Mobile Technology

HTC 10 vs. HTC One M9

HTC 10 vs. HTC One M9
We line up and compare the new HTC 10 (left) with last year's flagship, the One M9
We line up and compare the new HTC 10 (left) with last year's flagship, the One M9
View 25 Images
Camera aperture (rear)
1/25
Camera aperture (rear)
Battery
2/25
Battery
Build
3/25
Build
Capacitive keys
4/25
Capacitive keys
Color options
5/25
Color options
Processor
6/25
Processor
Dimensions
7/25
Dimensions
Display resolution
8/25
Display resolution
Display size
9/25
Display size
Display type
10/25
Display type
Fast charging
11/25
Fast charging
Fingerprint sensor
12/25
Fingerprint sensor
We line up and compare the new HTC 10 (left) with last year's flagship, the One M9
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We line up and compare the new HTC 10 (left) with last year's flagship, the One M9
Laser focus
14/25
Laser focus
MicroSD
15/25
MicroSD
Optical Image Stabilization
16/25
Optical Image Stabilization
Camera (rear) pixel size
17/25
Camera (rear) pixel size
Starting price (full retail)
18/25
Starting price (full retail)
RAM
19/25
RAM
Release
20/25
Release
Software
21/25
Software
Storage
22/25
Storage
Data/charging port
23/25
Data/charging port
Weight
24/25
Weight
Camera megapixels
25/25
Camera megapixels
View gallery - 25 images

If you gave up on HTC after last year's meh One M9, then it's time to start paying attention again. The new HTC 10 is a stunning, refined and well-balanced phone – like a 2016 equivalent of the One M7, which was probably the best smartphone from three years ago. Though the HTC 10 is much more than the sum of its specs, let's how it compares to last year's One M9.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

Size isn't dramatically different, with the HTC 10 coming out a hair taller and just 3 percent wider. Keep this in mind in a moment when we get to screen size.

Weight

Weight
Weight

The HTC 10 is slightly heavier, but that fits its slightly larger size. It isn't the lightest phone around, but it isn't unusually heavy either. Most importantly it feels solidly-built and premium in hand.

Build

Build
Build

Speaking of premium, HTC's flagship is as drop-dead gorgeous as ever this year. Its back isn't a radical departure from the familiar all-metal unibody design from the last three flagships – though it does add that chamfered edge, which looks better in person that it does in pictures.

The biggest change is on the front, where HTC ditched the trademark front-facing speakers for a cleaner look – and a fingerprint sensor.

Colors

Color options
Color options

It looks like a fair bet that, at least at launch, US customers will only be able to buy the HTC 10 in the first two color options. It could be that the gold and red hues will only be sold in Taiwan or other countries.

Display size

Display size
Display size

See? Losing those front speakers helped HTC to get a better screen to phone size ratio – the only slightly bigger HTC 10 has an 8 percent bigger screen. Smaller forehead, smaller chin.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

One of the questionable moves in the One M9 was HTC's sticking with a 1080p display just as rival Samsung moved to crisp as crisp can be Quad HD panels. This year that wrong has been righted.

Display type

Display type
Display type

The mid-ranged HTC One A9, from late last year, switched to an AMOLED panel, but the flagship 10 sticks with IPS.

Processor

Processor
Processor

The Snapdragon 820 is, as you'd expect from a generation-newer processor, a big speed update over the 810 in the M9.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The 10 also matches Samsung's latest flagships with 4 GB of RAM.

Storage

Storage
Storage

US customers are likely to only ever see the 32 GB model of the HTC 10 (just like with the M9), but the next category guarantees that won't be a concern.

MicroSD

MicroSD
MicroSD

The microSD slot is back. The HTC 10 also lets you use Android Marshmallow's adoptable storage, so your phone won't differentiate between permanent internal storage and your microSD card. Pop in a 2 TB card (the max supported) and you have a 2.032 TB phone! That would be 127 times the space you get from the entry-level iPhone 6s.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

Pay no mind to this – the HTC 10's camera is much better, with plenty high resolution.

