The $699 HTC 10 flagship is finally official and it's exactly what you were expecting

HTC took to the virtual stage today to unveil its long-awaited and much-leaked flagship phone: the HTC 10. The device is destined for the high-end of the market as it’s looking to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Apple’s iPhones.

Implying that the 10 is more than just the sum of its parts, or indeed just another high-end handset, HTC is focusing on the device’s new design and its high-quality materials. Of course, readers will know that we’ve already seen the HTC 10 previously, in the countless leaks that have preceded its unveiling.

As previously revealed, the new flagship will ship in four colors, dubbed: Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, Topaz Gold and Camellia Red.

On top of the attractive design and high-quality finish, the device also features some powerful specifications under the hood. These were also revealed to us beforehand by leaks and there’s nothing surprising here, except the return to UltraPixels.

This is HTC’s technology that uses bigger pixels on the camera sensor to collect more light and - in theory, at least - capture higher-quality images. Previous incarnations of the UltraPixel tech have been disappointing, but the Taiwanese manufacturer hopes that also boosting the megapixel count up to 12 will lead to better results.

The HTC 10 Specs:

  • 5.2-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) Super LCD5 screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (for US version)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32/64GB storage expandable to 2TB via MicroSD
  • Nano SIM
  • USB Type-C connector
  • NFC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • 12MP (HTC UltraPixel 2 , 1.55 μm pixels) rear camera, laser autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture, Pro mode, Auto-HDR, Zoe Capture, Hyperlapse, 12X Slow motion mode, 4K video recording with Hi-Res Audio
  • 5MP (1.34 μm pixels) front-facing camera, autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture with ultra wide angle lens, Live Makeup, Auto-HDR
  • HTC Boomsound, Dolby Audio, Hi-res Audio Certified for playback and recording
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 3000 mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 6 Marshmallow

Features

HTC made a big show of the fact that the 10 is more than just a collection of nice specs and decent materials. The company emphasized some of the device’s capabilities including a big focus on the audio chops of the handset. According to HTC, the 10 features “the world’s first stereo 24-bit Hi-Res audio recording, capturing 256 times more detail than standard recordings, across twice the frequency range”.

There’s also a strong focus on the camera, which as mentioned above, hosts a 12-UltraPixel sensor, laser-assisted focus, and supports RAW capture. The camera is supposed to launch in as little as 0.6 seconds to make sure you get that quick action shot.

The fingerprint scanner is also touted to be very speedy, analyzing a print in only 0.2 seconds, and supposedly getting even faster over time as it learns your fingerprint better and your usage patterns. Overall, the fingerprint scanner is 50% faster than the one found on the One M9.

There’s a big change coming on the device’s homescreen with the latest incarnation of Sense, offering what HTC calls a “Freestyle Layout”. This basically allows a user to set an app’s icon wherever he or she pleases and even link apps to design elements on screen, called stickers. This is an interesting change that gives users a bit more freedom to customize their device straight out of the box.

Finally, HTC claims the screen of the HTC 10 will blow you away, not only with its impressive resolution but also because it supports more colors, and better color reproduction, compared to its predecessor. It’s also deemed to be 50% more responsive to touch input, leaving users with a smoother experience.

All in all, the HTC 10 looks to be an impressive device offering some compelling selling points. But will that be enough to sway consumers, especially with such fierce competition? That’s not yet clear, so we’ll have to wait and see how it does once it goes on sale later this month. The phone will be available in the US in early May but you can pre-order an unlocked device straight from HTC which starts at $699.99, including "Uh-oh protection".

Availability for different carriers, models and locations as well as pricing will be made available as the devices become available in new markets.

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