I didn’t manage to get my HTC 10 on Sprint’s launch day. Being on the fringes of the mobile reporting world means I got it when I got it (HTC’s US PR firm still doesn’t talk to me). That said, if I’m correct, today is day 20 of my HTC 10 dom and I’d like to have a lot of complaints about the phone for you but I don’t.

I’m not sure if I don’t because I am not working hard enough at finding things (I had some health issues,) or if they’ve actually engineered a much better product this time around. I’m thinking a better product.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on the HTC 10 coming from the HTC One M9 at 20 days in.

Camera

Little put off by the highest res being on 4×3 as opposed to 16×9. I don’t know why this irks me but it does.

Laser focus is awesome unless you need it, then you’ll focus right behind where you want. This only seems to be an issue with fast moving toddlers and macro photography though. Probably software fixable.

Selfie mirror capture button will remain stuck until you actually take a mirrored selfie, and then you’ll be able to uncheck it. Not sure what’s up with that.

Colors are better than ever says the colorblind man. Low light photography reminds me of the M8, which is to say good.

Selfie flash is kind of neat.

Overall: improved significantly from the HTC One M9. I’ll post a comparison video and photos at some point I’m sure.

Sound

I’m disappointed in the speaker sound on the HTC 10. Clear yes, but it loses something from the One series setup. Oh, the sound is nice, but it’s not as loud and it’s not immersive. If you have kids and need to occasionally say “here, watch this” you’ll understand my concerns, but mostly it’s just a little less oomph even though it has more wattage.

While I’m disappointed with the speakers, I’m not with the headphone jack. That has got to be the first time since the days of Walkmans that I’ve heard a sound that rich and deep. It really reminds me of the BoomStick or being at the front of a concert hall. I listened to FLACs on my phone for a couple of hours because I was just blown away.

Phone calls – fine. I saw a review where someone said they were a little quiet, I didn’t notice any difference once I turned up the in-call volume, which I believe was not set to max by default.

Battery life

They advertise a two day battery life, and I think most people will get it. I’m not most people so as long as I don’t need to charge before 5pm I’m good. If I manage my battery I can go all day, but I don’t want to so I usually top off charge once a day which is fine because at nearly 3000mA charge rates it doesn’t take too long to charge.

Signal

The radios and antennas seem to work ever so slightly better, however this is just observational and don’t take as gospel. I seemed to be able to get Google Navigation to work when my wife’s M8 couldn’t.

Layout/Fingerprint unlock

I constantly am attempting to unlock the phone on the wrong side. I’m about to the point where I’m going to place a plastic bump next to the fingerprint sensor so I know where it’s at in the dark. Unlock fails if your finger is in the least bit damp, which is annoying. Being able to wake up the phone and be at the home screen with one tap is nice.

During unlock I’m quite often finding that I’ve managed to activate the “swipe down to activate camera” mode which is annoying because just either put me in camera or let me go to the home screen.

The back, home, and recents buttons being off the screen is kind of nice but I keep missing the back button due to no markings.

The addition of markings to tell when you’re on the power button as opposed to the volume up or down button are much appreciated.

Neat trick

You can charge another phone with your HTC 10. You’ll need some special cables and a desire to show off.

While that’s not particularly practical I’m pretty sure what is nice is that if you brought your Bluetooth headphones on the plane and forgot to charge them you can quickly get them up and running if you brought a USB C to Micro USB cable along.

Frustration

There’s a lot of bloat still packaged with this phone. I don’t know how much is carrier mandated and how much is HTC’s, I guess we’d have to compare a few editions of the 10 to see. Bloat includes an antivirus for a platform that doesn’t have any active viruses, a news service, and a couple of apps I can’t remember at the moment because I ended up rooting and chucking them.

However frustration with resource hogging was low.

Camera’s lack of image options/tuning annoy me – like let me take my 20mp photo but let me save it as “photo 20160608123802” or similar as opposed to yet another “IMAG0001.JPG” – I have something like 93 IMAG0001s on my computer now.

Also perhaps I want to take a monster MP photo and save with lower JPEG quality. That would be nice.

I’ve managed to crash the OS about seven times in 20 days. I mean, I do crazy stuff with my phone, I’d expect once or twice. They need some stability improvements but that’s to be expected on an early release.

Things to note

Including these because some people seem to mention them in other reviews. High quality audio/video records in MKV format, not AVI.

Professional photo mode records in DNG, not JPEG.

Either can be converted on a computer with free software and one minute of Googling. Both are established formats that have a ton of support.

Google and HTC backup and restores are still pretty much useless.

Overall

They released a really nice piece of hardware with a pretty good piece of software. They’ve fixed some of the initial software bugs, but I’m expecting most of the remaining will be squashed in the next update.

I’m in the curious position of feeling like I’m in the EVO days. A good phone, a seemingly good platform, and performance that rivals my last phone quite handily.

At day 20, rooted, I’m digging it.