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7 things HTC must do to make the One M10 a success

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HTC One M10

After a pretty disastrous 2015, HTC has it all to do to convince people to buy its forthcoming HTC One M10. All the more so now the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 impressed so much at MWC 2016.

HTC didn't announce the M10 at MWC, but instead teased an upcoming launch – presumably to avoid the fuss and coverage of the S7 and G5.

Given a recent report showed HTC losing users to all its major rivals, it has lots of work to do. Here are seven ways HTC can ensure the M10 is a hit.

A9

1) Brand new design

As Apple and HTC itself have shown, people are willing to accept the same solid design two years in a row. Three times, though, is just pushing it.

That's precisely what HTC did with the HTC One M9. One of the biggest reasons for our disappointment in last year's flagship was the fact that it looked so very similar indeed to the previous two models, the HTC One M8 and the HTC One M7.

The HTC One M10, then, needs to come forward with a fresh look and feel. HTC was the first Android manufacturer to take the design fight to Apple, so we really hope it's rediscovered its mojo.

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HTC Camera

2) Competitive camera

As good as many of HTC's smartphones have been over the years, they simply haven't managed to kick on sufficiently in terms of mobile photography.

The HTC One M9's camera represented an improvement over the innovative but flawed HTC One M8, but that wasn't enough. Not when the competition was the Samsung Galaxy S6, the LG G4, and the iPhone 6 - all of which sport excellent cameras.

There are two rumours surrounding the One M10's camera at present: that it will have a 23-megapixel unit, or a 12-megapixel UltraPixel unit.

We don't care which approach HTC takes, particularly. All we know is that the HTC One M10's camera needs to be more than decent - it needs to be excellent.

3) QHD display

We hate the whole box-ticking stupidity of the smartphone spec war, but you feel HTC has to embrace QHD for the One M10.

You might argue that 1080p is just fine for displays up to 5-inches in size, and we'd be inclined to agree. The iPhone 6S Plus has a great 1080p 5.5-inch screen, after all.

The trouble is, the Samsung Galaxy S6's 5.1-inch screen is more than just 'fine' - it's the best in the business. QHD is the agreed standard for high-end Android phones, and the HTC One M10 simply can't be seen to be falling behind.

Again, initial reports suggest that HTC is doing just this. It might even be an AMOLED panel, too.

4) No CPU issues

Aside from its conservative design, one of the things that did for the HTC One M9 was its dodgy early-model Snapdragon 810 CPU. Whether it was Qualcomm's or HTC's fault, the fact was that initial HTC One M9 models suffered from overheating and sub-standard performance.

The HTC One M10 can't afford to be anything less than a strong and reliable performer.

Fortunately, the Snapdragon 820 CPU that's reportedly making its way into the One M10 is also being widely used elsewhere, and it seems Qualcomm is back on form after a poor year.

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Sense

5) Don't lose the BoomSound

So far, early reports and rumours surrounding the HTC One M10 seem to suggest that HTC is on course to address most of our concerns, including the adding of many features missing from the HTC One M9.

However, HTC may be removing a certain component that could prove detrimental. We're talking about the One series's renowned BoomSound speakers.

No matter how much the One M9 disappointed, it still had the best stereo sound of any smartphone. We'd hate for that advantage to be lost, but initial image leaks suggest that might be the case with the M10. Say it ain't so, HTC.

fingerprint

6) Fingerprint sensor

Those aforementioned image leaks did seem to confirm that another weakness of the HTC One M9 will be rectified this time around: the lack of a fingerprint sensor.

We're at a point now where fingerprint authentication technology is pretty much essential on a high-end smartphone, both for security and for mobile payment purposes. Apple has long had Touch ID in its iPhones, of course, but since the arrival of Marshmallow the technology has been properly integrated into Android too.

It looks like the HTC One M10 will have a Touch ID-like fingerprint sensor (like the HTC One A9 before it), and it really needs one to compete in 2016.

7) Closer to stock Android

Ah, HTC Sense. What are we to do with you? If anything's emblematic of HTC's decline in fortunes, its the company's divisive UI.

Once seen as a strong, classy differentiation point back when Android was the ugly duckling of the smartphone OS world, it's since come to be viewed by many as a bit of a clunky liability. Not everyone agrees, but with stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow pretty much our favourite mobile OS of the moment, there's little ongoing sense in Sense.

It's too much to hope that HTC has ditched Sense altogether, but we sincerely hope that it's been pared back. Early noises made by HTC (and other sources) suggest that there's reason to be hopeful on this front.

What do you think HTC needs to do better this year? Let us know in the comments

toboev

February 18, 2016, 12:23 pm

So once every Android phone is the same commodity - stock android, high-end internals, "premium" (which seems to be another word for metal) build, etc - what is there to differentiate one from another, except price? And which manufacturer wants to turn this into a commodity price war game?

For HTC to prosper they must innovate - something new and different over and above your ticklist of hygiene factors. Of course that is a perilous route, it could bomb. And the press, who all derided the original Samsung Note, are no judge of what will fly.

But that is how Apple did it in the first place, when all we thought we wanted was a better Nokia. Apple then had nothing to lose in the mobile market, which made it easier to take that risk.

Dead Words

February 18, 2016, 12:24 pm

I like HTC. I know they can make a seriously good phone, I just want the M10 to be the best one yet.

Keith6110

February 18, 2016, 1:57 pm

I've been with HTC since the evo 3d, moved to the HTC m7, then to M8. This time I wanted to wait for the M10...

