The HTC 10 certainly puts in a star turn with its hi-fi audio, but it doesn't do enough to raise its head above the parapet.
Nippy performance, rock-solid design, high-end audio, adoptable storage, durable battery, clean Android experience
So-so camera, freestyle layout, price might put some off
Display: 5.2in Super LCD, 2,560x1,440 pixels at 564ppi
Processor: Quad-core 64-bit Snapdragon 820 chipset
Operating system: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Storage: 32GB or 64GB expandable up to 2TB
Cameras: 12MP UltraPixel with OIS f/1.8 rear, 5MP UltraSelfie with OIS f/1.8 front
Update: HTC has knocked £100 off the price of the HTC 10 during the summer. Those looking for a SIM free model can enjoy the saving between 28 July and 18 August 2016 by using the 'SUMMER100' discount code at HTC.com
HTC has long been criticised for the camera tech in its phones, despite lofty claims of innovation. The new HTC 10 shows another stab at turning the tide, but how does it really fare?
That new UltraPixel camera may get top billing, but further investigation suggests that the HTC 10 is really a handset for those serious about their audio. So why aren't they making more of a fuss?
The HTC 10 case is crafted entirely from aluminium and glass. You'd be forgiven for calling the angular design unremarkable if it wasn't for the precision chamfering of the edges and the two-tone finish that really makes the chassis shine when caught by the light.
The HTC 10 measures 145.9x71.9x9.0mm. HTC would have us believe that this shrinks to just 3mm at the narrowest point, but this is somewhat misleading as the HTC 10 is anything but svelte. It's been 12 months since the M9 and, while HTC may have used that time to refine the design, the dimensions haven't shrunk at all. It also feels weighty at 161g.
Take a tour of the handset and you'll notice some differences. Gone are the imposing dual front-facing speakers to be replaced with one across the top bezel and another on the bottom next to the USB-C port. This bottom speaker grille gives the appearance of a set of gnashing metal teeth, and underpins the HTC 10's cold, industrial facade.
A ridged power button can be found below the volume controls on the right, while a dual SIM and microSD slot sit on the opposite side. In a change from the norm, the 3.5mm headphone port (with built-in headphone amp) now lives on the top of the device.
We really had to dig to find this, but the HTC 10 is not fully protected from water. It has resistance to the IP53 standard, which is more commonly referred to as rain protection. This could save you from the odd spillage or drop into a shallow puddle. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.
The HTC 10 is available in four colours: Topaz Gold, Carbon Grey, Glacial Silver and Camellia Red.
The UK/Europe model is powered by the formidable Snapdragon 820 chipset. This is the same as in the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge US variants. It offers a quad-core 64-bit array of up to 2.2GHz backed by 4GB of RAM.
The Snapdragon 820 has a good pedigree, and we were pleasantly surprised by the speeds and results in our benchmark tests.
The HTC 10 was the fastest handset on the market by Antutu standards, at least on our first run.
Antutu 152,509 (S7 Edge 126,904). On second run Antutu dropped to 151,012
PCMark work performance 5,907 (S7 Edge 4,670)
3DMark 2,372 (S7 Edge 2,185)
Geekbench single-core 2,379 (S7 Edge 2,155)
Geekbench multi-core 5,233 (S7 Edge 6,505)
The HTC 10 also scored highly in 3DMark and in the Geekbench single-core test, but falls behind in multi-core.
Kraken 3,307.9ms (S7 Edge 2,557.5)
SunSpider 627.8ms (S7 Edge 316.2)
Unfortunately, HTC has reined back the hardware on the HTC 10 in India, where it's also billed as the HTC 10 Lifestyle.
The Snapdragon 820 is replaced with the Snapdragon 652 (quad 1.8GHz and 1.2GHz cores) and 4GB RAM reduced to 3GB.
Elsewhere, we were impressed with the fingerprint scanner that sits between the capacitive buttons on the front of the device.
Recognition is super-quick (HTC quotes 0.2 seconds) and highly accurate, so we're inclined to agree with this figure.