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Hands-on with the HTC 10: A focused, gimmick-free premium phone

Jason Cross | April 13, 2016
HTC's reinvented high-end phone doesn't break new ground, but gets the fundamentals right.

Getting the fundamentals right

The HTC 10 strikes me as a carefully-considered fresh start for HTC. The disappointing sales and critical reception of the One M9 last year seems to have caused some real introspection, and this year HTC is back with a flagship phone that is, in a word, restrained.

HTC avoided the temptation to chase gimmicks and unasked-for “enhancements” with the 10. For example, despite the company's partnership with UnderArmor, you don’t find the UA fitness apps pre-installed. There’s no HTC store—the company's apps are simply in the Google Play store. The HTC 10 strives to get the basics right: high performance, long battery life, great industrial design, and a top-notch camera. 

Some customers might find this disappointing. Where’s the always-on display? Where’s the VR headset? Why not include an IR blaster and remote control software?

I find it refreshing. The HTC 10 seems to say that more is not always better, and that it’s okay, even desirable, to focus on polishing the things people care about most. We’ll have a full review in the coming days.


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