HTC Desire 10 Pro review: Looks good, ticks most of the boxes

HTC has struggled to carve out a significant share for itself in the Android space (and the failed Windows Phone ecosystem), however, the company’s new direction has been garnering it some good attention. HTC 10 is the company’s flagship and has some resemblance to the Google Pixel (which the company manufactured for Google), but it is also working hard at making their mid-range Desire series more lucrative through design, and also hardware.

The latest addition to the lineup is the HTC Desire 10 Pro, a dual-sim phone with a 5.5 inch full HD display. We used the phone for over a week as the primary phone and here’s how the phone fared.

Specifications: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display | MediaTek Helio P10 octa-core processor| 4GB RAM+64GB storage (expandable upto 2TB)| 20MP rear camera with OIS, 13MP front camera | 3000 mAh battery with Fast Charge| Android 6.0.1 with HTC Sense

Price: Rs 26,490

What’s good?

The HTC Desire 10 Pro is a mid-range smartphone from from HTC, but pull the device out of the box and you realise that this could just as well be a flagship. The build quality is amazing, the soft matte finish feels extremely premium and the gold-metal lines running along the chamfered edges really makes the phone stand out from other devices in the market. The screen is layered with Gorilla Glass for some peace of mind, but we’d recommend a tempered glass screen anyway.

The HTC Desire 10 Pro comes loaded with Android Marshmallow layered with HTC’s own Sense UI. While we’re generally vary of customised flavours of Android, HTC has done some really good things with it. For starters, it takes customisation to a whole new level with HTC’s Freestyle Layout, which allows for a really unique visual layout. The OS also comes with HTC Themes if you’d like to keep things simple. Frankly, if you like to change things up every now and then, there’s practically limitless possibilities with the HTC Desire 10 Pro and you’re going to love it

Then there’s the camera. The primary camera has a resolution of 20 megapixels on a BSI sensor. There’s optical image stabilization to ensure stable shots paired with a wide aperture of f/2.2. The stock camera app offers plenty of shooting modes along with a Professional mode. The primary camera performs good all round, partly thanks to the fact that it can shoot in RAW.

There’s laser assist for the phase detect auto-focus, which works well. It stutters a little in low light, but it isn’t poor by any means. The photos are a little over-saturated for our taste, but this is purely a personal preference and is something that can easily be fixed by either shooting RAW or just editing the photos to have a lower saturation level. The front camera offers a panoramic selfie mode, which helps when there’s a large crowd demanding to be photographed.

Last but not the least, the battery on the HTC Desire 10 Pro performs just as you’d expect. Over the course of using this phone as our primary device, we could easily squeeze out a whole day’s worth of use, having to charge it only at bedtime. To put things in perspective, a normal day starts at 10 in the morning and concludes by midnight.

During the odd day of excessive gaming and binge watching Big Bang Theory (to drain the battery) we found that using the supplied charger allowed the phone’s battery to go from 0 to 100 per cent in a little over 90 minutes. More importantly, the phone charged up to 40 per cent in about 35 minutes. This is impressive, but normal for phones equipped with some form of fast charging or the other. Nonetheless, we’re glad HTC decided to include Fast Charging on the HTC Desire 10 Pro.


What’s not so good?

HTC Desire 10 Pro uses a Helio P10 octa core processor paired with 4GB of RAM. As a mid-range device priced at Rs 26,490, we feel that HTC could have used a beefier CPU, given that Xiaomi and Lenovo both do so at similar (or lower) price point. While the P10 chip doesn’t result in any performance hiccups with regard to average day-to-day activities, you do see the phone struggle while gaming. Playing Asphalt 8 is mostly smooth, except when you’re in the game’s menu, which takes about half a second to respond after a tap or when you finish a race and the camera switches, resulting in very noticeable lag.

While the camera is overall good, there is one component that leaves room for significant improvement and that is the Professional mode. When taking photos using the Professional mode (with RAW capture enabled), there is a noticeable lag in the camera interface. Tapping on the screen to focus responds after a split second. However, what’s worse is that the shutter button also takes a little time to respond, resulting in an image which reflects a moment other than the one you had tried to shoot.

A lot of the times for us, while trying to take a photo of our dog, we’d tap the shutter button, but the photo would be taken a split second later, often resulting in subject movement. This behaviour did not occur while shooting JPG (or at least not as noticeably), so it would seem that the CPU is having a hard time managing the RAW data.

Should you buy it?

Well, if you’re looking for a phone that exudes the build and elegance of a flagship, then yes. If you need a high resolution camera (both on the front and back), then the HTC Desire 10 Pro is a really good option seeing how the competition in this price segment doesn’t offer anything similar. For the price, HTC offers an excellent Android experience, good cameras and good audio output along with battery life that meets expectations.

What it doesn’t offer, unfortunately, is the performance chops. Don’t be surprised if you notice dropped frames during heavy games like Asphalt and Modern Combat 5. As a daily driver for work and some mild entertainment, the HTC Desire 10 Pro doesn’t fall short in light of its competitors when it comes to watching movies or browsing the web.


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