HTC 10 aims to be company’s saving grace

HTC formally announced the HTC 10, its flagship smartphone for 2016, that blends the designs of last year’s A9 and M9 smartphones Tuesday.

HTC formally announced the HTC 10, its flagship smartphone for 2016, that blends the designs of last year’s A9 and M9 smartphones Tuesday.

The 10 features a 5.2-inch (2560×1440, 564ppi) quad HD Super LCD 5 display that displays 30 percent more colors than last year’s model and is covered in Gorilla Glass with curved edges to blend into the phone’s metal frame, according to HTC.

Under the hood, the phone is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, which will basically run in line with any high-end Android smartphone released this year, along with 32/64GB of internal storage and a microSD slot to expand that space. The 10 has a 3,000mAh battery, which HTC claims will give two days of battery life, and supports Quick Charge 3.0 through the phone’s USB Type-C port to get up to a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes.

According to HTC, the 10 has been optimized for faster touch response and is 50 percent more responsive than its predecessor.

Visually, the 10 looks like a blend of last year’s M9 and A9, with HTC’s all-aluminum construction with chamfered edges and machined ports. A fingerprint scanner lays below the display flanked by capacitive back and recent apps.

The Taiwanese company placed a particular emphasis on the camera performance on the 10 to hopefully address the poor performance on its previous flagships. The phone has a 12-megapixel rear camera sensor behind an optically stabilized f/1.8 lens that aims to take better low-light photos accompanied with a dual-LED flash and laser autofocus system. That camera can also capture 4K video with 24-bit high-resolution audio. The 10’s front camera received a similar upgrade, with a five-megapixel sensor with an optically stabilized f/1.8 wide-angle lens for better low-light selfies and 1080p HD video.

Audio also got a lot of attention on the new smartphone, with a headphone amp that claims to output twice as much power as other smartphones. The 10 can upscale audio to 24-bit quality, and HTC has built a customizable audio profile feature that tunes sound specifically for your ears. Also included in the box are Hi-Res-certified earphones. HTC has also partnered with JBL to produce a set of noise-cancelling headphones powered by the phone’s USB-C port. The phone is also capable of playing audio wirelessly through AirPlay-certified speakers, a first for Android smartphones out of the box.

The 10’s software is much closer to Google’s interpretation of Android than earlier efforts. HTC has worked with Google to reduce duplicative apps, with Google’s calendar, photos, and music apps running the show by default. However, HTC is keeping around their own email, messaging, and camera apps in an interface that gets closer to Google’s Material Design guidelines.

The HTC 10 will ship next month for $699 unlocked in black and silver in the U.S. Other global markets will see a gold option while Japan will also be getting a red variant. Preorders for the 10 are available now through its online store, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

[Image: HTC]


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