HTC has finally unveiled its flagship smartphone, the HTC 10, and while it may not outshine the Apple and Samsung devices it's competing against, early impressions state the phone is a compelling addition to the high-end market and the best the company has produced in years.

The rumors that the HTC 10 would feature similar specs to most of this year's flagship smartphones have turned out to be accurate. It comes with a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor clocked at 2.2 Ghz, 1440p display, 4 GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, an SD card slot, fingerprint sensor, and Android Marshmallow 6.01.

HTC had been promoting several of the device's features before the release, including its battery life, camera, and audio qualities, and it appears that these really are the HTC 10's standout areas.

In the all-important area of power, the HTC 10 comes with a 3000mAh battery that the company claims lasts 48 hours for "everyday usage" thanks to optimizing techniques like the screen dynamically changing its refresh rate based on the kind of app that you're using. There's no wireless charging, but a combination of Quick Charge 3.0 and USB Type-C will juice a battery to the halfway point in under 30 minutes. Unfortunately, like most smartphones these days, the battery is non-removable.

The HTC 10 comes with "the world's first optically stabilized, larger aperture f/1.8 lenses" on both the front and rear cameras. The rear snapper has a 12MP Ultrapixel sensor that features large 1.55µm pixels, a dual-tone LED flash, a swift laser autofocus system, and 4K video recording. The 5MP front camera, meanwhile, has a wide-angle lens and screen flash, making it a good choice for selfie fans. RAW format is supported, and the camera app has a claimed launch time of 0.6 seconds.

It appears that the HTC 10 would be the perfect phone for audiophiles. The seperate tweeter and woofer built into the earpiece and the bottom of the device are said to produce an amazing stereo BoomSound experience. There's also a number of other audio features, including 4K video that can be shot with 24-bit 96KHz audio, a headphone jack with an amp that provides two times the power of a conventional headphone amp, the ability to upscale from 16-bit to 24-bit audio, and digital to analog conversion.

HTC says the smartphone's QHD 564 PPI screen covers 92-percent of the NTSC color gamut and is 30 percent more colorful and 50 percent more responsive to touch than its predecessor.

Combine all this with the chamfered-edged aluminum unibody, reduced bloatware, and numerous other features, and it looks as if the HTC 10 really could be a viable high-end alternative to what Apple and Samsung have to offer.

Pre-orders for the HTC 10 in Carbon Grey and Glacier Silver start today for $699, and will ship in early May.

Here are the HTC 10's full specs:

  • Display: 5.2-inch, Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels), super LCD 5
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
  • Platform: Android 6.0 with HTC Sense
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage expandable up to 2TB via microSD
  • Rear Camera: 12MP (HTC UltraPixel 2), laser autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture, Pro mode, Auto-HDR, Zoe Capture, hyperlapse, 12X Slow motion mode, 4K video recording with Hi-Res Audio
  • Front Camera: 5MP (1.34MICROm pixels), autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture with ultra wide-angle lens, Live Makeup, Auto-HDR
  • Sound: HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition, Dolby Audio, Personal Audio Profile, Hi-Res Audio Certified, Hi-Res Audio Earphones, Three microphones with noise cancellation, Hi-Res Audio Stereo Recording
  • Connection: USB Type-C
  • SIM card: Nano SIM
  • Connectivity: NFC, BT 4.2, Wi-Fi@: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
  • Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, Sensor Hub
  • Battery: 3000 mAh