It’s only been a few days since HTC officially unveiled their newest flagship, the 10, and already it’s proving one thing above all else: HTC still knows how to make an awesome smartphone. I doubt anyone really believed that HTC “forgot” how to do that, even if the last couple of years could be an indicator of that. I think a lot of people have just been waiting for HTC to right the ship, and get back on track.
The HTC 10 looks to be the manufacturer’s return to greatness. A well-made device, which promotes a high-profile build and plenty of power beneath the hood, and even changes to the software that promote an almost stock-like Android experience. The camera is the best camera in an HTC-branded smartphone to date, and they even included optical image stabilization in the front-facing camera.
HTC did all the right things here. They made an amazing smartphone. And yet, that might not be enough.
It’s almost strange to type this, but in a world of smartphones with gimmicks, all of which have varying levels of success, the 10 is “just a smartphone.” It doesn’t have a pressure-sensitive display, or a curved screen, or a modular design. It doesn’t even boast a dual-camera system anymore — something that HTC helped pioneer several years ago. In a world where smartphones have become so much more than just another phone, HTC seems to have gone back to the basis to create their best smartphone in years.
So one has to ask: Did HTC need to have a gimmick to make a successful device? We’ve already established that the 10 is a very good handset. It has a strong design, if not at least a little familiar. It has a camera that, while perhaps still struggling against the main competition, is probably good enough for most folks. And the battery, while not huge, might get a user through the day without having to worry about it. But is that enough?
The iPhone 6s has a few gimmicks, but namely the one that stands out is 3D Touch, thanks to the pressure-sensitive display. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge boasts a curved screen that offers a few software additions that try to add to the phone’s functionality. And then the LG G5 boasts a modular design that lets owners swap out “Friends” (LG approved accessories). Even Motorola has its Moto Maker gimmick, which lets potential buyers customize their device quite a bit.
HTC seems to have gone back to the basics, and only time will tell if that will resonate with smartphone buyers. The question is, does it with you? Are you planning on picking up the HTC 10 when you can? Or is there another smartphone that has caught your attention instead?