Camera aperture (rear)

Camera aperture (rear)
Camera aperture (rear)

Part of that is because of its wider aperture, one ingredient in better low-light photography.

Camera pixel size (rear)

Camera (rear) pixel size
Camera (rear) pixel size

Here's another ingredient, as HTC is back to its Ultrapixel camera tech, this time rocking 1.55 μm pixels (that's smaller than the camera pixels in the M7 and M8, but providing a much better balance of resolution and pixel size).

... or, if you prefer, the layman's version: the HTC 10 has excellent low-light photography – much better than last year.

OIS

Optical Image Stabilization
Optical Image Stabilization

The HTC 10 doesn't just have Optical Image Stabilization on its rear camera – the company also added it to its front camera, a surefire nod to selfie-takers.

Laser focus

Laser focus
Laser focus

Similar to LG's last few flagships, the 10 has laser-based autofocus, which helps you take speedy shots.

Battery

Battery
Battery

The HTC 10 has a slightly larger (higher capacity) battery. Check back soon for battery tests in our full review.

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

Both phones support Qualcomm's Quick Charge tech, but the HTC 10 moves up to the new 3.0 standard. It won't likely charge too much faster than the 2.0 version, but it is more efficient in its quick-charging.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Following that less than high-end A9 from late 2015, the HTC 10 is the company's first flagship with a fingerprint sensor (unless you count the ginormous One Max from a few years ago).

Capacitive keys

Capacitive keys
Capacitive keys

Unlike the A9, which awkwardly and redundantly put a fingerprint sensor home button below the home/back/recent apps navigation bar on the screen, the 10 goes with a more Samsung-like fingerprint sensor/home button flanked by capacitive (permanent touch) keys for back and recent apps. We love the new setup.

Charging/data port

Data/charging port
Data/charging port

The HTC 10 goes with the reversible (and quite lovely) USB Type C. And the included cable is USB C to A, rather than C to C, so you don't have to worry about replacing your old portable and car chargers.

Software

Software
Software

The old M9s should have already received their Marshmallow update, but the 10 has a subtler version of HTC's custom Sense UI – almost looking like a Nexus device (that's a good thing).

Release

Release
Release

The HTC 10 is up for pre-order now from HTC's online store, with shipments set to start in May.

Starting price (full retail)

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

This is the current price for last year's M9, not its launch price from a year ago. The HTC 10 is US$50 more expensive than rival flagships from Apple and Samsung, but we think it has a fighting chance to be the best smartphone this year. If you loved HTC phones from a few years ago, but have moved on to other handsets, it's time to consider going back – even for an extra half a Benjamin.

For more, you can check out our hands-on with the HTC 10 (stay tuned for our review), and last year's review of the M9.

View gallery - 25 images
4 comments
phissith
People choosing to rate this over LG G5 and consistently compared G5 with S7 and rated it badly, yet rated this higher? I don't get it.
Madlyb
Too little...too late.
morongobill
The M9 with the Beats system and front facing speakers was the best sound in smartphones. I drive a shuttle bus and the sound off the phone can be heard all the way to the back of the bus. With good headphones, the sound is as good as that from a high end player. Now we hear they have moved the speakers and so far, nothing that I have read talks about Beats, did they drop that feature? Guess we won't know until a review comes out.
Talkof the camera is premature, as HTC is wellknown for blowing that. They had better get it right this time.
I really wish that they offered wireless charging as well.
I love the sound off my M9 and may not upgrade if the sound is not as good as what I have now.
For sure, there will be no upgrade if the camera isn't up there with the likes of the Galaxy.
Ron Garza
I've had an HTC One M8 for over a year now. It's okay but I seriously hate the camera button on the side, and having to plug it in to charge it (ever hear of inductance charging?). It least 2 hours to charge; the charger works in Europe and in the US -- all that's needed is a plug profile changer (no transformer needed). Otherwise, all is well.