The HTC 10 May Not Be The Answer to The Company’s Smartphone Woes

htc10

The HTC 10 (No M, A or anything else) has been announced and it will be the flagship device released by HTC this year. On first impressions, the device looks to be exactly something HTC would come up with. It has an aluminum unibody design with small strips of plastic to allow for airwave signals to pass through.

Thus year’s design seems to be an amalgamation of last year’s M9 and A9. The only notable difference is the presence of a thick chamfered edge that has a shinier finish than the rest of the phone.  The front facing speakers have also been removed to make their way to the bottom of the phone. Overall, the phone looks quite nice but nothing that is unexpected for a flagship device in 2016.

HTC is touting a new display for the phone, Super LCD 5 that apparently displays 30% more color than the previous generation of displays. There is also a separate tweeter for the headphone jack that allows the phone to pump out high fidelity music to its audio jack.

This is a legitimately new feature and should help the HTC 10 distinguish itself from the other android smartphones making their way to the market this year. HTC also partnered with JBL to make noise canceling headphones that will be powered from the USB-C connector of the phone.

The camera modules have also been upgraded with the rear shooter getting optical image stabilization, a 12-megapixel resolution, f/1.8 lens and the ability to capture 4K video. Interestingly, though, HTC also added optical stabilization for its front 5-megapixel camera, a first according to the company, that should make for a very competent front shooter.

The chipset powering the phone is the Snapdragon 820, another standard for the flagship phones being released this year. Needless to say, the chip should be powerful enough to keep everything flowing smoothly.

There is some good news on the software front as well with HTC deciding to get out of the way fo stock android and releasing its most lightly skinned version yet. The company said that it had worked closely with Google to reduce the number of duplicate apps and had also redesigned the ones that made the cut to follow material design principles.

All of this sounds good on paper and the price is expected to be somewhere in the $700 range unlocked. The base model of the phone will come with 32GB of memory with the option to add a memory card for more storage.

The only problem for HTC is that it still may not be enough. The brand HTC no longer commands a premium like it once used to. To be honest, though, no one apart from Apple and Samsung demands that premium anymore.

The look of the phone is good but not really that much better from something else like say a Xiaomi and not even close to the Samsung S7 Edge. If consumers want a good all round phone that does everything well but nothing great then there are plenty of options at a much more competitive price point than HTC.

What is the one reason that will drive consumers back to HTC? It is a difficult question but one that HTC needs to answer sooner rather than later.

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