Published on February 25th, 2017 | by Varuna Singh


HTC Desire 10 Pro Review

Close your eyes, think about HTC. The HTC Desire 10 pro isn’t exactly what comes to mind. HTC is known for their great hardware, simple software but somehow fail to win over the competition. HTC hasn’t had the best luck in standing out from the bling of the other competitors and the recent wave of Chinese manufacturers like Huawei/Honor or OnePlus. The Taiwanese manufacturer has a great reputation and success with their partnerships with Google on the Pixel to their VIVE VR set. In terms of phones, HTC has its reputation to go for right now. This is HTC’s latest Desire line up. A cost effective phone that does the job but is it for you?

The HTC Desire is HTC’s mid-high end range of phones. They sport personality, and design that’s both trendy and unique. From their Spot design to today’s Desire line up – the Pro 10 which has Gold accents over a plastic body. It doesn’t scream HTC at all. The plastic is average and the Gold accents In terms of looks isn’t very remarkable.

“It doesn’t scream HTC at all (in design)”

I asked a range of people on what they think of the Desire 10 Pro’s design and I got mixed opinions. Fans of symmetry and minimalist design disliked it while others like the subtle bling and think its stands out in a good way. That’s sounds about right to what HTC Desire line has always been. So I’ll leave you to judge how the phone looks like. Let me talk about how it feels.


The Desire 10 Pro has a really big 5.5” screen. It’s a nice display. Colors are vivid and unlike any mid-range phone from 2 years ago. The colors are a little bit too saturated but it works well while using the phone. The phone is meant to be a large phone, and it’s quite light too. Ergonomically it works well. The top and bottom space around the screen is quite generous and makes the phone look longer than it possibly could. That does help in hold the phone while gaming and watching movies however.

The device feels light as well. Its weight is balanced but somehow the plastic ends up feeling hollow and not complete. It’s not a deal-breaker but it doesn’t have a premium feel to it. Consider the HTC A series with has curved edges and metallic body. Even if the A9 is a high to mid-range phone, it ends up feeling a lot better than the Desire 10 pro. I do have a small problem with the Desire 10 and that’s its doesn’t feel like a well-made HTC phone.

The bottom buttons are flushed into the plastic housing and are capacitive buttons. They work as you would expect and are not on-screen. There are pros and cons to this design. Using the phone in portrait mode is not an issue – you don’t accidentally hit on these buttons while using the device. In landscape mode, it would take a bit getting used to.

Another differential feature of the HTC Desire 10 Pro is that it’s powered by a processor from Mediatek. Its called the Helio P10 and its Mediatek’s mid-high end processor that has 4G modem built-in. It’s a 1.8 Octa-core 64bit processor that’s based on the ARM Cortex-A53 CPU. It’s a big/LITTLE architecture which means it has a core for low-power tasks as well as a faster 2GHz core. This is the same architecture as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor – so you’d at least expect the Desire 10 pro’s performance to be on par if not better to Snapdragon 615. The higher Snapdragon 820 and 620 series use a combination of Cortex A53 and A72 and are clocked slightly higher.

Snappy in every-day tasks and in games

Using the phone I concluded that the Helio P10 does a good job in everyday tasks. In Gaming as well. While games might take a bit longer to load but frames were smooth and its 1080p screen makes for a really good viewing experience. If you want, you can push the Desire 10 Pro to its limits and the performance drop gets noticeable.

The Screen is a good 1080p and I still think that’s adequate even on a 5.5” screen size. The viewing angles are great and if maxed out, the Desire 10 pro offers pleasant viewing experience in bright day light. However the adaptive auto brightness doesn’t work perfectly. I found myself many times having to change the alter the brightness to suit my needs.

“Quick camera with good clarity”

The most noticeable feature of the Desire 10 pro is its camera. It’s a 20 MP sensor and there is a considerable camera bump that adds to the design at the back. It’s a f/2.2 28mm lens with last autofocus and dual-LED dual tone flash. The camera fairs well in my tests. It takes good pictures but they can be a bit more saturated than your color neutral cameras like the iPhone. I’m not directly comparing, but HTC’s cameras have improved dramatically and it’s a great camera to take with you. It offers clarity, the camera app is very quick too. It’s just not flagship level and today that’s not a bad compromise.

The front facing camera is a wide angle camera and takes good wide shots but is nothing remarkable either. The fingerprint reader at the back works well and is super quick. It’s at the back which means you probably would only use it when it’s in your hand with your index and middle-finger. Accidental presses aren’t much of a problem while holding the device in your hand.

Android on HTC phones is often underrated. I applaud HTC for working with Google in merging their experiences with their own. The Android experience is smooth and very stock like. It works well with HTC’s own features and is fast. The Desire 10 Pro runs Marshmallow v6.0. You are also offered some regional apps when you first boot the device in the Middle-East. From Souq to Careem, some of these apps make sense and are a good plug to apps and services in the region.

The Desire 10 Pro is a dual SIM device. It also supports microSD expansion but at the compromise of one SIM card. It only takes nano SIM and its storage can be expanded up to 256 GB. Making calls and using mobile data is as you would expect.

The Desire 10 Pro has a 3000 mAh battery. Its non-removable and a bit less for a phone this big. However, the Mediatek Helio P10 does a fair job in its battery consumption. Its 2 1.8 big Cores and 2 1 Ghz LITTLE cores do well for everyday use. I easily got a day of fair to moderate use with the Desire 10 Pro. The phone does NOT have quick charge and has a now old micro-USB charging port. While that’s great since you probably have many of those cables already, it can take close to 2 hours to charge completely.

The HTC Desire 10 Pro is available in the region for a price of AED1299 for 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of built-in storage. The 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version is only a AED100 higher at AED1399. I’d recommend the 4GB version since the extra GB of RAM fairs well in using the device for gaming- and its very capable at it.

In conclusion, for the price range, HTC offers a decent phone for your money but its way too moderate. Can you get better quality and more features with the same price? – Yes. So why would you settle for the HTC Desire 10 Pro? I wish I could say the phone has the HTC DNA, but I somehow don’t see it in hardware. I love the camera of the Desire 10 Pro. It a joy to use and new Mediatek Helio P10 does a fair job in every-day use. It also feels a bit cooler (temperature wise) while gaming than other similar phones. The lack of anything surprising about this phone might put you off. But if you dig the phone’s design, its big screen and HTC’s great regional warranty, you should go for the Desire 10 Pro. In all other matters, you should probably look elsewhere. In a nutshell– Quick & Moderate.

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About the Author

I work with technology in Education. I also write stuff. I love design and people. @varunasingh

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