In 2013, HTC revolutionized the smartphone market with the HTC One. Later dubbed the One M7, the device was followed up with the M8, which offered modest upgrades over the original M7, but took a few features off the the board that really impacted the performance of the device. The M9, or the 2015 successor to the M8 was supposed address each of these shortcomings and really stir things up in the industry one more time. Unfortunately, the M9 was met with a barrage of bad press and horrible user experiences. From blurry photos and bad camera compression to battery woes and overheating issues, the M9 was a perfect storm of one disaster after another. It went from savior device to industry joke in a matter of a few blog posts.
Fast forward to April 12, 2016 and the next generation of HTC’s flagship device, the 10, and once again, HTC is out in full force touting that everything that was wrong with the M9 has been fixed in their latest offering. The issue that we have a journalists, or even just a public place for you to read our opinions, is can we believe them or not? Time after time, they have told us that this is the great One, and time after time, we’ve been let down. What makes this time different?
Starting with the build, the 10 is back with an all aluminum body. Crafted a bit different, but more of the same that made the original so comfortable in the hand. So far, so good, but there’s a long way to go to get things back on track here. After steering us to UltraPixels in 2013, HTC did an about face from them in 2015 for the M9. For two years, they told us how amazing UP’s were and how we couldn’t live without them. Then they told us to ignore that and more was better. Now, we’re back on the UP bandwagon. We think this is definitely the right move. Sure, the UP cameras blow out a bit of the highlight in bright outdoor photos, but it’s always better to blow out a bit than lose all the details in the dark. Great move HTC. This UltraPixel model comes in at a whopping 12UP, or enough to zoom 200% over the original M7’s images. Still not a 41MP zoom, but it’s an amazing start.
Moving on to the audio portion of our program, HTC has worked hard embedding 24-bit Hi-Res audio into the device. The experience should be magnificent, though we will hold off until we get a few FLAC tracks going on one. The performance of the 10 is also a center stage item. Each component of the 10 has been fine tuned to make the experience perfect. On top of this, HTC’s performance tuning has translated into a battery that can last for days instead of hours. Again, we will want to get one in our hot little hands for more testing before we substantiate these claims, but it sure looks good on paper.
Of course, had we not heard this all before, multiple times from HTC, it would be much easier to take all of this in and throw a serious party. Unfortunately, the “customization” was something left over from the M9 days. So is the 24-bit Audio support, the “best BoomSound ever” and best design ever. When the two previous best ever’s have left us wanting, what makes HTC so sure that we will part with the $699 for one of these when we can grab 2 of the Samsung S7’s for the same price from our local carrier?
We will have to wait and see what carrier support ends up happening, but for now, we will leave you with this: if the claims that HTC is making this time are true, this could be the best smartphone they have put out in 4 years. They don’t have the marketing dollars to compete with Samsung, but for now, the HTC 10 looks like a true winner on paper. You can check out the link below for more information.