In stark contrast to the huge Huawei P9 launch last week, the HTC web-only announcement was quite understated. No queues, no hands-on time, no photographs and no tiny burgers on sticks. It was all very… different.
The handset, when it did appear on the HTC website, didn’t offer a great deal of surprises either because we’d already seen some very accurate leaks.
The HTC 10 does indeed have a 5.2″ QHD display (1440 x 2560 / Super LCD 5) and is powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz Snapdragon 820 CPU. It’s got the latest Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with more of a “stock” finish to the UI, although Sense is still there. It comes equipped with 4GB RAM, 32GB / 64GB of storage (depending on the model) and a microSD card slot so that you can expand that further.
The rear camera is a HTC UltraPixel 2 unit which gives you 12 megapixel shots. This is helped with laser autofocus, OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and there’s an f/1.8 aperture. Like other handsets, there’s also a “Pro” mode so that you can be a little more “manual” with your photos and it comes with Auto-HDR, Zoe Capture, hyperlapse, 12X Slow motion mode and 4K video recording. It’ll also load up in just 0.6 seconds and can store images in RAW mode.
Up front is a 5 megaxpixel shooter with autofocus, OIS and the same f/1.8 aperture. You also get an ultra wide-angle lens with “Live Makeup” (a bit like MSQRD).
Sound comes courtesy of the HTC BoomSound tech (a “Hi-Fi” Edition), plus Dolby Audio, Personal Audio Profile and Hi-Res Audio. Other details include a USB Type-C power socket (which is also where you’ll be plugging in the headphones), NanoSIM, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 and WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz). A fingerprint sensor allows for further security – unlocking in 0.2 seconds. It’s powered by a 3000 mAh battery.
If you’re interested then expect to receive yours later this month in one of four colours – Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, Topaz Gold, and Camellia Red.
That Qualcomm CPU is also helped by something called “Boost+”. This makes your phone quicker but at the same time uses less battery. Features called “smart boost” , “PowerBotics ” and “game battery boost” will help to ensure that your games operate smoothly and speedily, but you don’t end up with a battery going flat in minutes. Like we’ve seen in other handsets, this can detect and shut down apps that are pulling too much battery power (see our story from yesterday about that). Not only that, but when your phone does go flat you’ll find that there’s a 3.0 Rapid Charger in the box to top the battery up to 50% in just 30 minutes. Not bad eh?
HTC spoke (in their press release) a lot about how the “Power of 10” will “symbolise greatness and independence” to deliver “everything that you would want from a flagship device”. They’ve added a “world class camera” and “gold standard audio” plus a “bold new metal unibody” with “unparalleled performance”. They’ve taken care to perfect the design of every part of the phone (even telling us quite a lot about the amount of work they put into carving the power button) and how the “chamfered edges capture the light” to give it a thinner and lighter appearance.
The HTC 10 is certified for Hi-Res audio and the phone comes with Hi-Res audio certified earphones in the box. This means that, instead of throwing away those free headphones, you’ll find a “richer sound” with a deeper frequency range for a better sound experience.
The event is still on-going, so we’ll update this story as we go. Full details in the press release below. Also expect WiFi calling if your network supports it. The big news is that you can pre-order the handset today on the HTC website (unlocked). Pricing from HTC direct is £569. EE have confirmed that will range it. There’s to be two versions “with different Qualcomm Snapdragon processors to cater for different market needs”. The USA is to only get the Qualcomm 820 and, from what we’ve seen on the UK HTC site, it’s the Snapdragon 820 that is selling here in the UK too. Another model will be the HTC 10 Lifestyle which gets a Snapdragon 625 CPU and 3GB RAM with just a 32GB storage option. The 625 is still a good CPU though, and everything else (apart from a slightly slower 4G spec) remains the same.
Update – If you pre-order and use the code “HTC10” you’ll get 10% off they price, bringing it down to £512.99. You can get free express delivery too.
Power of 10: HTC’s engineering excellence delivers obsessive craftsmanship, unparalleled performance and imaging leadership
London 12 April 2016 – HTC has today unveiled what it has been working on behind closed doors for the last 12 months, with the launch of its latest smartphone. With customer feedback an integral part of the development process, combined with an obsessive attention to detail, the HTC 10 delivers everything that you would want from a flagship device.
Playing to the Power of 10 – symbolising greatness and independence but also that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – this newest addition to the HTC phone family combines a world class camera with gold standard audio, bold new metal unibody design and unparalleled performance.
Designed to Perfection
Inspired by light and sculpted to perfection, the HTC 10 employs a new approach to design where bold contours are carved out of solid metal. Capturing the light beautifully, the chamfered edges boast a slimmer, more slender look with its full glass front merging seamlessly into the metal body.
Passionate about the small details, it’s not just the materials that come under scrutiny when we create a new handset. With the HTC 10, our design teams worked tirelessly to build a phone where the power button has been beautifully crafted, where the speakers deliver a sleeker look and better sound quality and where the fingerprint sensor recognises your finger from almost any angle.
It is also important that we got the build absolutely right. Mercilessly engineered to handle everyday knocks, bumps and scratches, the HTC 10 was subjected to over 168 hours of extreme temperature tests, ranging from a freezing -20’C to a scorching 60’C, plus over 10,000 drop, bend, scratch and corrosion tests.
