As we mentioned before, the HTC Bolt is quite reminiscent of the HTC 10. So holding it in the hand, it feels like an oversized HTC 10. One notable change to the design is the flattening of the rear panel. The HTC 10's rear panel is curved, but this one has been flattened so it feels like a chiseled slab of metal.
We admit we preferred the curve on the back of the HTC 10 compared to the flat rear panel of the Bolt. The HTC 10's curve worked well with the bevel for ergonomics, but with a flat back the phone feels more angular and almost 'blocky'. Definitely get a feel of the phone before ordering if you are considering purchasing it.
The HTC Bolt is 174g, a bit on the heftier side for a phone with a screen of this size. Though, its build quality is no joke. HTC's premium construction and choice of materials leaves us satisfied. The company even opted for IP57 water-resistance, and the removal of the headphone jack is to thank in part.
The bottom bezel is about the same size as the Pixel XL's, but the Bolt arguably makes better use of it since it uses dedicated navigation controls. The fingerprint scanner also doubles as the home button and you can use the scanner to wake the phone, by-passing the lockscreen entirely.
The 'forehead' of the phone houses the front facing camera, and next to it an earpiece which is sadly not a speaker.
Next to the earpiece is an LED notification light that sits behind the glass, as well as the standard proximity and ambient-light sensors. And what appears to be a mic hole - a strange place to put one. Under that is the 5.5-inch QHD Super LCD 3 display, protected by Corning's latest Gorilla Glass 5.
The top edge of the phone has a soft-plastic insert, which probably is there to allow signals to pass through.
Turning to the left edge, we have no buttons, but two trays: one for a nanoSIM card and the other is a microSD card tray. The right side has the only hardware keys: a textured power button, and a volume rocker, both of which are made of the same material as the phone's aluminum unibody.
The bottom accommodates the speaker grille and an in-call mic. Between them, sits the USB-C port. The USB-C port is surrounded by a rubbery material, likely to help with its water protection.
As we already mentioned on the HTC Bolt, there's no 3.5mm headphone jack. This is slowly turning into a trend and we're not fans of that.
Finally, the backside of the phone features the silk-screened HTC logo in the middle. There are two antenna lines on either end of the phone, each of which have a mic - likely related to HTC's Hi-Res Audio recording.
At the top is the 16MP camera with OIS which sticks out just like the HTC 10's did. Finally, there's a dual LED flash just over the top antenna-line.
We are impressed by the hardware and build quality of the HTC Bolt. We are happy to see that it was held to the same high standards as the HTC 10, though with some questionable design changes. We can't wait to see if the camera can hold a candle to the HTC 10's 12MP shooter.