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Review: HTC 10 and Ice View Case

  1. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    The best phone I ever owned was an HTC One M8. It didn't have the most features, it didn't have the fastest or top of the line hardware, but it was the most refined phone I've ever owned. It was a true case of the total being more than the sum of it's parts.

    I never bought the M9. I didn't see a reason to. It was only an M8 with a small spec bump that actually hindered it, since part of that bump was the notorious SD 810.

    Now we have the 10. They dropped the "M" and a few other things. Does it rival the latest flagship phones?

    That's a hard question to answer. For some people the 10 will crush it's rivals. For other people it will fall short. It really depends on what you want in your phone.

    For me software is king. That's why if you ask me, the OPO blows the OPT and the X out of the water. The software was excellent. The software in the 10 is one of the best I've ever seen. For me it beats anything Samsung put out harder than Marvel embarrassing DC at the box office.
    [​IMG]

    So let's break some of the parts down and see how they stand up.

    DISPLAY

    I can't complain about the display. It doesn't quite match an AMOLED display in regards to color saturation and depth of it's blacks, but it's also not cartoony. If you place this display next to the OPO you will see a stark contrast. It makes the OPOs 1080p LCD display look like garbage. If you want a more AMOLED type display, Sense lets you switch from the standard color schema to a vivid schema. On top of that, if you want to tweak it further, you can edit either schema and make them warmer or cooler with a slider. For me I put it on vivid and left it. The standard, even though more accurate, felt washed out.

    PERFORMANCE

    I'll be blunt. This is the fastest phone I have ever used. It crushes the iPhone 6, the Galaxy S6 Edge, and the Moto X Pure. I even brutalized this phones speed by popping in a 200GB micro SD card and then turning on Adoptive Storage. Even with the reduced speed you get by having internal storage running off of an SD card, this this still flies. I've barely noticed a difference. Granted the card is a class ten but it should still be slower than internal.

    If you were worried about the 820 after the misery of the 810, you don't have to. No overheating at all. This phone has barely gotten warm.

    CAMERA

    Don't believe HTC's hype about the camera being a match for the iPhone 6S Plus or Galaxy S7. It's not, at least it's not yet. This camera is better than the OPO, iPhone 6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Moto X Pure, and the OPT. It hands down beats all of them. It's a good camera but it's not "best of class". It will never beat the S7 or G5 but it might someday beat the 6S Plus. Why?

    The actual hardware used makes this a great camera. The S7 has a slightly larger aperture with similar hardware. That means the S7 is typically going to do better in lower light even considering HTCs larger pixel size. Now, the 10 can become a better camera. Today, at least 50% of a cameras quality (in a phone, not real camera) comes from the software and post processing. Already HTC released an update that greatly enhanced the camera. With future releases they could surpass some of their rivals, but hardware limitations will prevent hem from being the best.

    I'll post some photos later to show what this camera can do.

    MISC HARDWARE

    First up - the finger print sensor. I've never been a fan. The iPhone version annoys, it seems too small and sometimes doesn't work. The S6 is less reliable and it backfires sometimes when it gets confused if you are hitting the button or trying to use the fingerprint.

    HTC has officially taken the crown of best fingerprint sensor ever. Their idea to make it a virtual button was genius. It's embedded below the glass and works flawlessly. It actually makes me appreciate a fingerprint sensor.

    USB C - Great. Now I have to buy some more wires. Seriously that's how I feel about this. It charges super fast (if you use the HTC charger) but beyond that I don't care all that much. I will give HTC props for building a wall plug with a built in surge protector. That's a nice bonus.

    Boomsound - HTC loves their boomsound. If you love their boomsound too....
    [​IMG]
    Why? They mangled it. Don't get me wrong, the 10 has some great speakers, but the M8, M9, Nexus 6P, and Moto X Pure all beat it. The subtraction of the second speaker and the loss of stereo sound is noticeable. On the plus side, if you have some headphones that can benefit from 24bit sound, you are in luck. You can also use a high quality wire to connect this to a high end stereo and the sound will blow your socks off.

