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HTC Desire 10 Pro Review - Midranger Done Right?

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HTC's comeback is real! Their latest flagship, the HTC U11, is a contender for being the phone to beat this year. Luckily, they also released a mid-range phone that could rock that price point.
HTC Desire 10 Pro Review
HTC Desire 10 Pro review

For our review part 1: HTC Desire 10 Pro First Impressions

Display Quality

The HTC Desire 10 Pro has a 5.5 inch FHD Super LCD display that is surprisingly gorgeous. It has great viewing angles as well making multimedia usage enjoyable.

I have used this for YouTube, Netflix and some gaming as well and everything went buttery smooth. YouTube in particular is very impressive as I was able to play videos in 720p at 60 fps with no hiccups. I was not able to test it for 1080p 60 f as my internet can't buffer it at the moment.

Visibility under sunlight is impressive as well. Although, I have to admit that it can be brighter. Color reproduction is great with vibrant image. It is a great display for the price and one of the best in my opinion.

It has 10 points of touch as well.

Audio Quality

Speaker below
Speaker below

Here is one of the weaker aspects of the HTC Desire 10 Pro. The speaker that is fount at the bottom of the phone is at the softer side of the spectrum. Listening to music or watching videos had me pressing the volume button most of the time only to find that it is maxed out. The similarly priced OPPO F3 has a louder and clearer speaker.

Using the 3.55 mm headphone jack is a different story though. It has a great sound quality using generic earphones. The BoomSound effect helps when I am using different types of earphones. It has 3 settings: In-ear, earbuds and Pro Studio. They give the sound a little more oomph. 

Overall, the audio quality is a little bit underwhelming to say the least.

Lastly, and the most disturbing experience I had with this phone is when I am using it for videos and calls. The mic does not seem to work at all. Video footage comes out with no audio. During calls, the person on the other line would not here you unless you are in speaker mode. 

I tested the mic via their hardware tester and it works just fine. Maybe this is an isolated case as what we have is a review unit. Hopefully, once it is out problems like these is already ironed out.

Battery Life

Here is the PC Mark Results

The Desire 10 Pro has a 3,000 mAh battery that can last you a full day of normal usage. However, with LTE connection constantly on it dropped to around 4 - 5 hours before you need to charge it again. This is ok though as the Desire 10 Pro has power saving mode to squeeze more out hours out of your battery. 

It has the typical Power Saving mode that lowers done performance to squeeze as little juice out of your battery as possible.

It has fast charging. You can fill it up from 20% to 100% in more or less under 65 - 70 minutes.

Camera

Here is the PC Mark Results
Capable camera behind!

This is the best part of the Desire 10 Pro for me. The rear camera has a 20 MP f/2.2 lens with autofocus and OIS. The camera app also has a revamped look with that features manual controls and RAW image format support.

The image quality is great!

It can shoot great photos in daylight with minimal noise. Low light and indoor photos with artificial lighting is also processed in great detail. 

Colors is a little bit on the saturated side which some could prefer. However, given that this is a mid range smartphone we can say that the Desire 10 Pro performed well above our expectations.

The shutter speed and focus has a lot of room for improvement though.

Rear Camera Samples

HDR sample
HDR sample
Daylight 1
Daylight 1
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Daylight 3
Daylight 3
Nice background blur
Nice background blur
Indoor sample
Indoor sample
Lowlight sample
Lowlight sample

In front, it has a pretty large 13 MP f/2.2 sensor. It has auto HDR, adjustable beautify, and selfie panorama. Focus is slower than expected, but shutter speed is nice. Make sure that your hands are steady when taking a shot.

In terms of quality, output is decent to good. Details are sharp and color reproduction is fairly accurate for a selfie camera. It's also usable in lowlight, but it isn't the best performing performing on that part.

It has no selfie flash.


Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie daylight
Selfie daylight
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie dim
Indoor selfie dim
Lowlight selfie

For videos, both cameras can shoot up 1080p video quality up to 30 frames per second w/ nice focus and colors. The main camera has optical image stabilization that is not that common at this price range. As a result, the videos that we took are quite stabilized for a phone and far from shaky. Selfie is camera is decent in quality, but shakier than the main camera due to the lack of OIS.

Video Samples


Performance

Benchmarks
Benchmarks

Under the phone, the HTC Desire 10 Pro is no joke either. It has a 64 Bit octa-core Helio P10 processor that runs at 2.0 Ghz clock speed. It is also housing a Mali T860 GPU. 

Multitasking is great, most of the time! Switching from app to app is buttery smooth when there are only 3-5 apps open. However, a higher number than that results in to a bit a slow down. It is passable but can be a bother to some.

Games like Asphalt 8 and Riptide GP run smoothly on this device with almost no hiccups. MOBA games such as Mobile Legends and Heroes Evolved ran very well with high graphics settings. But, heavier games like NBA 2K17 will have a problem.
Clean UI
Clean UI

It is still running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with a stock feeling HTC Sense on top of it. The Sense Home UI is very sleek and organized in my opinion. There is little to no bloatware present as well.

The Blinkfeed feature in the homescreen reminds me of Google Launcher with the cards and news feed right on your home screen. There are also a lot of cool themes available in their theme store.

The is rear mounted fingerprint sensor is unfortunately in accurate at times. I was locked out of the fingerprint sensor a couple times because it can't recognize my fingerprint. I always check if the sensor has some dirt on it every time it refuses to work but it is spotless. Hopefully, this is not an issue for the retail units.

I also had trouble watching YouTube when there are a lot of apps open. It stutters to the point that it is unwatchable. I checked if it is just the YouTube app acting up so I reinstalled it. However, the problem still exists.

Pros - Great metal build, great cameras, great gaming performance, great looking display
Cons - Matte finish is slippery on the hand, speakers are too soft, buggy fingerprint sensor

Verdict

The HTC Desire 10 Pro is a good mid range smartphone. It has a premium feeling build, great performance and great cameras. 

For the price it is asking, HTC is giving you one of the best bang-per-buck offers. HTC is really trying to make their comeback a big one. The HTC U11 is a great flagship release and now they provided with a great mid range candidate as well.

Build / Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 3.5
Battery - 3.75
Camera - 4.75
Performance - 4
Average - 4 / 5
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