HTC took the wraps off its two latest smartphones Tuesday, announcing the Desire 10 Pro and Desire 10 Lifestyle. They’re the latest two phones from HTC's more affordable line. The company has been struggling in the market, and is trying to reverse its fortunes with a fresh batch of new phones.
Why this matters: The HTC 10 really nailed the fundamentals, but our review found didn’t offer anything groundbreaking to set it apart from competitors. We’ve always found the company does well with design, something Google must believe in as well given that HTC is likely the manufacturer behind the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. It appears to have gone all in with both those angles in its latest duo that is trying to recapture some more marketshare.
HTC 10 Desire Pro
The Desire 10 Pro, the more powerful of the two, sports what’s described as an “Art Deco design” and some solid specs. It has a 5.5-inch, 1080p screen and a MediaTek Helio 64-bit chip, a rarity in in the U.S., and a signal that we may not see this phone on these shores (at least, with the same processor in it). Options include 3GB or 4GB of RAM, and 32 or 64GB of storage with expansion up to 2TB with a microSD card. The phone also has a 3,000 mAh battery.
The 20MP camera includes laser autofocus and a f/2.2 aperture (which is smaller than some of the latest flagship phones). There are numerous “pro” camera modes for low-light or action shots to appeal to the camera conscious. The back of the Desire 10 Pro has a fingerprint sensor that HTC promises will deliver fast unlocking. The phone also includes the company’s “BoomSound” that brings 24-bit Hi-Res audio support.
HTC 10 Lifestyle
The Lifestyle is more modest, with a 720p 5.5-inch screen, a Snapdragon 400 SoC, 2GB or 3GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage while also offering expansion up to 2TB. The battery is slightly smaller at 2,700 mAh. While HTC's documents say "Snapdragon 400" it's likely they mean "Snapdragon 400 series," as the 400 was released in 2013, and it would be really unusual for a phone to use such an old chip.
The camera is 13MP and also offers an HDR mode as found in the Desire Pro. You’ll also get the HTC-specific software enhancements running atop Android 6.0 (sorry, no Nougat yet).
Despite the difference in specifications between the models, you do at least get the same four color options: Stone Black, Polar White, Royal Blue, and Valentine Lux. Both phones also give you access to HTC themes for putting a custom look on your home screen.
Of course, the big question is if we’ll see it here in the U.S. The launch is currently slated for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia only. HTC may not have the money or marketing budget of bigger competitors like Samsung and LG, but the company has shown it can produce great hardware and excellent cameras. If these hit the U.S. market at an affordable price they’ll certainly be on our radar.