    SOFTWARE

    I could simply say that this is some of the best non-stock Android you are going to find. I will say it is the best non-stock Android you will find. The next closest I have found is the Moto X Pure (Style). There is only a few addons, all of which are useful or make total sense. Boost+ sounds like a gimmick but it does save battery IF you are a gamer. It drops the resolution on games automatically to save battery life. What they don't tell you, is that you can do add ANY app to this. Any app that is a heavy hitter when it comes to graphics and be reduced so you can save your battery.

    Blinkfeed is still there. I love it, but if you don't you can easily disable it.

    Themes are good but HTC went to the next level. You can go freestyle. No more grid. If you're one of those people whose bedroom looks like a bomb went off, guess what?!? Your phone can look like that too!
    [​IMG]
    You know you've always wanted your phone to look like that. You know where everything is, so it's cool.

    Overall the software is great. It's amazingly fast, clean, and hardly touches the battery.

    OTHER NOTES

    The US Unlocked version ships with 32GB of internal storage and NO head phones. Other version ship with 64GB of storage and high quality, 24bit ear buds. That means the non-US version is worth (according to what HTC charges) $150 more than the US version.

    Hey HTC....
    [​IMG]

    So should you buy this phone? If you are a hardcore HTC, yes. If you are an android fan and in the US, not yet. The price needs to drop another $150 ($250 from the $699 mark. I had a $100 off code) to be worth it. If they started shipping the 64GB version with the headphones to the US, with the US LTE bands, it would be worth it.

    EDIT #1
    I should mention a feature of Boomsound here. The 24-bit is not the best part. In reality 24-bit is joke. Even the best digital files don't capture that kind of dynamic range. Modern music doesn't even come close.

    The best part of the boomsound is the audio profiles. You can create multiple profiles, each one tailored to a stereo or headphones. HTC will put you thorough a hearing test to tweak the settings to your actual hearing. This is awesome for someone like me who has 33% + hearing loss in one ear and about 15% in the other. HTC adjusts the ranges so I can hear more tones. Cool beans!

    IMAG0007-2.jpg IMAG0010-2.jpg
    Low Light No Flash
    IMAG0011.jpg Unboxing
    IMG_20160505_113337.jpg IMG_20160505_113431.jpg IMG_20160505_113512.jpg IMG_20160505_113641.jpg IMG_20160505_113908.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 7, 2016

    #1
  2. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    HTC's Dot View was always a sore spot with me. It was a great idea. The software side of it was well executed. The hardware side was another matter. No one ever made a decent Dot View case. All of them were garbage. Even the HTC built Dot View case was terrible. It offered little to no protection, was made out of cheap materials, and didn't close all the way. You also could really fold the cover back which was really annoying.

    Now HTC has abandoned Dot View and moved on to Ice View. Is it an improvement?

    For the TL;DR people - No

    For everyone else:

    The functionality of Dot View is still there and they have added some more. You can still answer calls, see notifications, and check the time. Now you can also launch and operate the camera without opening your phone. All that sounds great but, there is a big drawback.

    Instead of dots cut in the case, HTC went with a semi-transparent piece of plastic. You may have seen photos of the case in action. Doesn't it look nice and clear? Well it's not. For some reason you can take a nice photo of the case, but in real life it looks dull and blurry. Things get worse when you use the camera, it's so blurry it's basically unusable except for a quick auto shot. If you need to tweak any settings, you better open the phone.
    IMG_0023.JPG
    Notice how you can hardly read the date? Yes it's that bad in real life.

    Now for the hardware. It's not as bad as the Dot View. The case closes and you can fold the cover back without feeling like you are going to break it. The plastic used is not as bad the original. It's not as slippery either. The bumpers are a little more robust which will help if you drop it.

    Now HTC charges $50 for this thing. This is maybe a $20 case and that's being nice. I ended up paying $30 for it because it took HTC so long to roll these out they refunded me $20.

    Overall there are much better cases for the HTC 10. This one is only a value if you get it at a massive discount and really like the functionality.
    IMG_0024.JPG

    UPDATE

    I have some concerns about the durability of this product. The cover appears to be glued on instead of screwed on. I have a bad feeling that the glue is going to be an issue over the long run.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016

    #2
    Bugru, Deepak.Si and Tobikage like this.
  3. Tobikage
    Nougat May 6, 2016

    Tobikage , May 6, 2016 :
    OP3 FTW !!! :D


    If HTC wants to sell any HTC branded phones , they need to get their head out from their *** and have a realistic view on prices.
     