With HTC 10 we’ve delivered what we believe to be the best smartphone camera available on the market today. With the world’s first optically stabilised, larger aperture f/1.8 lenses on both the front and rear cameras, new larger sensors, 12 million of our new generation UltraPixels (1.55um per pixel), faster laser autofocus powering the main camera and a wide angle lens and screen flash on the front UltraSelfieTM camera, this smartphone delivers brilliantly sharp, low light and high-resolution photos whether behind or in front of the lens.
With the camera designed to launch in as little as 0.6 seconds, and a 2nd generation laser autofocus that gives you focused shots faster, it’s quick enough to even work in burst mode. All the settings are also conveniently located at your fingertips with Pro Mode still offering advanced options for more experienced photographers, including RAW format functionality.
Boasting a DxOMark score of 88*, this is one of the highest camera quality scores of any smartphone to date and is the result of tens of thousands of hours spent fine tuning each element to deliver world-class photos and videos.
Best in sight, best in sound
But it’s not just the imaging that puts this smartphone at the top of its game – the HTC 10 combines vivid 4K video with the world’s first stereo 24-bit Hi-Res audio recording, capturing 256 times more detail than standard recordings, across twice the frequency range and enabling you to bring to life your recorded content as if you were actually there in person.
Built for audiophiles, the HTC 10 is certified for Hi-Res audio and has been designed to make music sound the way that the artist intended. A headphone amp that delivers two times the power of a conventional headphone amp, the ability to upscale from 16-bit to 24-bit audio and high performance digital to analogue conversion combine beautifully to produce ten times lower distortion than other devices on the market, delivering an all-round audio performance that cannot be beaten.
Everyone hears things differently, which is why the HTC 10’s all-new Personal Audio Profile system enhances your audio experience even further. By creating a unique profile that is tuned to your individual hearing, it dynamically adjusts specific sound frequencies to each ear, allowing you to hear music the way that the artist intended. Re-engineered HTC BoomSound™ Hi-Fi edition speakers feature the same separated tweeter and woofer design as leading acoustic systems and combine with a dedicated amplifier on each speaker, adding to the experience and delivering sound clarity unprecedented on a smartphone.
Great audio deserves great earphones so we have made sure that our flagship phone comes with the best Hi-Res audio certified inbox earphones yet. Featuring an 8µm thin aerospace polymer diaphragm and 70% oversized drivers, the listener is treated to richer sound and twice the frequency range, enabling you to enjoy the best audio experience right from the get go.
Performance at its Best
Whilst the HTC 10 nails it on the hardware, we have also delivered what we believe to be best in class software by focusing on getting the fundamentals right. With apps that launch twice as fast and that perform to the highest standard and a next generation quad HD display that is 30% more colourful, creating a true cinematic feel, and that is 50% more responsive to touch than its predecessor, even the smallest and fastest of finger movements track perfectly.
This attention to detail doesn’t stop there! With security high on people’s agendas, we have created a fingerprint scanner, which unlocks in a lightning fast 0.2 seconds and which has been algorithmically designed to recognise you faster and more accurately over time.
Engineered from the inside out to last longer, the HTC 10 boasts the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with enhanced 4G LTE. Each device also comes with Boost+ which is designed to make your phone faster, to consume less power and to provide effective security and applications management features. This includes smart boost, which automatically optimises your memory, a game battery booster, which uses less battery during gameplay, and a new PowerBotics system, which auto detects and shuts down apps that use excessive power, improving battery life by 30% and delivering up to two days charge.
Not only does Boost+ optimize performance, making it easier to launch apps, but its App Lock function also adds a new layer of security by enabling you to lock any app you choose, whilst App Manager provides an instant fix for when an app isn’t behaving.
The HTC 10 also includes the latest in-box quick charge 3.0 Rapid Charger with improved thermal management, so the battery can be charged by up to 50% in just 30 minutes – ideal for people who find their phone running low on juice before the end of the working day.
Controlled by You!
By reducing the number of duplicative and pre-loaded apps and bloatware, and integrating the best of both HTC and Google, we have created a more streamlined phone that enables you to decide what you want on your handset.
With HTC’s specially created new Freestyle Layout, you no longer have an on-screen grid that dictates the layout. Instead you can get creative by dragging icons, stickers and widgets anywhere you like. Layer them, group them, link stickers to apps or get rid of screen icons altogether, the choice is yours.
The latest version of HTC Themes also provides you with access to thousands of professional looking themes that each come with their own icons, backgrounds and sounds so you can customise your phone based on your own personal style.
Accessories and availability
To further streamline your experience, the HTC 10 offers an all-new Ice View case with a semi-transparent and highly versatile single front-cover case. So when that next call or message comes in, or when you need to skip a track, or snap that perfect shot, you can do it without even opening your smartphone’s case. It’s simplicity, without sacrificing protection.
The HTC 10 will come in two variants with different Qualcomm Snapdragon processors to cater for different market needs. They will both offer the same design, audio, camera and display, with a similar software experience and battery life.
The HTC 10 will be available from April 2016 in four stunning color combinations: Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, Topaz Gold and Camellia Red.
In the U.K., HTC 10 will be available across multiple operators, who will announce colours, availability and pricing in due course. The UK will be ranging Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver and Topaz Gold and will be on-shelf from early May. An unlocked edition will be available for Pre-order on www.HTC.com from today, 12th April.
JBL and HTC will also be bringing you the world’s first USB-C sport earphone with noise cancellation and adaptive noise control. JBL Reflect Aware C earphones* combine sweat proof design with digital audio and battery-free active noise cancellation, so you can shut the outside world out and enjoy better than CD level music.
*coming soon in selected countries