The quick take
After a disappointing couple of release cycles, HTC's 2016 flagship is a confident return to form, and a reason for high-end buyers to start paying attention to the company once again. This impressive all-rounder gets a lot of important things right — performance, quality and, for the most part, the camera. And although it's trumped by the Galaxy S7 in some key metrics, the HTC 10 is arguably the closest competitor Samsung has right now.
Well-built aluminum unibody
Fast performance and clean, uncluttered UI
Impressive audio features
Capable all-round camera
Display not great in sunlight
Camera focusing can be finicky, particularly in macro
Battery life inconsistent, sometimes wildly so
Expensive SIM-free price
HTC 10 Full Review
It's easy to write off HTC
With its declining market share and shrinking revenue, it's been some time since it was a major force in the mobile world. Today, the Taiwanese firm is outspent by Samsung and Apple, and increasingly outmaneuvered by leaner upstarts. It's a small fish in a very big pond.
Nevertheless, HTC's strong history in design has left many of us with fond memories of the company's storied back catalog. Phones like the spectacularly ahead-of-its-time HTC One M7, the beautiful and unique One S, and even the landmark Nexus One stand out as some of the best handsets of their time.
However it's been a good couple of years since the last real trailblazer from HTC, and competing in the cut-throat phone market of 2016 demands more than just nostalgia. With diminished resources and brand value, HTC now needs a hit more than ever before.
HTC 10 is what's hoped that will fuel the recovery: A new, simpler brand backed up by a marketing message promising nothing less than perfection across the board. Sure, some of the key ingredients will be familiar to HTC alumni — BoomSound audio, metal construction and an "Ultrapixel" camera. But can a modern interpretation of these tentpole HTC features make a big enough splash — especially when it's got to go up against the almighty Galaxy S7?