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HTC 10 review roundup: a return to glory for the Taiwanese company?

HTC’s latest high-end smartphone has people pleasantly surprised, as the company played it safe to produce what seems like a great device.

This contrasts with LG and Huawei’s radical approach to mobile devices this year – but is the HTC 10 playing it too safe?

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Ticking all the boxes?

Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica said that the Taiwanese firm had built a no-nonsense phone that can rival the best of them.

“The HTC 10 is a refreshing phone that manages to be great without any nonsense or gimmicks. Compared to the Galaxy S7, you’re getting a better body, better software, louder speakers, more capable expandable storage, USB Type C, and (most of the time) a better camera. Force me to buy a phone that isn’t a Nexus device and I know what I’m picking up,” Amadeo said.

As for downsides, the reviewer noted that there wasn’t any always-on support for voice commands and that the camera would occasionally produce gray photos.

Lynne La of CNET was less impressed with the HTC 10, recommending it only if you want great audio from your smartphone.

“For the same price you can get the Galaxy S7, which is also beautifully designed and water resistant. There’s also the G5, which beats the 10 in battery life (plus you can replace the battery with its unique modular design if need be),” La explained, adding that the cheaper Nexus 6P was also a viable option thanks to its timely updates.

Chris Velazco praised the device in his review on Engadget, saying it was the phone that HTC should’ve made a long time ago.

“The HTC 10 is an incredibly well-built device, with top-tier horsepower and – crucially – software that doesn’t drive me up a wall. The company has also upped its camera game considerably, though the results still fall short of some competitors. Sure, I wish the battery life were a little better, but it’s not a deal-breaker. These shortcomings are enough to keep me from calling it the best all-around Android phone out there, but man, it’s close. ”

Velazco added that the phone’s Android theme and top-notch audio credentials could make it a good alternative to the Galaxy S7.

Did HTC get the price wrong?

In his review for the Wall Street Journal, Nathan Olivarez-Giles said that the new phone was perhaps the best handset HTC ever built, pointing to its specifications, the “great” camera and lightweight Android skin.

However, Olivarez-Giles took major issue with the 10’s US$700 price-point, saying that Apple and Samsung offered more for the price.

“Overall, the HTC 10 package is certainly a step ahead for HTC, but at the price you’re better off saving money with a cheaper Android phone, or spending your US$700 more wisely somewhere else.”

Dan Seifert of The Verge felt that the HTC 10 was fast, possesses a great camera, a good battery life and decent software.

“But the problem for HTC is that there are a lot of phones available now that are fast, have great cameras, reliable battery life, and nice software. It’s not enough to just do these basic things well to stand out in this exceptionally competitive field. Other phones offer accessories that extend the phone’s capabilities (Samsung), or sell for hundreds of dollars less (Nexus 6P), while still hitting the basic marks of good performance, good battery life, and a good camera.”

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