HTC has announced its 10

htc-one-m10-concpetHTC has formally announced the release of its flagship smartphone for 2016.

The HTC 10 mixes the design of the M series with the A9 that came last year. HTC says it spent a year designing the 10.

The 10 has a 5.2-inch, quad HD Super LCD 5 display that HTC says displays 30 percent more colour than last year’s flavour. The screen is covered in Gorilla Glass with curved edges that blend into the phone’s metal frame.

It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM and there is 32GB of internal storage plus a MicroSD slot. HTC says it has optimized the 10’s software and hardware for faster touch response and the new phone is 50 percent more responsive than the M9. The 10’s 3,000mAh battery can go for two days of life thanks to software and hardware optimizations, and supports Quick Charge 3.0 through the phone’s USB Type-C port.

Looks wise it is similar to both the M9 and A9. It has HTC’s all-aluminium construction, with large chamfered edges and machined ports. Below the display is a fingerprint scanner flanked by two buttons for back and recent apps. This is a move away from the on-screen buttons HTC has used on its flagships for the past couple of years.

It doesn’t look like an iPhone, which is a bonus.

The 10’s rear camera has a 12-megapixel sensor behind an optically stabilized f/1.8 lens that should take better photos in low light. It’s accompanied by a dual-LED flash and second-generation laser autofocus system. The camera can also capture 4K video with 24-bit high resolution audio.

The 10’s front camera has also been upgraded to a 5-megapixel sensor with optically stabilized, f/1.8 wideangle lens (a first for front-facing cameras, according to HTC), that should make for better selfies in low light.

There is a high resolution audio system, with a headphone amp that can output twice as much power as other smartphones. The 10 can upscale audio to 24-bit quality. In the box with the phone are Hi-Res-certified earphones and HTC has partnered with JBL to produce a noise-cancelling set of headphones that are powered by the phone’s USB-C port. It can wirelessly play audio through AirPlay-certified speakers.

The software is closer to Google’s version of Android than HTC’s. The outfit said it worked with Google to reduce duplicative apps, and the 10 uses Google’s apps for key things such as calendar, photos, and music. It still uses HTC’s email, messaging, and camera apps, but the interface is more like a Nexus.

The phone ships next month for $699. It will be available in black and silver in the US, while global markets will see a gold option and Japan will get a special red colour.  HTC is offering preorders of an unlocked version of the 10 through its online store starting today.