HTC launched its latest premium smartphone, the 10, in India for a price of Rs 52,990. The phone gives a break to the 'One' and 'M' nomenclature, for the company says the new flagship brings a design refresh, with top-of-the-line specs and much lighter and faster software interface.
The HTC 10 is important for the company as a premium league smartphone. The company touts it as a smartphone that is meant for those who want pure premium experience, and is confident that the 10 is at par its competitors in every sense.
Faisal Siddiqui, country Head, HTC India, said that "the premium segment in which the HTC 10 has been placed is very small in size, contributing to just about 4% of overall smartphone market.
Our expectations are, given the design of the phone and the kind of innovation that we have put in, to see good traction for the phone." The HTC 10 is not a mass market product. It will be liked by those who value design and innovation.
While the company seems pretty confident about the HTC 10, we took a close look at the phone to understand whether it is good enough to meet the company's claims and consumers' demand. Here we give you our first impressions of the phone:
The HTC 10 is one of the best looking Android smartphones till date. The metal-clad smartphone has a unibody, chiseled design with an edge to edge running display, angular edges. It looks as well as feels premium and solid on hand.
In fact, the company showed a drop test in which HTC 10 survived over 30 falls against hard rock slab. Though, we don't go by claims, we did find the phone strong, however would like to reserve our final take for the detailed review.
Other key elements of its design include the BoomSound audio speakers on the top and the bottom edge, to give users a great audio performance. There is a fingerprint scanner integrated in the home key, placed in between back and menu capacitive keys. On the right side, there is a volume rocker and a power key. The rear panel has a brushed aluminum finish and adorns a camera with flash, and HTC's branding.
A crisp and immersive QHD display:
HTC 10 adorns a beautiful 5.2-inch Super LCD 5 display of QHD quality giving you 2560x1440pixels resolution. The display is crisp, reproduces colours well, immersive, and has great viewing angles. It is topped with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, which is an advantage.
The touch interface on the phone is smooth and highly responsive. All we can say for now is that the HTC 10 display was a visual treat for us during our brief hands-on session, and we look forward to test it extensively, under sunlight and other conditions.
The HTC 10 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 chipset which is its most powerful chipset till date. The SoC combined with an Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB of RAM, and expandable storage to up to 2TB seem impressive.
The 10 has an improved camera with HTC's 12-Ultrapixel sensor, which uses larger pixels than the standard camera. It comes with f/1.8 for better low-light photography, has optical image stabilization, dual can record video in slow motion, and there is more to it.
In the brief hands-on session, we found it smooth to operate and good for photography in ambient light, considering that the hall where we tested it was lit dimly. More can be said, once we review the phone.
Also, the company says that it has given equal important to the front facing camera, in order to offer good photography experience to selfie enthusiasts. The highlight of the 5MP front-facing snapper is that it comes with f/1.8, and OIS, which is rare to be seen on a front-facing camera.
Android Marshmallow with a light UI:
HTC has refreshed its Sense UI to give users a pure-Android like interface and experience. The 10 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow wrapped under HTC's Sense user interface, which is lighter and smoother than before.
The UI is deeply integrated with Google, and HTC has got rid of all the extra apps to keep the UI simple yet intuitive. For instance, the phone now has Google Photos as the only gallery, and Pay Music as its default music player. There are a lot of changes in the UI that looks flat.
As for the fingerprint scanner, it is good for enhanced security of your phone and data. The scanner worked smoothly, and is quick to response. You can use it as a home key, and on long pressing it, you can launch Google Now.
There is no denying that the HTC 10 is a stunner in terms of design, and seems quite impressive with high-end specifications and features. But, we feel that a price of Rs 52,990 can hamper its sales in India.
Considering that the competition is fierce and going to get worst with the LG G5's launch on June 1, HTC would be to face tough competition from its peers in this segment.