HTC took the wraps off of their latest flagship offering last week, with the company hoping for the HTC 10 to once again return the glory they once enjoyed. If you’ve already taken a look at our comprehensive review, you will know that we do think very highly of HTC’s latest effort, and while it may not be the perfect 10 the company is hoping it to be, it certainly comes close.
More HTC 10 videos
The HTC 10 is now up for pre-order and will be making its way to consumers in the early days of May. If you have decided to pick up the HTC 10, you may also be interested in a couple of accessories that are on offer as well, to help you get the best experience the device has to offer. Here is the review of the Ice View case and the Hi-Res earphones!
HTC 10 Ice View case
As good as the unibody metal construction of the HTC 10 looks, the metal does prove to be quite slippery, and an extra layer of protection from accidental bumps and drops may be necessary. That is where the HTC Ice View case comes into the picture, which is a variation, or rather, an evolution of the Dot View case that was available with the HTC One M8 and One M9.
Installing the case is as simple as ever, and all you have to do is slip the phone into the main part of the flip cover, and the case will be available in different options, to maintain the color of the device. Granted, you are going to be covering up the beautiful design of the phone, but the protection that you get for the back, front, and sides, means that you will at least be able to keep the device in pristine condition.
As far as the handling experience in concerned, the case does add a little bit of girth the already somewhat wide smartphone, making it slightly difficult to use with one hand. The front face that protects the display is easy to flip open, but to get a good ergonomic feel will probably require you to either fold it all the way back, or tuck it under one of your fingers. This case isn’t particularly thick, but, as mentioned, the 10 is wider than what you may be used to, and adding the case might just exacerbate the handling experience.
As expected, the case comes with the appropriate and precise cuts for access to the the charging port and headphone jack at the bottom and top respectively, and the front-facing speaker above the display is also exposed, allowing for its use even when the flip face is closed. Speaking of having the front face closed, the device still allows for some limited usability in this case. Double tapping on the front when holding up the phone brings up a lock screen of sorts, providing you with information such as the time, weather updates, and notifications. Swiping up on the notification icon will also give you more information related to it as well.
You will also have access to music player controls, but the most interesting addition this time around is the ability to access the camera application with the front face closed. You basically get to use the regular motion gesture on the case to launch the camera and you get to see everything through the semi-transparent face quite well. Granted, in broad daylight situations, the glare will be enough that you won’t be able to see the viewfinder, but in most other circumstances, it may come in handy.
The main problem is that the cover does tend to blur the entire viewfinder, so accessing the granular controls available in the Pro mode will be quite difficult. However, if you just want to take a shot quickly, you can do so without opening the flip cover. The other issue is that you will have to open the front face to take selfies, which is disappointing, and a cutout for the front-facing camera would have been useful.
All said and done, the design and features of the Ice View case does allow for a very unique perspective for what is a smart cover for the HTC 10. The Ice View case can be bought directly from the HTC website for $49.99.
One of the marquee features of the HTC 10 is the audio experience that this device provides, and to take best advantage of it, HTC also has its own Hi-Res earphones on offer. They do have the look of high-end earbuds or an in-ear monitor, starting with the silicone tips that sit very comfortably in the ear. Other sizes of the tips are included in the box as well, so you won’t have a problem finding something that best fits your needs. A single button is found on the right earbud, that also houses a microphone for taking calls. Answering calls using these earphones has been a pretty good experience, with their being no complaints with regards to clarity or volume from either end of the call.
Of course, the real fun begins when using these earphones to watch videos, and even more so when listening to music. The BoomSound enhancement settings will require you to answer a few questions initially to set up your audio profile, and you are then ready to go. Listening to pretty much any music makes for an enjoyable experience, and this pair is leaps and bounds better than any bundled earphones you may have got with your previous smartphones.
It is in the low-end that these earphones do a great job. The mids are pretty good, and the highs could use a touch more clarity, but when using these earphones at the highest volumes, you really will feel like you are standing in a club, and does so without muddying the lower-end. You certainly be hearing much distortion, and at high volumes, BoomSound really does earn its name. Of course, if you already own a pair of high-end headphones, earphones, or in-ear monitors, you will be able to enjoy a fantastic experience as well, but it is great to see a first-party accessory being made to take advantage of what has been one of the best audio experiences we’ve had on a smartphone so far.
- Driver Unit: 13mm, Dynamic
- Diaphragm: PEEK
- Frequency Response: 10-40kHz
- Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW
- Impedance: 35Ω (at 1kHz)
- Cord Type: OFC, Y-type
- Power Handing Capacity: 100 mW
- Hi-Res audio certified
- Large 13mm dynamic driver for stronger bass and richer treble
- Aerospace-grade ultra thin (8μm) PEEK diaphragm delivers more powerful sound
- Ergonomically designed to fit your ear comfortably
- Double the sound range (10Hz-40kHz)
Pricing information for the Hi-Res earphones haven’t been released as yet, and while very select markets will have a pair of these earphones available in the box when picking up the phone, the US isn’t included in that list. If you don’t already have a great set of headphones available, you should definitely consider these made by HTC that really enhance the audio experience available with the HTC 10.
What do you think of the HTC 10 and is it the smartphone for you? Would you buy any of these accessories? Check out our full HTC 10 review and let us know your thoughts on the phone and the cases in the comments below!