Mobile Technology

Moto Z vs. HTC 10

Bold and modular or classic and refined? We compare the features and specs of the Motorola Moto Z (left) and HTC 10
Bold and modular or classic and refined? We compare the features and specs of the Motorola Moto Z (left) and HTC 10
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Camera aperture (rear)
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Camera aperture (rear)
Battery
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Battery
Boom box option
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Boom box option
Build
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Build
Camera megapixels
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Camera megapixels
Color options
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Color options
Processor
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Processor
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Display resolution
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Display resolution
Display size
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Display size
Display type
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Display type
Fast charging
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Fast charging
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Bold and modular or classic and refined? We compare the features and specs of the Motorola Moto Z (left) and HTC 10
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Bold and modular or classic and refined? We compare the features and specs of the Motorola Moto Z (left) and HTC 10
HiFi audio
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HiFi audio
MicroSD
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MicroSD
Modular
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Modular
Optical Image Stabilization
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Optical Image Stabilization
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
Projector option
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Projector option
RAM
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RAM
Release
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Release
Software
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Software
Storage
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Storage
Weight
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Weight
Wireless charging
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Wireless charging

The Moto Z and HTC 10 are two different takes on the flagship smartphone. Motorola's is a bold (but also risky, as LG's flopped G5 can attest to) modular handset, while HTC's refines the classic smartphone formula. Read on, as we see how their features and specs compare.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

As you can see, the Moto Z is the bigger phone, coming out 5 percent taller and 4 percent wider.

Technically the HTC 10 is 73 percent thicker, but there are a couple caveats. First, the Moto Z is only measured without any of its modular shells attached (they're basically the whole point of buying the phone) and that also doesn't measure its protruding camera hump. The HTC 10, meanwhile, has a rounded back and its beefy measurement is a little deceiving since it only includes the thickest point.

... so while the Moto Z is indeed an insanely thin phone, and the HTC 10 clearly isn't hanging its hat on that spec, the discrepancy isn't quite as wide as these numbers suggest.

Weight

Weight
Weight

The Moto Z measures 16 percent lighter than the HTC 10, but this too will change once you snap a mod onto the back of the Moto.

Modular

Modular
Modular

As we mentioned, the Moto Z has a modular focus with its snap-on back plates that add either a different look/feel, extra battery life or entirely new features (more on those in a minute).

Build

Build
Build

Motorola says the Z is made of steel and aluminum, while the HTC 10 has one of the smoothest-looking aluminum unibody designs around.

Motorola will also have some "Style Shells" that put different materials on the back, like wood, leather or patterned fabric.

Colors

Color options
Color options

The Moto Z's main body only ships in four different color options (and all but the white model have black fronts), but once you put the modular back plates into play, its options get wider – and can continue to widen, indefinitely.

Display size

Display size
Display size

The Moto Z has a 12 percent bigger screen.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

Both have ultra-sharp QHD resolution. The HTC 10's smaller screen, though, gives it a 6 percent higher pixel density.

Display type

Display type
Display type

It's AMOLED vs. IPS on the display panel front.

Battery

Battery
Battery

That asterisk next to the Moto's battery capacity is courtesy of its battery mods. The optional Incipio OffGrid mod snaps onto the phone's backside to add an extra 2,220 mAh to its total. It's like a battery case you'd buy for any other phone (and every bit as thick and heavy as one), only more integrated into the phone itself.

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

Like all modern Android flagships, both have quick-charging tech onboard.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging
Wireless charging

The only way you'll get wireless charging on either phone is through one version of the Incipio OffGrid case for the Moto Z. There's a version that has wireless charging (and is more expensive), and another that doesn't.

Processor

Processor
Processor

Both handsets run Qualcomm's zippy Snapdragon 820 processor. It's the current benchmark for high-end 2016 Android phones.

RAM

RAM
RAM

We're also looking at a (currently standard) 4 GB of RAM either way.

Storage

Storage
Storage

You won't see the 64 GB HTC 10 in the US, but otherwise both phones offer the same internal storage options.

MicroSD

MicroSD
MicroSD

You also get expandable storage no matter which you choose.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

We haven't yet put the Moto Z's camera to the test, but the HTC 10's is one of our two top picks in this category (alongside the Galaxy S7).

Camera aperture (rear)

Camera aperture (rear)
Camera aperture (rear)

Here's a promising sign: the Moto Z matches the HTC 10 in aperture, which could bode well for its low-lit photography (HTC's phone is already in excellent shape there).

OIS

Optical Image Stabilization
Optical Image Stabilization

Both phones' rear cameras have Optical Image Stabilization, while the HTC 10 goes one better with OIS in its front-facing camera.

HiFi audio

HiFi audio
HiFi audio

The HTC 10 is outstanding for audio, and unless you count the hard-to-find B&O add-on for the LG G5, HTC's phone is our top pick for best smartphone audio, with its built-in amp and 24-bit DAC. Plug in (or pair) some quality headphones and you'll enjoy some unusually rich and smooth mobile sound.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Like pretty much every high-end phone you can buy today, each of these has a fingerprint sensor.

Sitting below its screen, you might expect the Moto Z's sensor to double as a home button, but we discovered during our hands-on that it instead doubles as a sleep/wake/power button.

Projector

Projector option
Projector option

We're venturing into Nicheville here, as one of the Moto Z's mods lets you share its screen as a 70-inch projection on the wall. Even if you don't have much use for that, this is the beauty of modular phones: OEMs can add features that cater to a select few, with no skin off of anyone else's back.

Boom box

Boom box option
Boom box option

Another niche mod for the Moto Z, its JBL SoundBoost mod turns the phone into a little boom box (complete with kickstand) with some powerful sound. We'd prefer the HTC 10's better headphone audio (and the 10 has terrific built-in speakers as well), but if you want to replace your portable Bluetooth speaker (and sacrifice being able to do much with your phone while listening), this mod isn't a bad way to do it.

Software

Software
Software

Like the HTC 10, the Moto Z will launch with Android Marshmallow, with updates to Android Nougat coming to both phones sometime down the road. Neither is completely stock Android, with each manufacturer throwing in some extra features, but the latest version of HTC Sense is fairly close to stock – and from what we could tell at Lenovo's launch event, the Moto Z is too.

Release

Release
Release

Unfortunately the Moto Z launches as a limited-time Verizon exclusive, sometime this (Northern hemisphere) summer. It sounds like other US carriers and the rest of the world will have to wait until September.

Starting price (full retail)

Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (full retail)

The HTC 10's price varies a bit from carrier to carrier, but this is a roughly median price based on all of their prices (just note that the versions straight from HTC, including the unlocked version, are a pricier US$699).

At least we know what the HTC 10 costs; Motorola has yet to spill the beans on the Moto Z's pricing. Since there wouldn't be many compelling reasons to buy the phone without also buying a modular add-on or two, we're hoping Motorola keeps the phone's base price down to a respectable level – or, failing that, throws in a mod of your choice as a bonus. We'll see.

For more, you can check out full reviews of the Moto Z and HTC 10.

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