HTC took no shortcuts when it came down to build quality. Just, wow. The hardware is so well packed and weight nicely distributed. The reaffirming heft leaves us feeling safe knowing that a little rough and tumble would be no problem for the HTC 10.
The HTC 10 was somewhat criticized when HTC teased the rear chamfered edge because of how unusually wide the actual chamfer cut was. But now that we hold it in hand, we can understand why HTC wanted to design its handset this way. The wide chamfer gives the HTC 10 a much welcomed tapered edge which aids in the ergonomics of the phone.
The big chamfer's aesthetic is not justified solely by renders or pictures. Upon seeing the chamfer in person, one is able to appreciate the hardware as it was meant to be experienced: by holding it in your hand and holding it up to the light.
Depending on which color you pick, the front will be either black or white. Tose match up nicely with Carbon Grey and Glacial Silver and even though there's no Gold front, we appreciate HTC's effort (some makers put a black front on each and every unit, even the white ones).
The entire backside of the device feels amazing in your hand. To prevent the phone from rocking on a table or desk, the HTC 10 has a flatter midsection instead of a totally round backside. Setting the phone down on a flat surface doesn't allow the phone to rock or slide around.
The camera lens is a different story, however, and it does protrude. Also, when placing the 10 face-up on a table, the weight of the phone is resting on the camera ring. So keep in mind that you'll probably want to buy a case for this phone.
Rather than a traditional dual front-facing speaker setup, HTC decided it'd be better to redesign the look of Boom Sound by placing the main tweeters in two different parts of the device. While the lower bass and mids are dedicated to the bottom-firing speaker the earpiece speaker is dedicated for mid to higher tones.
HTC's decision to bring back capacitive keys to the front of its flagship is a welcome one. First off, the capacitive buttons make up for the large bezel on the bottom. If the navigation keys were on-screen keys (as was the case on the past two iterations) the bottom bezel would have looked more like wasted space.
Making a texture into the power button is always a great decision, especially when the power button is right below the volume rocker. If you haven't been around with HTC since the days of the M7 or M8, this might take a little while to get used to. Thankfully, though, the texture is super tactile and very easy to tell when you are actually touching it. This should really lessen the chance of accidentally pressing the wrong keys.
To protect that beautiful screen, HTC created the Ice View cover. "Dot View" got its name from the pixelated interface it showed, while this is crystal clear - well, as clear as ice anyway. You get close to the full resolution of the screen (the finish does make things a bit fuzzy, but its light years ahead of Dot View), you can even take photos without flipping the cover open (two swipes launch the camera).