HTC 10 v HTC One M9

Review

We take a look at how HTC’s new flagship phone compares with its predecessor…
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HTC 10 v HTC One M9

The HTC 10 is here, and it’s a fantastic phone. But how does it compare with its predecessor, the HTC One M9? Let’s see how they stack up against each other.

Design

The older M9 is still a premium looking phone, thanks to its dual-tone all-metal design. The build quality is fantastic and the curved rear looks great, but there’s a pronounced ridge separating the front and rear that sometimes feels a little uncomfortable.

The 10, meanwhile, not only looks great but feels much better in the hand. There’s a new shape to the body. It’s still curved on the back, but the lines and edges are now flatter. This makes it feel very sturdy, and comfortable to hold.

The other big design change is on the front of the 10, where it no longer features HTC’s trademark BoomSound™ front-facing speaker grilles (more on that later). This not only gives the phone a much cleaner look, but it also means it can have a larger 5.2-inch display in the same size shell as the M9.

Display


We were impressed with the M9’s 5-inch Full HD display when it came out last year. It produces vibrant, natural-looking colours with good viewing angles, but it simply doesn’t compare to what you see when you look at the 10’s screen.

The 10’s 5.2-inch display is bigger and better than the M9’s. The resolution has been increased to Quad HD, with 564 pixels-per-inch display, compared with the M9’s 441 pixels-per-inches. That figure puts the 10 right at the top end of modern displays, matching the likes of LG and Samsung’s latest flagships. The result is a much sharper display with amazingly vivid colours that never seem too oversaturated.

Camera


The M9 boasts a 20MP camera, but it’s far from perfect. It struggles in low light conditions, and its lack of optical image stabilisation meant that shots aren’t always as sharp as you’d expect from a premium phone.

The 10's rear 12MP camera comes equipped with a laser-assisted autofocus and optical image stabilisation, and it’s a huge improvement over the M9.

Although the 10’s camera has fewer pixels than its stablemate, it still manages to take much sharper and clearer photos. This is thanks to the added optical image stabilisation mentioned above, and also the improved sensor and lower aperture, letting more light into the lens.

Sound


The M9 comes with HTC’s BoomSound™ front-facing speakers, and they’re capable of pumping out sound at a pretty incredible volume. The 10 has managed to replace these speakers with something just as spectacular though, namely BoomSound™ Hi-Fi Edition speakers with Dolby Audio™ technology.

These speakers feature the same separated tweeter and woofer design as leading acoustic systems, and they’ve also got separate, dedicated amplifiers. Although they’re not quite as loud as the speakers on the M9, there’s a real difference in terms of quality.

Software


HTC has revamped their Sense software for the 10. The new HTC Sense works closely with the Android Marshmallow operating system, and the whole user experience is miles ahead of the old Sense 7.0 on the M9.

HTC has worked closely with Google to remove duplicate or needless apps, and to make everything more streamlined and easy to navigate. The result is now much closer to stock Android, and we like it a lot.

Under the hood


The M9 is no slouch in terms of speed and power, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM - but the 10 is a real step up from it.

The 10 comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip coupled with 4GB of RAM, so it’s a powerful phone - slick and smooth to use, and easily capable of multi-tasking no matter what you throw at it.

HTC has also increased the size of battery in the 10 to 3,000mAh (compared to the M9’s 2,840mAh), so you should always have enough power to see you through the day. Even more impressive is the 10's quick charge capability, which gives you a day's worth of battery life in 30 minutes.

Summary


There’s no doubt about it, the 10’s a clear winner when you compare it to the M9. Everything’s been improved, from the design and display through to the camera and sound quality. And let’s not forget the improved performance under the hood, making it one of the most powerful and speedy phones around.

You can order the HTC 10 from Carphone Warehouse right now. We’ve got it in an exclusive gold colour, as well as grey and silver.

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