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Video Review: HTC 10 - The Road Back

You've read our HTC 10 review, and now we're back with the video version with our ever-lovable video host Mark Burstiner. Mark takes a look at what makes the 10 tick, and if the 10 ticks the boxes it needs to in the increasingly cutthroat flagship smartphone game. HTC's latest device has been almost uniformly praised as the best smartphone they've released since the progenitor of the One series, the One M7, while still inheriting that vital HTC design DNA that made the original One such a showstopper. But is HTC's best good enough in 2016? That's a tougher question.

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HTC Says It's Shipping Out Pre-Orders For The HTC 10 Now

The HTC 10 has a lot of smartphone fanatics excited, HTC enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Those who pre-ordered the high-end device won't have to wait too much longer, at least not in the United States. That's according to the official HTC USA Twitter account, which, well, ought to know:

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HTC Announces Desire 830 For Taiwan With Actual Dual Front-Facing BoomSound Speakers

HTC has announced a new mid-range smartphone this morning, the Desire 830. While Desire announcements are typically met with minimal fanfare here in the United States, these are volume sellers for HTC in many markets including its home country, Taiwan, where the phone will initially be available for sale starting this Friday. The price is NT$9,990, which is roughly $310 US.

While the phone does lack a fingerprint scanner, it's interesting to see HTC sticking to functional design choices of older One-series devices on the 830, particularly software navigation keys and dual front-facing BoomSound speakers. The HTC 10 has capacitive navigation keys and one front-facing speaker, along with a second, bottom-firing speaker, which are arranged in a stereo configuration.

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HTC 10 Now Available For Pre-Order On Verizon, Coming May 13th To Sprint

The HTC 10 is leaps and bounds better than the M9 was, and it looks like people are getting rightly excited about this device. The 10 beat out the GS7 in a recent AP poll, in fact. Now Verizon customers can put their money where their mouths are and pre-order HTC's make-or-break smartphone. Sprint has announced details too, but you'll have to wait a little longer.

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The Nexus 9 Disappears From The Google Store In A Puff Of Underwhelming Smoke

The Nexus 9 never really clicked - not as an Android tablet, not as a Nexus device, and certainly not as the premium, segment-leading gadget that Google and HTC wanted it to be. Between a host of bugs, inconsistent build quality, and general apathy from the buying public, the N9 isn't nearly as well-regarded as its predecessors (both versions of the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, many of which are still in use) and its successor (the Pixel C). Today Google seems to have finally written off the ill-fated tablet, as it's gone from the Google Store.

Not just gone, in fact - it's disappeared.

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HTC Announces The One S9 With A MediaTek Helio X10, 2GB Of RAM, And 5-Inch 1080p LCD

It would appear HTC is not done with the "One" branding. The company has just announced the One S9, a device that appears to slot into the same not-quite-flagship space as the A9. In fact, it looks like a cross between the M9 and the A9. This device comes with a MediaTek SoC and just 16GB of on-board storage, so it's not exactly competition for the HTC 10. You probably won't be able to buy it where you live anyway.

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HTC One Gallery Will Be Discontinued On April 30, but HTC Gallery Will Continue To Operate

A product of HTC's research division, One Gallery allows users to upload photos and videos to a variety of cloud services through the HTC Gallery app. However, according to changelogs for both apps, the One Gallery service will be discontinued on April 30.

No reason has been given for the discontinuation, but it might be down to the number of installs it's had, somewhere in the 1 million to 5 million bracket. This doesn't sound too bad, but then you look at HTC Gallery and its 10 million to 50 million installation bracket and it starts to pale in comparison. With this in mind, it's likely HTC didn't see the worth in continuing the service, which is a shame as it has an average rating of 4.2 in the Play Store and seemed well-liked by its users.

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Five Things I Love About The HTC 10

The HTC 10 is a good smartphone, and not only that, it's probably the best one HTC has made in years. Here are five things that, during my time with the HTC 10, I really found I appreciated. We're starting this new series for all of this year's flagship smartphones - the HTC 10 is just the first. There will also be counterpoint posts on five more negative aspects of each device.

The battery life

Last year's One M9 wasn't great in this regard, so it was very refreshing to see HTC get back on track here. Battery life on the HTC 10 for me was a standout positive, and it may even edge out the Snapdragon 820 Galaxy S7 we get here in the US, despite using the same chip and having the same overall battery capacity.

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Benson Leung Won't Recommend The HTC 10 Or LG G5 Because QC3.0 Over USB Type-C Is Not Spec Compliant

This. Sucks. Benson Leung, the Google man who has been on a mission to debunk every faulty and non-compliant and wannabe USB Type-C cable and adapter sold on Amazon, has spoken rather harshly about two of this year's flagship Android devices: the HTC 10 and the LG G5.

Benson actually explained this issue in detail back in November of last year, citing the USB Type-C specification, which forbids proprietary charging methods from changing Vbus above 5V. And you guessed it, this is exactly how Qualcomm's QuickCharge 3.0 works: it can charge intermittently at 9V and 12V to achieve faster charging rates.

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HTC 10 Review: A Very Good Phone, But One That Costs Too Much Money

Smartphones are, in my opinion, in something of an innovation rut. Underlying technical advancements have slowed in the last couple of years, and reasons to upgrade from year to year seem to decrease with each new generation of device. That's in large part because smartphones are already, generally speaking, very good products.

This is not to say they are near-perfect, or even optimal. Of course not - batteries still don't last long enough for many people, their cameras have notable limitations versus traditional dedicated systems, and we still have real performance bottlenecks that could be widened. There is refining that can still occur, and when major companies like Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and LG keep pushing the envelope on that refinement, there is always a chance a new product simply won't stack up well against the competition.

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