The HTC 10 needs to get a lot right. Rival Huawei is enjoying stronger revenue growth, and recently unveiled the P9 smartphone. Could now be the time to snatch the crown and inflict further pain on HTC?
We've pitted the phones together on paper to see which is more worthy of your consideration. We've already presented our initial thoughts on the HTC 10, but keep your eyes peeled for our definitive review coming soon.
Dimensions and design
HTC 10: 146x72x9mm, 161g
Huawei P9: 145x70.9x6.95mm, 144g
Both handsets look the part. Huawei has been honing its design for a few years and the Huawei P9 feels like a premium device with its chamfered edges and brushed aluminium finish.
HTC has stuck to what it knows, and the HTC 10 is crafted from a single piece of metal. HTC told us that the HTC 10 was put through 168 hours of extreme temperature tests and 10,000 drop, bend, scratch and corrosion tests. If Huawei exposed the P9 to the same, the firm's not shouting about it.
Both handsets come with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection.
HTC 10: 5.2in Super LCD, 2460x1440 resolution at 564ppi
Huawei P9: 5.2in IPS, 1920x1080 resolution at 424ppi
Both phones offer the same 5.2in real estate. However the Huawei P9 lacks the QHD display of its competitor and has a lower pixel density as a result.
Both look stunning, with the Huawei P9 offering more natural colours, but the HTC 10 provides deeper blacks. Super LCD also puts less of a drain on the battery and is usually praised for its superior viewing angles.
HTC 10: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense
Huawei P9: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei Emotion UI
We haven't spent much time with the HTC 10, but we were buoyed by HTC's talk of a more streamlined Android. The firm worked with Google to trim the bloatware, and introduced a new 'Freestyle Layout' that provides more control over the positioning of apps on the home screen. App Lock functionality has also been added to boost security.
When it comes to the Huawei P9, we're frustrated by its gimmicky Emotion UI software. It takes away from the core Android experience, it's often confusing and the amount of bloatware is unacceptable.
HTC 10: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
Huawei P9: Kirin 955 chipset, 3GB RAM
We'll publish results from our HTC 10 benchmark tests shortly, but leaks obtained by PhoneArena put it above the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in Antutu. The HTC 10 shouldn't disappoint, given the firm's pedigree.
The Huawei P9 is a very capable performer but let down by a cannibalised GPU. It's the same one found in the S7 but instead of the Samsung's 12 cores, the P9 has four.
HTC 10: 12MP Ultrapixel rear-facing with 4K video, 5MP front-facing
Huawei P9: Dual 12MP rear-facing with 4K video, 8MP front-facing
HTC claims that its new camera is the best in the world. It also ties with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on DxOMark when it comes to image quality and performance. But can the optically stabilised f/1.8 lens and 1.55µm per pixel sensor impress in the real world?
The Huawei P9 is all about that natty dual-camera setup that packs in an RGB and monochrome sensor. The two f/2.2 lenses used together provide the equivalent of 1.76μm in pixel size, which should offer better results in low light.
It will be interesting to put these devices side by side and see how the results differ.
Looking to the front, the Huawei P9 wins in the megapixel stakes and offers a wider angle when shooting selfies. But the HTC 10 is the first smartphone to offer optical image stabilisation on a front-facing camera.
HTC 10: 3,000mAh
Huawei P9: 3,000mAh
Both handsets are matched in battery capacity, but the HTC 10 supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology that can theoretically squeeze in half a full charge in just 30 minutes. This sort of innovation is a winner in our book.
The Huawei P9 lasted throughout the day in our tests, with just a little juice left for the next morning. HTC has said that its new PowerBiotics system could stretch battery life to two days.
HTC 10: 32/64GB, microSD (up to 2TB)
Huawei P9: 32GB, microSD (up to 128GB)
Whether you're a hoarder or just use loads of apps, the HTC 10 has enough space (and then some) thanks to support for up to 2TB via microSD. A 64GB variant will also be available.
We might not have considered Huawei as a strong contender a year ago, but the P9 has proved a formidable opponent. On paper the HTC 10 wins in some areas and matches in others, but both debut unique camera technology that requires further testing. µ