung Galaxy S7 on top with the old microUSB port and HTC 10 below, with the new and reversible USB-C
Finally, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 supports Samsung Fast Adaptive charge and is able to replenish its battery quickly, it still uses the old microUSB port and you have to be careful to insert microUSB cables the right way. With USB-C cables being the new standard and much more convenient with their reversible plugs, the HTC 10 is the more future-proof device and the less annoying one. After all, having USB-C is a small, but appreciated convenience.