    #3
  4. Deepak.Si
    KitKat May 6, 2016

  5. sfomin
    Nougat May 6, 2016

    sfomin , May 6, 2016 :
    Would like to see pictures taken with the 10. Having a hard time believing it takes better pictures than S6 edge.
     

    #5
    Bugru, Tobikage and funmunke like this.
  6. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016


    #6
    Bugru, Tobikage and Deepak.Si like this.
  7. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    I haven't taken many so far, but low light has been better than the S6. I'm going to hit it with two oddly difficult tests. Dog in bright light (a lot of software is built to identify faces. Backfires on dogs) and a macro tulip. It'll be interesting to see how it handles that kind of color.
     

    #7
    Bugru, Tobikage, sfomin and 1 other person like this.
  8. nyzproof333
    KitKat May 6, 2016

    nyzproof333 , May 6, 2016 :
    I had a M8 Google Play Edition. Great device!
     

    #8
    Bugru, Tobikage and funmunke like this.
  9. sfomin
    Nougat May 6, 2016

    sfomin , May 6, 2016 :
    as it should because of the Ultra Pixel camera. I had the M7 and remember how terrible the camera was on it, so now i need proof [​IMG]
     

    #9
    Tobikage and funmunke like this.
  10. Deepak.Si
    KitKat May 6, 2016

    Deepak.Si , May 6, 2016 :
    I expect another 10[​IMG][​IMG]
     

    #10
    Bugru, Tobikage and funmunke like this.
  11. stephenboyo
    KitKat May 6, 2016

    stephenboyo , May 6, 2016 :
    Sorry but how does the OPO blow the OP2 and OPX out of the water when all 3 phones use the same Oxygen software with some modification? If you mean OPO's original Cyanogenmod software then yes the OPO with that version was much better but I wouldnt say it blew both phones away. The OPO was a technically more solid performer but the OPX and OP2 have a more superior design as they were meant to be improvements on the OPO. In any case OPO devices running Oxygen have suffered just as much as the OPX and OP2 from Oxygen's poor optimisation.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016

    #11
    funmunke likes this.
  12. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    That would be funny.

    We sold so few pre-orders...we're giving you a second! Screw phones! We do VR now!

    (six months later HTC declared bankruptcy)
     

    #12
    milkdude, Tobikage and Deepak.Si like this.
  13. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    I have the original OPO that came stock with CyanogenMod.
     

    #13
    Tobikage and Deepak.Si like this.
  14. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    If it's an Ice View, I'm gonna be pissed. They better refund me :p
     

    #14
    Bugru, Tobikage and Deepak.Si like this.
  15. Deepak.Si
    KitKat May 6, 2016

    Deepak.Si , May 6, 2016 :
    ;)

    But seriously I expect a high quality earphone, would be nice though if you listen music and since haven't gotten with the phone.
     

    #15
    Tobikage and funmunke like this.
  16. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    I don't have any real high end ear phones. I'll have to put them on my wish list. It is cool how the software runs you through a hearing test to tailor the output for you.
     

    #16
    Tobikage and Deepak.Si like this.
  17. Deepak.Si
    KitKat May 6, 2016

    Deepak.Si , May 6, 2016 :
    Yepp I too like hearing music, listens in the evening for few minutes :)
    Now going, good night.
     

    #17
    Tobikage and funmunke like this.
  18. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    Night! :D
     

    #18
    Deepak.Si, Bugru and Tobikage like this.
  19. NaterTots
    Jelly Bean May 6, 2016

    NaterTots , May 6, 2016 :
    Nice review.

    Although T Mobile uses bands 2,4,12 for LTE .

    Not sure who uses bands 8.

    Also I read that it's still stereo sound with the new speaker setup.

    Look forward to reading about the case
     

    #19
  20. funmunke
    Marshmallow May 6, 2016

    funmunke , May 6, 2016 :
    Band 8 is the newest T-Mobile band it's their long range band. It's the band they are refering to when they say they have improved their in building reception. A phone with band 8 comes in at my house. A phone without it gets zero t-mobile reception at my house.

    You can see the difference on their website. If you do not select a phone from their list the map displays without band 8. The difference is some areas is shocking.
     

    #20
    Bugru likes this.