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BW Businessworld

Solid All Round

The HTC 10 is an all-metal chunk of a phone that performs just fine. But there are no delightful surprises here

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma, Model: Pawan Dhawan

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There was a time when an HTC flagship phone was desirable in its sheer beauty. There weren't that many all-metal phones around: Apple was Apple and not what an Android fan wanted and Samsung was still overworking the plastic factory.

Today, while an HTC phone at the top of the food chain may look well enough, it isn't enough to stand out from a crowd of affordable metal phones. And nor does the company seem to have the wherewithal at the moment to market it to a position where it can even worry its rivals.

All the same, I had expectations of the HTC 10 and when the smartphone was finally in my hands, I found myself thinking... Meh.

The HTC 10 is a well-built phone, inarguably metal, very solid, and with differently chamfered edges that give it a distinctive look — from the back. But oh if chamfered edges could only help HTC get past its five consecutive quarters of severe losses and get back to its former glory...

For fans of HTC phones however, the HTC 10 is quite simply the next step and it's a sound one. For everyone else, including me, there is a twinge of disappointment even before the device is turned on. It's a fine device, just not surprising, delighting, or aspirational.

It's smooth and slippery as silk — but that's to be expected with a nicely metalised phone. It's got some weight to it and while it isn't unpleasant, I'm not sure what's causing it. The battery in there is a 3,000mAh. I've seen bigger in a lighter body. The HTC 10 is not the standard 5.5-inch but a 5.2-inch device. It's not bad to hold though I find the hard edges a bit aggressive against my hand. I liked the display immediately. It just has that pleasing-to-the-eye quality. As to the sound from its speakers, I expected a little better. It's loud but not necessarily deep and resonant. My old HTC One can outshout any phone from the many around me at home.

If there's one thing that's nice on the HTC 10's camera, it's the low light-friendliness. That's something HTC has always tried to work on and if you're a casual indoor photo snapper, it's good. It's not the most sharp detailed shooter, but everyone doesn't want that. Sometimes just taking a photo of friends and family indoors without everything being murky and dark is just worth it. But it isn't great enough a camera overall to tip one in favour of buying this particular phone.
The phone performs well, but rarely do new phones do otherwise. The HTC Sense interface is light and has nothing to really be disliked. It isn't a love-it-or-hate-it experience. It's just fine. So is just about everything else, from the battery life to the usability to the camera. But I just yearn for so much more from HTC, which once stuck it to the other big guys and which started out Android in the first place.

All said and done, I wouldn't dissuade an HTC fan from buying the HTC 10. Everything is rock solid enough. But for Rs 47,000 to Rs 52,000 (prices on Amazon and Flipkart) why wouldn't you buy one of the other flagships?

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Tags assigned to this article:
magazine 05 september 2016 HTC 10 smartphone apple