(Pocket-lint) - HTC has revealed its new flagship smartphone, known simply as HTC 10. Launched via a virtual event, the new handset takes a fresh look at what HTC has done in the past and feels like a real step forward for the company.
The HTC 10 comes at a time that's important for HTC. With the company struggling financially, it needs a hit smartphone. The 2015 HTC One M9 wasn't well received and struggled to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S6, but the story with the HTC 10 is different: this is a phone equipped for the fight.
HTC has considered the design and specification, it has targeted weaknesses and focused on refining the user experience throughout the handset.
This is the HTC 10 and this is everything you need to know about it.
HTC 10 name explained
HTC has opted for a simpler name for its new handset. Although this follows along the line of HTC One handsets, the name HTC One isn't being used: this isn't the HTC One M10.
The "M" designation was originally an internal reference that was never supposed to be public. The handsets were supposed to be known as the HTC One and updated each year under the same name.
However, in the run up to the launch of the 2013 HTC One M7, then CEO Peter Chou was recorded at a company party chanting "M7, M7, M7" in front of cheering crowds. The phone was then launched as the HTC One, but everyone was already calling it M7. The One M8 launched with the M8 in brackets - as HTC One (M8) - and for the M9 HTC just called it the HTC One M9. But it was never meant to happen.
So this is just the HTC 10 There's been 10 years of HTC smartphones and this is the tenth in the family. Importantly, this change of designation throws off the ghosts of the One and M branding from previous years. A new start, a new name.
There's also that analogy of "perfect 10" and "power of 10", tying the phone into other numerical reference points.
HTC 10 design and dimensions
The HTC 10 has a familiar design. It's very HTC, but it's fresh, unlike the One M9 before it. Rather than concentrating on little details, there's a big bold chamfer on the rear and a smaller chamfer to the front. The BoomSound speakers are gone, making way for a front that is one sheet of glass.
The finish is metal, anodised and beadbasted to a luscious finish. It will be available in carbon grey, glacier silver and topaz gold.
The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9mm, and the thickness ranges from 3-9mm, due to that chamfer and that curve. The HTC 10 weighs 161g, making it one of the heavier handsets out there.
There's fingerprint scanner on the front of the handset, flanked with capacitive back and recent apps buttons. The fingerprint sensor acts as a home button, but it's not a physical button like you'll find on the Samsung Galaxy S7.
HTC 10 display
The HTC 10 features a 5.2-inch Super LCD 5 display. This display has a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, 564ppi. This represents a step-up for HTC as the previous flagship featured a 5-inch Full HD display and now we're in the realms of Quad HD to compete with the likes of Samsung and LG.
That display is covered with Gorilla Glass for protection, with 2.5D curves at the edges.
HTC 10 specs and hardware
The HTC 10 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, offering 64-bit quad-core power. That's the same as the LG G5 and some models of the Samsung Galaxy S7. It's a hugely powerful chipset and here it's supported by 4GB or RAM.
There's 32GB of storage (although some regions will have a 64GB option) and you get a microSD card slot that supports Android Marshmallow's adoptable storage feature. This feature means you can integrate an external storage card so that the phone uses it like internal storage, seamlessly. You can read all about adoptable storage right here.
The HTC 10 has USB Type-C on the bottom.
HTC 10 battery
The HTC 10 has a 3000mAh battery and HTC is claiming that you'll get 2 days of life from it. That's down to deep optimisation across the device, to make the HTC 10 as efficient as it can be.
But this handset is also Quick Charge 3.0 compliant and you get a smart Quick Charge 3.0 charger in the box. This will give you a day of use/50 per cent from 30 minutes of charging.
You'll also find that charging doesn't heat the handset up as much as it might in other devices, as the charging controller has been moved the the charger itself. Of course, you'll have to use HTC's charger to get the best results.
HTC 10 BoomSound Hi-Fi
BoomSound has evolved in the HTC 10, with a new version called HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi. Naturally, those front-facing speakers are gone, but instead HTC has worked to optimise a range of audio features on this handset.
Firstly, the two speakers - one on the front for the ear and one on the base - each have their own amplifier, with the top speaker acting as a tweeter for the higher range and the base speaker acting as a woofer for the lows. HTC promises that this performs better than the One M9, offering clarity and volume.
Secondly, the HTC 10 is Hi-Res certified offering a 24-bit end-to-end solution, with 24-bit capture offered, as well as upscaling of lower-res music with a 24-bit DAC. The headphone amp is more powerful than typically found on a phone giving you more power to drive higher-end headphones.
In addition, HTC is bundling Hi-Res certified in-ear headphones in the box, so you'll get the benefit from the off. Sounds good?
HTC 10 cameras
The HTC 10 is relatively conventional in HTC camera terms. There's a 12-megapixel camera on the rear with optical image stabilisation. HTC is calling is an UltraPixel camera, but remember that's just a marketing term (like Apple iSight or Retina display), but it does have large pixels at 1.55µm, larger than most rivals.
It also has a f/1.8 aperture so the aim is to give you great low-light shots. There's laser autofocus and a dual tone flash.
The camera comes with an entirely new app, designed to be fast to launch, focus and capture, but still offering a range of shooting features, like full manual controls and raw capture.
But the camera love doesn't stop there, with the front camera offering a 5-megapixel sensor, also with optical image stabilisation, f/1.8 aperture and 1.34µm pixels. This can also use the screen as a selfie flash.
HTC 10 software
Perhaps surprisingly, the HTC 10 doesn't come with Sense 8. Instead, HTC is dropping the version numbering of Sense, pushing the message that this is Android and HTC Sense.
The HTC 10 launches with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but the Sense skin is much lighter than it has been before. It follows the path set out by the HTC One A9, removing apps and bloat for a result that's much closer to stock Android. In that sense, HTC doesn't change things it doesn't need to and where Google's apps are great, HTC uses those instead.
The big removal in the HTC 10 is the HTC Gallery, now using the Photos app instead. The standard Google Photos app will support HTC's raw capture, which was one of the reasons that HTC had hung on to Gallery in the past.
But the big message here is that HTC is looking to optimise the HTC 10. The company is working with Google closely to make sure its as slick, fast and efficient as it can be.
There's still a lot of HTC in this handset, so you get lots of customisation options, including a freeform option where you can really do whatever you like on your launcher. To help with optimisation there's a new Boost+ app that offers to remove unnecessary files, detect unusual behaviour and boost your battery life.
HTC 10 release date and price
The HTC 10 will cost £569 SIM in the UK, direct from HTC.com. That's for 32GB storage, with options for carbon grey, silver or gold. Pre-orders are already open. Click here for more information.
Carphone Warehouse has confirmed that it will be stocking the HTC 10 on a number of networks, but it will be offering contract exclusivity on the gold handset (although you can get it SIM free in gold too, direct from HTC). Pre-orders at Carphone Warehouse open on 13 April, and you can get the HTC 10 from £40 with no upfront cost. Click here for more information.
EE has confirmed that it will be offering the HTC 10, saying that it's available in carbon grey. There's no other details, except that it will support Wi-Fi calling.
Three has confirmed it will be offering the HTC 10, but has not announced any further details.