HTC 10 – specs review

Entering the Android arms race nearly two months after Samsung and LG unleashed the best they have, HTC might be a bit late to the game, but it's coming back strong with the HTC 10. Recognizing the need to give up resting on its laurels and reinvent its landmark devices, the smartphone maker follows up the unabashed iPhone copycat that is the HTC A9 with a phone it can truly call its own. The HTC 10 features a bold all-metal design, premium-tier hardware, an uncompromising camera setup, and what seems to be a fast and de-cluttered user experience.


A bold and sturdy metal body that's perhaps a bit taller than ideal.

HTC continues its metal design heritage with giving the HTC 10 a bold chamfered contour and dual-textured finish. It also used curved glass to make the front appear as if it's seamlessly flowing into the metal body. HTC hasn't specified the type of alluminum alloy the body's made of, but it claims the phone is ready to handle knocks, bumps and scratches, so it has to be a sturdy type of metal.

In a bit of trivia, HTC mentioned that the construction was subjected to over 168 hours of extreme temperature tests and over 10,000 drop, scratch and corrosion tests before it got greenlit for mass-production. So far, the HTC 10 definitely inspires confidence.

The smartphone measures 5.74 x 2.83 x 0.35 inches (145.9 x 71.9. x 9 mm), weighing in at 5.68 oz (161 g). It's a tall and hefty phone that can't be described as compact, although we wouldn't say these dimensions are unreasonable, either. It's not light like the Samsung Galaxy S7, and it's not a handful like the LG G5 – we would say the HTC 10 slots right between the two.

Unlike its older handsets, the HTC 10 has a home button with embedded fingerprint security to keep your data safe. It is said to unlock in just 0.2 seconds, which is almost immediate. HTC used an omnidirectional sensor which recognizes fingerprints from almost all angles and positions. A smart algorithm is present, too, to let the phone learn and recognize your fingerprint faster over time.


A Quad-HD resolution screen designed for cinematic experiences.

Like most major brand flagship smartphones today, the HTC 10 comes with a Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560) 5.2-inch screen with a very high pixel density of 564 pixels per inch. The panel is Super LCD 5 with a 30% richer color gamut. The panel is tuned to cinema color standards so movies look true to the director’s vision. It's also been optimized for 50% higher responsiveness to even the smallest and fastest finger movements. Combined with an auto-optimization algorithm that lets apps launch twice as fast, along with the very capable hardware, the HTC 10 should be one of the breeziest, smoothest phones to have ever reached the market.


A beefy spec sheet that HTC's trying to make the most of with software optimization.

Like most high-end phones of 2016, the HTC 10 is powered by Qualcomm's latest premium-tier processor, the Snapdragon 820. It has a quad-core 64-bit CPU which clocks at up to 2.2GHz and is paired with 4GB of fast LPDDR4 RAM memory. There are 32GB of storage on the base model, and it appears to be eMMC memory rather than UFS at play here. With its custom Krait cores, powerful Adreno 530 graphics unit, and an all-encompassing suite of connectivity and security technologies, the Snapdragon 820 is Qualcomm's fastest and most well-rounded mobile chipset to date, so seeing it in most America-bound high-end smartphones makes perfect sense. Additionally, HTC has implemented the Boost+ service, which dynamically allocates resources to make switching between apps smoother. It also maximizes battery life by reducing the power usage of background apps.


HTC is upping the game with 24-bit audio and elaborate acoustics.

HTC isn't afraid of rethinking its choice of technology from the ground-up if it has to. The HTC 10 showcases this by saying 'goodbye' to front-facing stereo speakers in favor of a radical approach that sees the earpiece turned to a high frequency tweeter that's very directional, while the second speaker is tuned for low frequency response and is inherently omnidirectional. The two work in tandem, adhering to a design not unlike that of conventional hi-fi speakers. Both speakers are driven by separate amplifiers to dynamically boost output depending on ambient noise. Additionally, the smartphones comes with a 24-bit digital audio converter capable of playing high-resolution audio and features stereo recording with three dual-membrane microphones. With its high voltage, low noise headphone amp, and software compensating for variations in personal hearing, the HTC 10 should output loud and crisp audio over earphones.


A tricked-out photography setup that covers everything a point-and-shoot camera should.

HTC wasn't needlessly humble in introducing the HTC 10's camera setup. The big 'huzzah' around it is the addition of optical image stabilization (OIS) in both the front and back cameras, which is a fairly big deal considering 99% of other handsets with OIS only have it for the rear camera. This is supposed to bring steady photos from both units, helping the phone deal with your natural hand movements. We expect selfies from the HTC 10 will be very sharp and focused, not just with the OIS, but due to other unusual and highly promising additions. The smartphone features a 5MP front camera with big, 1.34 micron-sized pixels, auto-focus, wide f/1.8 aperture, 23mm focal length, and 1080p-resolution video recording. With the big pixels and wide aperture, this camera should perform well in the dark, while the 23mm focal length equals an 86 degree-wide viewing angle, making group shots a legitimate possibility.

