Call quality

Call quality with the HTC 10 is okay. The earpiece in particular proved inferior than the microphone, with voices being accompanied by occasional cracking sound artifacts, and overall sound as if the caller has a sore throat.

Kind of surprisingly, the situation on the other end is highly similar, if slightly better. Once again, our voice was transmitted as if we were just getting over a cold, though our callers were spared the sound aberrations that we had to live with on our side.

Given the measly competition in this area, it's fair to say that the HTC 10 nevertheless did better than the average.

Battery life

While flagship HTC devices have never been the best when it comes to longevity, they've been consistently middle-of-the-pack. Not a compliment, sure, but neither is it something to hold against them.

For the most part, this was made possible by HTC's decision to stick to 1080p displays for their flagships. But now that the transition to Quad HD has been made, the company had to compensate with a larger, 3,000mAh battery—the largest in the history of the line.

In everyday usage, you can expect the HTC 10 to handle anywhere between a day/day-and-a-half, depending on how much you stress the device. If it's just light browsing and some IM here and there, no games, you can probably even make it to a second day. If you game regularly, however, you'll feel like overnight charges are a must for peace of mind. These impressions are corroborated by our custom battery life test, which had the HTC 10 dead after 7 hours and 10 minutes—a highly competitive result in the current climate.

Speaking of these overnight charges, the HTC 10 comes with a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0-compliant, 2.5A charger. In our testing, it takes 100 minutes for the HTC 10 to get from zero all the way back to full, which isn't as impressive as the LG G5's 76 minutes or the Galaxy S7's 88 minutes. For what it's worth, however, HTC's claim that you can get 50% of juice in 30 minutes held up in our testing, as long as we're talking about the first 50% of course.  

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
HTC 10 7h 10 min (Good)
Huawei P9 6h 51 min (Average)
Apple iPhone 6s 8h 15 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S7 6h 37 min (Average)
LG G5 5h 51 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
HTC 10 100
Huawei P9 146
Apple iPhone 6s 150
Samsung Galaxy S7 88
LG G5 76


How did we get here? When did flashy gimmicks become more important in driving sales than a solid foundation? Why did removable batteries, modules, and questionable 'innovations' like edge screens become a more compelling reason to buy one phone over the other? And when did we stop caring about great execution—great execution in all matters?

These are the type of questions we were faced with not because we were in a particularly contemplative mood, but because the $699 HTC 10 refused to fit into today's smartphone paradigm. In that world, more is necessarily better, and this philosophy underlies manufacturers' strategy. But it doesn't have to, and the 10 is a glowing example of this.

Despite bleeding money, HTC continues to refuse to play that game, and reminds us that it's a company that has its own style, its own way of doing things. Some may be quick to argue that this is proof of inability just as much as anything else, but we disagree. No matter how much pessimism we try to infuse into our thinking, the HTC 10 strikes us as a device built to specification. HTC wanted it to be that way.

What the HTC 10 isn't? It isn't a toy. It's not pretty or flashy. Instead, it's a tool. And it's built like one. A tool to get the job done and then stay out of the way instead of wasting your time with gimmicks. This cut-through-the-nonsense approach is seriously a breath of fresh air, and a departure from the cookie-cutter Android mentality of the day. And as paradoxical as it may come across as, the HTC 10's lack of 'innovative' features is the basis of its allure for us. Sue us, we'd be happier being seen flipping the 10 out at a business meeting than any other Android phone on the market right now. 


  • Alluring, macho design
  • Great build quality
  • Leading fingerprint scanner implementation
  • No-nonsense software
  • Extremely smooth performance


  • Default keyboard disappoints
  • No LTE support for Sprint (yet)

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

22 Reviews



1. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Looks like I'm goin' HTC this year.

12. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

This is the HTC 10, and therefore, it should have gotten 10/10

61. SonyOwner unregistered

Couldn't agree more.

63. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Well, let's be happy that a device that is not Apple or Samsung got a 9.

76. MSi_Cubi unregistered

9 points? well I don't think it will be better than Huawei p9 plus or max

101. danny_a2005

Posts: 362; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

yeeees finally HTC is back, this phone is so nice, i will buy it asap. the gold version fancies me :)

178. Ashoaib

Posts: 3288; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Me too if HTC will fix the camera glitches and will bring it to the level of Nexus 5x/6p... Chris you have done a very nice review. I didn't feel bored for a single second. You put the words in nice and interesting sentences. Why you were not doing the reviews before?