Bottom line for me... NO BOOMSOUND, no M10. I love watching videos without headphones, I refuse to cup my hand behind my phone like an apple user.

nys299

February 18, 2016, 2:47 pm

Frankly I think HTC would kill it if it surprised us and offered the M10 with stock Android 6.1. I would definitely consider it because of that (of course the other specs must be top notch) and could be what makes HTC regain some market share. Remember HTC.....sometimes less is more. So how about it? Ditch Sense and just go with stock Android. Believe me, I would rather buy a HTC than to buy a Huawei anyday but only stock Android for me. So as far as I am concerned only Nexus phones.....but I don't like Huawei phones so I am skipping the current gen and am praying like crazy that either Google does their own phones or someone else like Samsung or LG or HTC does the next Nexus phone. So it will be good if HTC can offer a M10 with stock Android and give me another option apart from the Nexus phones. Currently I am using the Nexus 6 by Motorola the last phone moto did before they got sold to Lenovo. And I absolutely love the phone to bits. Imagine, my phone is more than 1 year old and I am on Marshmallow while my friends are still waiting for it on their new Note 5s, Galaxy 6 et al, LG G4, and pretty much every phone that was released way after my phone. Such a shame.

Sue Henry

February 18, 2016, 8:01 pm

Bezel-less screen without boom sound or edge to edge with boom sound. Crisp amoled display. Metal body of course but removable back like the old htc HD2 or one that slides on and snaps in place. Stock but lightly themed with sense. With the option to easily custom rom it at your own risk. The bottom line is that futuristic phones are metal,bezel-less and amoled based screen technology. Period. People want the coolest looking phone. The A9 should have been in gun metal gray only, to distinguish itself from the iphone 6 design and color.

charged99

February 18, 2016, 8:57 pm

I have had the LG G3 & LG G4 the G3 stunk major issues the G4 is better but not by much we forget one thing that HTC customer support "Rocks" while LG customer service just straight up sucks... I tried to buy an additional battery for the 64 and they are out of stock and I have to be transferred to 3 different people who speak horrible english and when my phone had an issue I sent it to them they returned it saying the tech cannot identify an issue.. really crappy.. while HTC has tech support in the USA and hires Americans. So I can't wait to get rid of my G4 and buy a M10 but they say the phone will not be available until mid May which is 3 months 1/2 it is quite some time away the M9 came out in March which they are delaying the phone for 2 1/2 months for what reason? The only good thing about LG is there TV's

Zach

February 18, 2016, 11:03 pm

Unfortunately, when they tried offering their phones with stock android, no one bought them so they stopped.

Sense is by far the best OEM skin available for android though. Plus if you buy the phone unlocked, you'll get the update within 15 days of the nexus phones receiving it.

Jimster480

February 19, 2016, 3:02 am

Stock marshmellow UI is literally miserably bad. One of the worst things about the A9 is that its close to the stock UI.
Google has no idea how to design a UI and it has plenty of idiotic things like not being able to turn off GPS without going into the settings menu and then into location and then setting it to "battery save" mode.

Sense is in every way superior to Android's default UI and I am really sad to see it be torn away.

Jimster480

February 19, 2016, 3:03 am

I basically feel the same way. Boomsound is a big thing for me and I really missed it on the A9 while I was testing it.

TheDeity 😇

February 19, 2016, 3:29 am

I have an One M9 and a Nexus 9 both running Marshmallow. They put in some stock features on my One M9 like the volume settings, and the notification slide down that are absolutely hideous. It won't read my OTG without approval. Not to mention the amount of space Marshmallow took up was absurd (12GB of my internal storage is for system now)

Other than the Doze feature that has DRASTICALLY improved my battery life and some cool screen wake/sleep animations, I prefer Sense 7 on Lollipop FAR more than it on Marshmallow.

I hope HTC knows that their Sense UI is NOT one of their bad points. It honestly is the best UI for Android.

Stock Android on my Nexus 9 isn't bad in my opinion, but nowhere near as enjoyable as Sense.

Jimster480

February 19, 2016, 3:31 am

Yep I feel the same way. I have a M9 and a Nexus 9 too and I completely know where you are coming from.

Derek

February 19, 2016, 3:31 am

What if HTC's reason for delaying the M10 is because they actually have 2 or 3 designs in mind? It could be possible that these leaks are an attempt to see what everyone's true reactions would be to drastic changes. Then, after getting our true opinions, they go with the design that best meets what the market wants. It also gives them a bit of time to see the market's reaction to Samsung and LG's new phones and then adapt changes to the M10 before a final release.

HTC never said front facing speakers were gone.

Everything right now is pure speculation based on a very low quality, blurry image of a phone that may or may not be the M10.

The media and bloggers have all been sheep following these rumors. All it is at this point is thin air. No substance or fact or proof.

I think if HTC is really holding out and allowing these leaks or even feeding these leaks to get our true reactions, then it is a clever idea. Dangerous, but clever.

People may make up their minds before even seeing the "real" M10 and go with Samsung or LG based on leaks and speculation. Shame on them for being foolish. At least wait for an OFFICIAL image from HTC of the M10 before making a choice.

I will wait for the real M10.

TheDeity 😇

February 19, 2016, 3:57 am

Lmfaooo the familiarity. We have so much in common

Joe Randazzo

February 19, 2016, 10:43 am

I have M7 and M8. I passed on M9 to wait for M10...

If the speakers are gone, so am I.

Pay attention HTC.

Daniel Golightly

February 21, 2016, 3:34 pm

They had a device a few years back called the HTC Flyer. Had a sensational stylus/pen device. Would love to see them make an s-pen competitor too. I know it's not a huge feature to most people, but it'd represent some really nice icing on the cake. Also, if you could pair it with a beautifully designed Android Wear device... that'd be spectacular.

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