Turning our attention to the rear camera, we have a 12MP HTC UltraPixel 2 unit with large, 1.55 micron-sized pixels and tons of goodies – laser autofocus, wide f1/8 aperture, 26mm focal length (80 degree-wide angle), dual tone LED flash, manual controls, RAW photo and 4K-resolution video recording support (complete with 24-bit audio). According to HTC, the new generation UltraPixel sensor captures up to 136% more light in every shot. Moreover, the HTC 10 launches its camera almost instantly, in as little as 0.6 seconds, while the 2nd-generation laser autofocus system is fast enough to work even in burst shot mode, letting you pull off action shots easily.


HTC is serious about delivering two-day battery life.

Hoping to deliver on its promise of up to 2 days of 'normal' use, HTC stuffed a 3000mAh battery inside the HTC 10 and implemented a new 'PowerBotics' system that's supposed to help increase battery life by up to 30%. There's also Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support, and every HTC 10 comes with a rapid charger in the box. The phone can fill up the battery to around 50% in just about 30 minutes, although your mileage may vary with the many factors that determine a phone's battery life – from environmental conditions to how many apps and services you have installed and running.


The HTC 10 seems like a well thought-out smartphone, both inside and outside. Its impressive design and cutting-edge hardware even the playing field between it and the rest of the 2016 flagship pack, while optimizations and choices made with delighting users in mind – the ultra-responsive touchscreen, the heavily tricked-out cameras, and the performance tweaks on the software side – could win it some much-needed attention from critics and users alike. Of course, it's unreasonable to fall for promises before we've had a chance at trying the HTC 10 ourselves, but it seems like a really nice smartphone so far, and a much more convincing product than the HTC One M9. Hopefully, the HTC 10 didn't launch too late to get all the attention it deserves.

Also read:

Related phones

  • Display 5.2" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(27h 3G talk time)



1. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Can't decide on this phone or an iPhone SE. Tired of Android but this phone is pretty cool.

5. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

It doesn't even make sense to compare both phones. The iPhone SE is strictly meant for those who wants a high end phone in a small package. A more logical comparison would be between HTC 10 and iPhone 6s in which case, the former seems to offer a more compelling package.


Posts: 417; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

I think it's because the bezels are so big on the SE that there the same size lol jk jk.

16. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Want a smaller phone but the 10 looks cool.

34. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Exactly same here. I was certain on getting the SE but 10 ticks every box on my "want" list. I will wait and check both in stores, if there was 10 Mini I would not hesitate

6. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

The moment you realise HTC has gone from One to 10 in a span of 3 years #realquick

18. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

in that case, HTC is far ahead from its competitor.. while samsung still at 7, LG at 5, sony at 5 and apple at 6 (Ignoring nokia and microsoft who randomly use hundreds and thousands for its model number, lol)

38. true1984

Posts: 869; Member since: May 23, 2012

actuall sony is back a zero with the xperia x

40. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Far ahead from its competitors? It is far behind... Again all reviews are point towards the bad camera performance...

10. AViator

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

I'm willingly submit my NOTE 5 for this one.

20. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

If you are tired of android and decide to get an iPhone at least get the 6s because the se doesn't have 3d touch and trust me when I say you want 3d touch.

26. grbrao

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

3D touch u got to be kidding... most of them even forget that it is existing on the phone when long use... i hardly use it.... people buy SE for powerful processor and decent cam in small package... SE is good size for a phone for one hand use.........

28. plck74

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

i can't see zombie coz i wanna shot thumb half occupy left and right screen!! help me!!!

29. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I use 3d touch every day so I completely disagree with you.

37. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

If I was getting a 6s I would wait for the 7 but I want a smaller phone. My Android is to big.

39. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

What is your current phone?

32. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

You just compared knives with guns.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

How dare they complain about the height and size, seeing as how those are two things the iPhone is notorious for going overboard with relative to their screen size?

19. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

because it has fruit logo? one does not simply complain about a product that has apple logo on it inside online article

30. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

I felt appalled by that comment, "A bold and sturdy metal body that's perhaps a bit taller than ideal." look at the size of any iPhone vs the competition, the iPhone at 4.7 "is as big as S7. I don't understand why they must shoot down every android phone that comes about.

3. Busyboy

Posts: 733; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

Does this phone include Uh-Oh Protection?

8. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Yes it does.


Posts: 417; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

So weird I have the s7 edge but this is tempting me. I just like having something that's different and Sony was the go to but now htc really doing something can't wait for the nexus by them.

7. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

Im not a samsung fan, but i dont know why anyone would pick this over the s7, when they cost the same, and samsung is giving away all these free gifts with the s7. Theres nothing exciting about this phone except and a few spec bump, no waterproofing, no wireless charging. I think this will be the last flagship HTC will ever sell

11. AViator

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 08, 2016


13. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

"but i dont know why anyone would pick this over the s7"

14. perfectnine

Posts: 201; Member since: Mar 11, 2016

Me for one, due to sense and Audio capabilities. With the good camera, there are practically no drawbacks now.

17. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Design, audio, interface.

21. landline4life

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 12, 2016

community development for us in the states. the s7 is completely locked down and likely will be forever.

22. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Maybe they don't like TW? Or probably they prefer aluminum back? I personally not a fan of HTC Sense, while it's fast i didn't mind few second difference since most flagship is powerful enough for any task but sense or anything close to stock android was lacking so much feature.

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