HTC unveiled its latest flagship smartphone today. The HTC 10 brings improvements to everything from battery life to camera, and comes with a closer-to-stock version of Android than HTC’s earlier devices.
HTC, which has its U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., is struggling to compete in a smartphone market dominated by just a few manufacturers. With Samsung’s Galaxy line holding down the premium Android market and low-cost competitors like Xiaomi growing on the cheap end, HTC didn’t even make it into the top 5 smartphone vendors last year.
As far as specs go, the HTC 10 is a powerhouse. It’s got 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with 4GB of RAM and an Adreno 530 graphics processing chip. A 5.2-inch 2K display packs 564 pixels per inch behind layered Gorilla Glass. And the fingerprint sensor unlocks the phone in 0.2 seconds.
HTC claims the 3,000mAh battery provides 2 days of use, and can charge up to 50 percent in 30 minutes with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 through the new USB-C port.
As usual, HTC bumped up the audio quality on the new device. A separate tweeter and woofer, on the top-front and bottom respectively, each have their own amp. A 24-bit digital audio converter ensures high-quality sound for both the speakers and headphones plugged into the 3.5mm jack.
There’s even a “hearing test” that helps users build a unique audio profile that will make the music and other audio they listen to sound better.
The camera also got improvements. A new 12MP sensor has improved low-light performance thanks to the bigger “Ultra Pixels.” It can also shoot 4K video with 24-bit 96KHz audio and has a laser-assisted autofocus system to snap shots faster. On the front is a 5MP sensor. Both feature an f/1.8 lens for stellar depth of field, along with optical image stabilization for less blur.
HTC also cut back on its Sense layer on top of the stock Android software. Google Photos and Play Music now serve as the phone’s stock photo gallery and music app. The HTC 10 ships with HTC Zoe and Blinkfeed for photo curation and news, but the core Android experience is extremely accessible.
On the exterior, HTC stuck with an aluminum unibody design. But the addition of hefty chamfered edges on the back, along with textured buttons, give it a grippiness that is missing from some companies’ flagship devices.
The HTC 10 is available for preorder now in black or silver for $699 with delivery sometime in May.