HTC 10 review: A good handset, but hard to recommend in 2018

£569.99
Price when reviewed

HTC 10: Performance

But performance is what keeps people upgrading every 24 months, and if the HTC 10 is hoping to compete with the Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6s, it needs to be speedy. On paper, the specifications of the HTC 10 are pretty much identical to the LG G5: both contain the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, and in both the processor is backed up by a beefy 4GB of RAM.

Let’s see how it compares against the same handsets on our standard benchmarking tests:

HTC 10Samsung Galaxy S7Apple iPhone 6sLG G5Google Nexus 6P
Geekbench 3 single-core2,0222,1152,5322,3251,207
Geekbench 3 multi-core5,0916,4374,4175,4224,301
GFXBench GL Manhattan onscreen28fps27fps55fps31fps16fps
GFXBench GL Manhattan offscreen48fps38fps40fps46fps23fps

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is still the phone that crushes most of the opposition – including the HTC 10 – in Geekbench’s multi-core test, but it offers weaker frames per second in the gaming benchmarks. Despite having ostensibly the same hardware, though, the HTC 10 is a fair bit behind the LG G5. The Nexus 6P fares considerably badly in all the tests, but then it does pass the wallet test by retailing for more than £100 cheaper.

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What you really need to know is that the HTC performs as slickly as you’d hope a top-of-the-range handset would. Swiping between screens is seamlessly quick, and everything performs very smoothly indeed. With the kind of specs included, you wouldn’t expect any current games to struggle either, and during my time with the handset it scythed through everything I threw at it.

HTC 10: Software

HTC’s Sense overlay was a great addition to Android back when the HTC Hero launched in 2009, but as Android has matured the need for user-friendly overlays has reduced considerably. The company has moved with the times in this regard and – icons aside – the only obvious sign you’re using something different is the presence of Blinkfeed, HTC’s news aggregator, which you can access with a quick swipe to the right from the homescreen.

Connect Blinkfeed with Facebook, Twitter and your other favourite news sources, and you’ll be presented with a tailored spread of news from your friends and trusted news sources. It remains a handy tool, although nothing rival handset owners should feel particularly jealous of, given the quality of alternative offerings on Google Play.

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Curiously, rather than lumbering you with Android apps you might not want, the HTC 10 presents you with a strange halfway house – it suggests apps you might like, and then invites you to download them when you touch them. Case in point: Facebook. There was a Facebook icon on the desktop; I tapped it preparing to log in and was offered the chance to download it. The same is true with Instagram and Messenger, suggesting some kind of deal with the biggest social network in town.

Other than that, HTC has gone quite easy on Android, reflecting how solid the operating system has become with each improved version. There are a couple of HTC apps built in – HTC Club and a help system – but unlike on previous handsets these can be deleted at will. The other additions – Boost+, for example, which clears memory and theoretically improves gaming performance by clever power-management – are welcome, and there’s nothing I’d describe as bloatware. 

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HTC 10 specifications

ProcessorQuad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
RAM4GB
Screen size5.2in
Screen resolution2,560 x 1,440
Screen typeSuper LCD 5
Front camera5 megapixels
Rear camera12 megapixels
FlashLED
GPSYes
CompassYes
Storage (free)32GB (23.9GB)
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11ac
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2
NFCYes
Wireless data4G
Size146 x 9 x 72mm
Weight161g
Operating systemAndroid 6.0.1
Battery size3,000mAh

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