HTC 10: Style and Substance
When it comes to buying a new phone, I, like a lot of people, tend to be very picky. We all have that checklist of functions and features we want out of our phone. For me, I want my phone to be the jack of all trades; to excel at everything. A lot of devices initially catch my eye, yet for one reason or another they don’t hit every check on my list. I have been searching for that “perfect” phone for a long time now. After getting to use the HTC 10 for a few weeks, I think I have finally found that phone. So what did HTC do that has made this phone stand out from the rest for me? Read on to find out.
When the first HTC One came out in 2007, one of its main strengths was its design. HTC has evolved that design with its subsequent phones, ending now on the HTC 10. The result is a beautiful looking phone. The back of the device features an all metal casing with a slight curve in the middle. Combine this with a chamfer at the sides, and you get a phone that fits comfortably in the hand. The front has an all glass display with a front facing speaker, capacitive buttons, and a finger print scanner (more on these later). The design gives the HTC 10 a feeling of durability without losing that premium look.
The volume rocker and power button are both placed on the right side of the phone. But don’t worry, you won’t accidently press the wrong button as the power button has grooves designed into it to make it easily recognizable. The front has two capacitive buttons on either side of the home button, which also doubles as the fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner is very quick and accurate, meaning you can access your phone instantly without worrying about security.
Hardware and Experience:
So what’s going on inside? The HTC 10 comes with the superfast Snapdragon 820 processor along with 4 GBs of RAM. With these guts you get a phone that can handle just about anything you throw at it. I have had multiple apps running in the background while playing some graphically intensive games and saw no lag at all. Apps opened instantly, and multitasking was a breeze. The HTC 10 runs on Bell’s LTE Advanced network, capable of speeds of up to 335 Mbps. This means your apps will download at blazing fast speeds and your internet browsing will be more seamless.
HTC has also made some changes to their Sense UI, continuing with the mantra of back to basics. They have streamlined the experience, removing any duplicate apps that may conflict with the Android default apps. What you end up with is an almost stock experience, but with some great HTC bonuses. Blinkfeed remains for all of your news and social needs, glove mode for when the cold winter creeps up on us, and screen gestures that let you access apps when your phone screen is off.
Finally the battery life is stellar! I was able to easily get through a whole day and still have plenty of battery left to spare. Even when I was streaming the Raptors’ game I barely made a dent.
If you are like me and listen to a lot of music through your phone, you will love the HTC 10. Both the speakers and headphone port have some serious power behind them which makes listening to music an experience of its own. The HTC 10 features BoomSound technology that’s leveraged by the built in speakers. If you have had an HTC in the past, you may remember the two front facing speakers on those devices. HTC has gotten rid of those to allow for a more compact device, but don’t think that they have dropped the quality of their speakers. The HTC 10 features a single speaker on the front of the device along with another speaker on the bottom beside the USB port, both acting as the tweeter and sub respectively. This combination creates a rich soundscape that is loud and crystal clear. Whether listening to music in the kitchen, or catching up with a show through the Bell TV app, you’ll get the best sound possible.
The headphone port is also equally as great. HTC has included a powerful dedicated amp that supports 24-bit audio. Listening to music on this phone is unlike any phone I’ve heard before. With a good pair of headphones, I can hear every note and instrument. I usually find other phones to be a bit quiet with their headphone output, but not at all with this phone. I rarely had to pump up the volume to make it enjoyable. The only problem is that I’m getting lost in my music so much more that I sometimes zone out while I’m on my way to work.
Cameras on smartphones can’t just be good anymore, they need to be great. And HTC has made a great camera. The back camera is a 12 megapixel camera, with Ultrapixel technology. Ultrapixel means that each megapixel is capturing a wider range of data, creating a much better image. The camera also has Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which reduces the shutter speed without ruining the image. When I take pictures, I love to have that nice background blur that an expensive DSLR can make. I was really pleased to find out that this camera can pull off that effect just as well. The camera has so many options and settings that any photographer can take their dream shot. For all of you photo nerds, you can easily adjust the ISO, aperture, exposure, and white balance. All within the preview of your image, so you can see how your adjustments are affecting the picture. Or if you just want to quickly take a picture without having to deal with the settings, don’t worry the auto mode is still just as a capable.
But what about selfies? We aren’t always going to be flipping our cameras around to take a selfie, so we need that front facing camera to perform. And trust me it does. Using a 5 megapixel with Ultrapixel, this camera can take some of the highest quality selfies around. It also has OIS, so your Snaps are always quick and sharp.
Finally the camera takes great video as well. You can record video in 4k resolution, meaning every moment you capture will be in the highest quality available. Plus videos use 24-bit audio recording, so you can capture all the sounds around you in the highest fidelity.
The bottom line
I’ve always been someone who is picky with their phones. I don’t need any bells and whistles; I just need a phone that hits all the right points on my checklist. HTC has created that phone. The HTC 10 is a phone that looks amazing, is blazing fast, sounds great, and takes beautiful pictures. Throw in a long-lasting battery and you have a device that I cannot find any fault with. The HTC 10 has a lot to offer, and getting it with Bell means you’ll get to use it on Canada’s fastest network, taking advantage of its true potential. Because of all of this, the HTC 10 has become my favourite device of the year.