The HTC 10 was HTC's best smartphone in years when it hit the shelves last year. Building on a legacy of premium flagship smartphones like the HTC One M8 and M9, it offers premium build quality and mostly high-end features and components, giving it the firepower it needed to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the iPhone 6S.
We scored this phone a near-perfect 4.5 out of 5 which is as clear a recommendation as you can get. The only real drawback at first was the price, which may have put a lot of people off on launch. But now it's a generation older, it's looking like a very competitively priced Android handset. Use our comparison chart below to grab the best price – no need to wait for Black Friday.
TechRadar's HTC 10 review highlights
HTC has proven time and again that it knows how to make a great smartphone, and with the HTC 10 it's got a device that has all the right bits underneath another thoughtful design – with a couple of genuine high points inside too.
But is this phone going to be enough for the brand? Is a handset that has the latest chipset, 32GB of onboard memory with expandable storage, powerful audio and camera abilities enough to keep being a thorn in the side of Samsung and Apple… and maybe start creeping up on them in the future?
We'll always be fans of the way that HTC puts its phones together, because it simply doesn't seem to compromise on build quality or effort. Despite not being totally in love with the heft of the device, or the massive chamfered edges, there's no doubt it looks unique and that's a very important thing to have in today's phones.
The camera has been upgraded too, and while you'll really need to work at the photos to get something brilliant, the opportunity is there. Combine that with expandable memory that can be turned into internal storage through Android's Adoptable Storage feature and you've got something excellent to play with.
The real win here comes from the audio though – the HTC 10 can play nearly any file and play it incredibly well. The Hi-Res audio compatibility is welcomed, if a little redundant still, the upscaling seems to offer genuine improvement to even the dullest Spotify track and the bundled headphones feel rather high-quality indeed (in some markets – sadly not all in the US and Canada get them).
The battery life on the HTC 10 is definitely improved and it'll last the day nicely for most scenarios, but if the screen is on it can fall a little too fast to feel 'safe' before you head out to the bars in the evening.
There's not actually a lot to dislike on the HTC 10 – the keyboard, for instance, isn't the best any more, but that can be upgraded easily by downloading one of the many great free options on Google Play.
We're not in love with the shape of the phone, as I've mentioned, and many others we've spoke to have felt the same way. However, we've met people that love the edges and the unique look, so it's hard to criticise that too much.
It's a similar story with the camera: HTC has let itself down here by not making it instantly as good at snapping as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, but it's still a capable photo machine that should get better with time – and you can still take some utterly amazing pictures with it.
The loss of the iconic dual BoomSound speakers from previous models is hard for me, and while I appreciate what HTC is trying to do by splitting them up, for me the sound quality isn't good enough.
The HTC 10 is a phone that promised so much but only partly delivers. As you can see above, we can't really criticise it too much as it's hit the marks that a top smartphone should: loads of power, upgraded battery, improved camera and changed design.
And that's happened, so it's a big tick from me on that front. But there's nothing here that really impresses, that you'd show off to your friends down the pub. With the One, it was a simple case of shoving the phone in their hands and watching them look at it in quiet awe (and hoping they'd give it back).
The One M8 had the same impressive ability to be fondled, but it combined it with better sound output and innovative pictures – it was one of the best phones ever made.
The HTC 10 doesn't do anything wrong, and if you bought it you'd want for very little throughout your time with it, as it's very capable indeed and has all the excellent design DNA slathered through from HTC.
But it's not got any innovation packed inside, beyond the great audio performance – and it's hard to get your friends to come into a quiet room and show them the improved sound when someone's just bought a round of drinks.
The 10 is a phone that's technically very able but doesn't offer a massive wow factor – and for the high-end price it commands, it really should.
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