Between all the innumerable OEMs trying to hog the attention of us consumers, there’s one that stands out the most in terms of design innovations is HTC. The impressive streak of the Taiwan-based company for bringing something fresh and new to the table began with the launch of the HTC One M7. One could say that HTC was at its peak during the release of the all-metal flagship but that was three generations ago. With its latest flagship offering, HTC has decided to drop the ‘One’ title and instead, the Taiwanese OEM is aiming for the perfect 10 with its newest flagship and its variant – the HTC 10 (first impressions) and the HTC 10 Lifestyle respectively. Can HTC keep the streak going with its latest flagship? Let’s find out in this comparison of the HTC 10 and its variant to their elder sibling, the HTC One M9 Plus (review).
Design and Display
HTC has never left any boxes unchecked when it comes to the design language of its products and especially when it comes to the flagships, and fortunately, such is the case with the HTC 10 and the HTC 10 Lifestyle. The HTC 10 and the HTC 10 Lifestyle flaunt the HTC trademark aesthetics that have been revamped to fit with today’s standards with premium all-metal builds and chamfered edges running around at the back. At first sight, the design seems to be a step up from the comparatively simpler brushed aluminum that the HTC One M9 Plus was forged out of.
The HTC 10 and the HTC 10 Lifestyle sport a newer rendition of the critically-acclaimed Boomsound speakers so as to incorporate a biometric scanner which sits at the chin of the flagship. The Boomsound speakers on the HTC 10 differ from those found on the HTC One M9 Plus as now, instead of being two wide grills, the speakers here are basically two woofers knitted together, with one sitting right beside the front camera lens and the other beside the charging port. HTC claims that the new setup won’t take anything away from the user experience and will provide consumers with the familiarly immersive sound quality as with any other HTC smartphone.
Coming to the display, HTC is making use of the Super LCD5 technology only offering high-density 2k resolution. However, instead of the phablet-sized One M9 Plus, the HTC 10 and 10 Lifestyle will come equipped with more handier 5.2-inch screen size.
HTC has been lagging behind when it comes to the camera quality but with the HTC 10 and the Lifestyle variant, it seems that we are in for a change. The latest from HTC houses a 12-Ultrapixel f/1.8 rear facing camera lens along with a laser autofocus component along with a 5-Ultrapixel f/1.8 front-facing shooter. Owing to the OIS technology integrated with both the rear and front shooters, we can expect a decent performance out of those lenses in standard as well as in low-light conditions, something that the HTC One M9 Plus was unable to do with the 20MP + 2.1MP f/2.2 rear facing dual camera setup.
After accounting for its expertise in the design field, the next thing that the OEM is known for is its heavy yet gorgeously fluid Sense UI. Both, the HTC 10 and the HTC 10 Lifestyle run Sense 8.0 UI on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow while the HTC One M9 Plus is running Sense 7.0 UI with a probable update to Sense 8.0 planned in the future.
Talking about fluidity, not all the credit can go to the optimisations made by HTC, it’s also about the brains behind it. The HTC 10 houses the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core SoC while its predecessor rocks the MediaTek MT6795T Helio X10 chipset. The HTC 10 should be a performance powerhouse, and even the Lifestyle variant should prove to be far superior to its predecessor when it comes to raw processing power, all thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 SoC sitting at the core. Hence, one can expect notable performance improvements with the HTC 10 and the HTC 10 Lifestyle compared to the previous iteration.
The HTC 10 justifies itself as an upgrade to the HTC One M9 through an updated 4GB of RAM and a higher capacity 3,000mAh battery compared to 3GB RAM and 2,840mAh battery pack as seen in its predecessor. Although, when comparing the HTC 10 Lifestyle to the HTC One M9 Plus, it isn’t much of an improvement when it comes to the RAM department with its 3GB of RAM coupled with an upgraded 3,000mAh battery. Talking about the onboard storage, the HTC 10, its Lifestyle variant and the HTC One M9 Plus come with 32GB storage. All three devices support microSD card expansion.
Pricing, availability and other features
Before the launch of the HTC 10 and its Lifestyle variant, HTC took a clever move that is worth noting. The Taiwan-based OEM partnered with Google to remove all the extra bloatware and applications that weren’t necessary which meant that the device comes preloaded with only the stock Android applications and not with the extra baggage of apps which couldn’t even be uninstalled.
Both the HTC 10 and the HTC 10 Lifestyle come equipped with the next generation USB Type-C port coupled with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging capabilities while the HTC One M9 features a standard micro-USB v2.0 along with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0.
Talking about the availability and pricing, the HTC One M9 can be easily picked up through online shopping websites and retail stores for Rs 44,990.
As for the HTC 10, it will soon be up for grabs via online shopping websites and retail stores for a price tag of Rs 52,990 while the Lifestyle variant of the flagship is expected to be priced around Rs 40,000, though its official pricing is yet to be revealed.
Last year’s HTC One M9 Plus fell a little short overall, but HTC’s latest flagship, the 10, and even its srtipped-down Lifestyle promise to live up expectations. The HTC 10 proves itself to be something distinctively different yet nostalgically familiar with all the added luxuries and enhancements with the familiar user experience and design language making it worthy of the premium price tag that it sports.