HTC’s competitors such as Samsung and LG released their flagship phones at the end of February this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, so the thought was out there that HTC may have missed the boat on getting their 2016 flagship phone out to the masses and get ahead of the competition.

HTC knew that they needed something fresh and new, something that would differentiate itself from last years One M9 which looked nearly identical to the previous years One M8.  So have they succeeded?  It looks like they may have created their best phone yet with their new flagship, the HTC 10.

The HTC 10 keeps the aluminium body found on previous flagship phones, but this time it has some stand out chamfered edges.  Gone are the traditional front facing BoomSound speakers.  Instead, there is a single front facing tweeter on the front and a bottom BoomSound woofer speaker near the charging port.  HTC have always impressed with their sound and by all accounts, the HTC 10 doesn’t fail to impress and still delivers great sound.  Stick a pair of HD headphones in and you can take advantage of the 24-bit HD audio and built in DAC.

The last two flagship phones from HTC used 1080p full HD displays but that changes this year with a 5.1 inch Quad HD screen (2560×1440 screen res) running at 564ppi.  Inside, the HTC 10 uses a Snapdragon 820 processor along with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage which is also expandable up to 2TB via the MicroSD card slot.

The cameras on the HTC 10 have also had a lot of work and they’ve gone all out this time to add cameras that compete with their rivals. This time they have added a 12MP Ultrapixel sensor with larger 1.55 micron pixels, a F1.8 lens with laser autofocus.  Not only that, the back camera and the 5MP front camera also comes with OIS which is a first.  4K video recording is also possible on the back camera with 1080p video available on the front camera.

New for this year is the fingerprint sensor on the front which HTC say can open your phone in 0.2 seconds and the phone will be ready for Android Pay with secure fingerprint payment authorisation when it is launched in the UK in the next month or so.

On the software front, the HTC 10 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with it’s own Sense interface.  HTC have made an effort to reduce the bloat-ware by not having duplicate apps so gone is the HTC Internet Browser and Gallery app and stock apps like Google Chrome and Google Photo takes their place.  You’ll also notice that the notification bar and quick settings have been left in stock Android format which looks a lot cleaner.

Battery life is also improved with up to 2 days of battery life and also has Quick Charge 3.0 technology for rapid charging over it’s new USB Type-C charging port.

HTC could well have nailed it with this year’s flagship.  A fresh design, powerful specs and less bloat-ware are all big ticks in the boxes.  All that remains now is to see how it performs in the real world so we look forward to seeing it when it is released.  It is up for pre-order now with delivery early May in the UK.

Links: HTC UK – HTC 10, Pictures from HTC.