Review: HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle

Having released commendable flagship smartphones in the HTC One M7, M8 and the incredible HTC 10, the company has its fair share of experience in this field. However with an underwhelming response from consumers towards their latest flagships, HTC is now targeting the affordable and mid-range market. The HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle is the company’s latest phone at AED999 but does it do enough?

Specifications

  • Display – 5.5-inch HD Display (267ppi)
  • Processor – 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400 Quad-core chipset
  • GPU/RAM/Storage – Adreno 305 GPU/3GB of RAM/32GB storage with micro-SD expansion.
  • Battery – 2700 mAh battery (6 hours of screen on time)
  • Cameras – 13MP Primary Camera, 5MP Secondary Camera
  • OS – Android 6.0.1 with HTC Sense UI
  • Others – Micro-USB 2.0 port with no fast charging support.

Design and Build

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Being made primarily of a familiar looking plastic, the gold accents are the only design features that scream premium about the device. It contains a fragile looking plastic flap to house the micro-SD and dual-sim slots and the volume and power buttons to the right lack the satisfying tactile click. However, the power button features a nice ridged texture which helps to differentiate it, just like as seen in other HTC flagships.

Multimedia Consumption

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The display is a 5.5-inch HD panel clocking a pixel density of 267 pixels per inch. In this day and age, this resolution can be off putting but in real world terms, the difference was not that noticeable. The panel does get very bright which allowed usage even under the scorching sun in Dubai. Unfortunately, not much can be done to customize how the screen looks in terms of color tone. However, where the phone shines is in the audio department. The loudspeaker and primary audio output found on the bottom chin of the device combine to produce rich audio with little to no distortion. The experience is very impressive and enabled usage even in louder environments. For those who listen with headphones, the experience here too was very good through the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Performance and User Experience

Running the show is a quad-core Snapdragon 400 chipset clocked at 1.4GHz alongside the Adreno 305 GPU and 3GB of RAM. Even for this budget processor, the performance on the phone was note worthy. Day to day tasks did not stutter and multitasking was great with the extra RAM on board. Sense UI really made for a pleasant experience and features like double tapping to wake and gesture access to the camera proved incredibly useful. Even 2D and 3D games ran flawlessly but the only slight gripe one might have may be the absence of a fingerprint scanner. For those accustomed to it, the absence will disturb quick accessibility to the device.

Camera

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The larger than usual hump on the backside of the phone is where the 13MP camera rests. At this price, one cannot expect a lot from the camera and that is exactly what the sensor delivers. In well lit environments, the camera can take some decent pictures albeit with a slower than usual shutter speed. Macro shots look great but where the majority of the disappointment lies is in low light pictures. The sensor fails to take in enough light and produces very grainy images. At times, lights at night can be overexposed and the camera almost frames these lights with a purple flare. At Full HD, video recording was pleasant but with no optical image stabilization, it did come out shaky. The 5MP front camera is good for the occasional selfie but the narrow field of view can sometimes be limiting. At night, the quality deteriorates as expected and video recording at Full HD is once again possible here, at the expense of a loss in dynamic range. Some samples can be seen below:

Battery Life

With a 2700mAh battery and the lower resolution display, battery life was terrific. The smartphone constantly registered screen on times of over six hours and standby times were great as well. With budget phones, battery life deteriorates significantly in the lower percentages but this was not the case with this phone.

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Conclusion

The HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle is a significant penetration by HTC into the low to mid-range market. It comes equipped with good speakers, battery life and an operating system optimized to tackle anything one throws at it. Even though the camera and build quality may be slightly under par, the device is a good choice for anyone wanting a very good Android experience on a budget.