214. kriistofor

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 14, 2015

He really did, didn't he? I was bitching earlier this week about a review from Dan from the Verge (about m10) which was such a bias that I was shocked to see it as a legit review posted on a site. My comments were met with people saying "yea, this is a subjective review, better than the spec-sheet s**t on Phonearena and Gsmarena...i want to read what it is to use the phone" etc. Well, here is a review that clearly shows that phone was used, reviewed properly and written eloquently. While I agree that you guys are a bit too harsh (bias, maybe?) to Chinese competitors coming here with lower prices and similar specs, you are still giving great insights and observations in your reviews. This is a well written review that is rounded from the beginning to the end, highlights all the features that deserve to be highlighted, but also very elegantly points out the cons of the device (and i'm not talking 'bout keyboard, but rather screen, camera, call quality - you say it's better than most - still not great enough to be called perfect. And I need that when considering a phone - pros and cons in the same paragraph -so well put sir.) Much better than Dan's opinions that this boring device just isn't gimmicky enough to even deserve a proper review.

162. plck74

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

do not forget that samsung put heat conductor.....

198. danny_a2005

Posts: 362; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

so? lol

20. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

me too! that carbon grey HTC 10 is really a good looking phone! this is the real successor of the M7. HTC really nailed it this time. a 9 score is too low for this phone.well this is phonearena and i expected it.

34. newbey123

Posts: 701; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

I know they made a black one but it doesn't seem to be available! The carbon grey looks awesome, but really wanted the black one.

85. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

9.2 or 9.3 would been more appropriate. Still i am impressed with battery life its like mid ground between S7 and S7 edge.

142. Hydrocaliz

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

Really? This phone looks quite ugly. Put it beside S7 or P9, it will look like a sumo wrestler standing next to slim guys with tuxedo (It's not like I don't like sumo, though. I watch it frequently on TV and I like it). Anyway, what's so special about this phone? Display, which is not comparable to AMOLED, mediocre battery life, below average performance, no-S7-(or G5)grade camera with horrible exposure problem, an iPhone like front panel with Galaxy's home button, etc... I'm pretty sure that people are saying this looks nice because it is made out of metal. If it was not, it would have not be the same for sure.

148. ..Z..

Posts: 85; Member since: Apr 16, 2016

It surely is ugly. Samsung front and ugly chamfered back, which everyone agrees to. Similar like the fugly G5.

165. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

go to sleep boy.

212. TMach unregistered

Think you mean put beside the S7 or P9, it will look like an adrenaline fuelled Rambo next to a slim lady in a dress........I have the S7 Edge but I have pre-ordered this direct from HTC (UK) as loving the macho feel to this phone! Also took advantage of the promo discount which is HTC10 to net a reasonable discount n the RRP. Christmas present is likely to be the Xperia X Premium which sounds like an insane phone!

171. KONICHIWA-ANNYONG unregistered

It's definitely can't be called elegant. More macho than 'premium' looking.

84. MSi_Cubi unregistered

why? just bcos u seen this? come oon.. get P9 plus much better Everybody pleasing on HTC but nobody will be buying..or just HTC fans that's it..

179. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

"Better" is subjective, also it doesn't take an HTC fan to like this phone.

102. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

good for HTC! they deserv it. the benchmark scors are a bit low though, underclocked soc to get better battery maybe? SD820 is not known for good batterylife.

128. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Patiently waiting for the HTC Nexus Hopefully with the fingerprint reader on the back

134. JoshN

Posts: 202; Member since: Apr 01, 2015

Max brightness SUCKS but apart from that it's a beast ☺i

180. Ashoaib

Posts: 3288; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Camera also. There are some serious glitches in camera which need to be fixed.

192. demi9od

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 26, 2015

Could be a deal breaker if it makes it unusable for navigation and HTC has been getting worse here every year. M8: 490 nits M9: 430 nits M10: 370 nits To be fair, the G5 is 378 nits on max auto and the S7 is 391.

221. w1000i

Posts: 249; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

phonearena test is not right, other reviews said it has higher nits than LG g5

223. ZetZet

Posts: 22; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

S7 is 539 on max auto. ~395 on manual.


Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

It seems HTC should probably win phone of the year, with exception to the display brightness.

181. Ashoaib

Posts: 3288; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

And with the exception of camera

206. DomSanity

Posts: 28; Member since: Dec 13, 2012

I just noticed the HTC 10's shot in the comparisons are a bit yellowish.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

  • 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)

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