HTC has today launched the HTC 10 Evo, a phone that can initially cause a bit of confusion. It’s not flagship, but it has a wealth of new HTC 10 beating features.
In fact, the only thing that makes it lesser of a phone to the official flagship is the use of 2015’s flagship chipset instead of this year’s. That means Snapdragon 810 instead of 820.
Otherwise, it’s hard to see how this phone can be considered the lesser of the two.
First up, the camera. The HTC 10 won a class-leading DxOMark score of 88. It was beaten only by the HTC-built Google Pixel phones.
Now the camera has jumped up from 12 to 16-megapixels, so that in itself makes me wonder about the market positioning.
The screen has also jumped in size from 5.2-inches to 5.5-inches, while the metal unibody design with bold chamfered edges (HTC are masters at this, having been playing with metal for longer than anyone else) has now gained an IP rating (57) that will let it survive accidental falls in the toilet.
HTC won’t market the phone as fully waterproof, but it is still rated as being good for sitting in a metre of water for up to 30 minutes.
Being larger than the HTC 10, the back of the phone is also slightly flatter to better fit your hand, and those curved edges (down to just 3.7mm) give it a very slim profile that makes it appear thinner than it actually is.
HTC is riding high on imaging right now, thanks to the HTC 10 and the Google Pixel phones. It clearly hopes to stay top, and the new 16-megapixel f/2.0 camera comes with optical image stabilisation, Phase Detection Autofocus (but no laser autofocus) and a very fast 0.6 second quick launch. There’s also a dual-tone LED.
What isn’t clear yet is the exact specification of the image sensor compared to the HTC 10.
Various modes include auto HDR and pro modes, as well as support for Microsoft Hyperlapse and RAW image saving.
Selfie fans also get the biggest wide-angle mode, without the need for a selfie stick, by stitching together three images in the selfie panoramic mode. Just remember to stay still.
Showing similar courage to Apple, HTC has also ditched the headphone socket. But this time it’s for what is almost certainly going to become the official standard – USB-C. One advantage of using this over an old-school 3.5mm jack is that it allows for added functionality, which HTC has included with an app that can determine audio profiles that are personal for your own ears.
A simple calibration process, involving sending a small burst of white noise into your ear, is all it takes to create the perfect audio levels for you, and at any time you can make adjustments to suit the surrounding conditions.
The world’s first adaptive earphones come bundled in the box (a 3.5mm adapter isn’t included, mind), so are anything but cheap items you’ll quickly want to bin and replace. The hi-res earphones have a 70% larger speaker, wider frequency response, a wider sound range (10-40KHz) and use aerospace grade polymer diaphragms.
That’s all on top of quality audio features inside the phone itself, like a 24-bit hi-res DSP that can upscale 16-bit audio to 24-bit, a 24-bit Hi-Fi DAC and, according to HTC, a best-in-class headphone amp.
Despite the problems with Snapdragon 810 on just about every phone that used it last year and this, HTC insists it has tamed the beast and got all of the heat issues under control, so it won’t get throttled to death in day-to-day usage. That’ll be something to test out later, for sure.
The 3,200mAh battery is also up in capacity from the HTC 10, but makes do with only QuickCharge 2. A range of power saving options are included to get you almost two-days of usage, which is another thing that needs to be fully tested.
Price & Availability
HTC couldn’t reveal the price at our pre-briefing event, but that wasn’t out of secrecy. It was because the price really hasn’t been finalised, although a price of between £450-500 was hinted at, for SIM-free purchases.
No details about network availability was given either, but we were told about VoLTE and VoWiFi support in the phone, so that could well mean either EE or Three will be involved somewhere. I am sure that more details of availability and price will be released very soon.
- 5.5-inch Quad-HD display
- Snapdragon 810 with Cat 6 4G (300/50Mbps), VoLTE & VoWiFi [Note: originally we were told Cat 9 LTE for 450/50Mbps]
- Android Nougat
- 32GB onboard storage + microSDXC slot
- 3GB RAM
- 3,200mAh battery with QuickCharge 2.0
- 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS + 8-megapixel front camera
- IP57 Rated
- USB-C with adaptive earphones bundled in box
- No 3.5mm headphone jack (adapter sold separately)
- PowerBiotics power management
- Fingerprint security with 0.2 second unlock
- Available in three colours (grey, silver and gold)
- SIM free price £TBC, expected to be £450-500
More info: HTC