System Performance

One of the major areas worth discussing when it comes to mobile devices is computing performance. As much as OEMs try to not talk about this, ultimately what distinguishes a smartphone from a featurephone or simple flip phone is dramatically improved compute. Running a web browser, running a full Linux OS with apps that require JIT or AOT compilation are all tasks that demand large amounts of system memory and compute. Similarly, any kind of 3D game is going to require quite a bit of compute power and memory in general. As mentioned in previous reviews a major focus for this year has been trying to make our benchmarks more focused on real-world performance, so we’ll be better able to show how the HTC 10 actually performs relative to other devices on the market.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

JetStream 1.1 (Chrome/Safari)

In the basic browser benchmarks, we can see that the HTC 10 is pretty much on par with all other Snapdragon 820 devices. This shouldn't really come as a surprise given how much of an optimization target all of these benchmarks are for the OEMs and SoC vendors, but performance in general on Snapdragon 820 is not necessarily great for web browsing with Chrome.

PCMark - Work Performance Overall

PCMark - Web Browsing

PCMark - Video Playback

PCMark - Writing

PCMark - Photo Editing

PCMark is very sensitive to DVFS changes in most cases so it's interesting to see how closely it performed to the Galaxy S7 and G5. What is notable here is the poor showing in video playback, which persists even if you use HTC's CPU cheats which are still accessible from the developer settings. The average scores that PCMark records is significantly higher than what I can achieve with the HTC 10 unless I enable high CPU performance mode. Determining what this means has been left as an exercise to the reader.

DiscoMark - Android startActivity() Cold Runtimes

DiscoMark - Android startActivity() Hot Runtimes

Looking at the HTC 10 overall results it might be tempting to simply suggest that overall performance is comparable to the Galaxy S7 with S820 but when you look at the individual breakdown the main reason why the HTC 10 seems to be so slow is because the location provider in Maps is causing its launch time to be significantly higher than most phones I've seen before. In just about every other situation the Galaxy S7 is significantly behind the HTC 10. Overall, I think the HTC 10 performance is in line with what I'd expect for a Snapdragon 820 phone here.

Display System Performance Cont'd and NAND Performance
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  • edlee - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    i loved my m8, nothing i got recently feels as good as that phone did.

    Since that phone, i have had s6, and s7 edge, but for some reason m8 will always stick with me
  • bennyadamo - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - link

    Agreed. The One M8 was a smartphone masterpiece. I owned both the M8 and a Galaxy S5 (and numerous iphones) and in terms of design, performance and user interface you still can't beat the M8. And HTC's Sense UI absolutely blows iOS and "Touchwiz" out of the water (just an aside, but how idiotic is "touchwiz" as a name for a UI? Or for anything else for that matter? I feel embarrassed just typing it). If you think the UI doesn't make a huge difference in your phone experience, try using Sense and Touchwiz side-by-side for a week. Even just small things like the small amount of lag time it takes for the display to re-orient from portrait to landscape when rotating the phone in your hand become infuriating when you have to live with Touchwiz daily. And besides the superior UI, the One M8 just looked and felt like a premium piece of hardware. Many, many times I had people ask me what type of phone it was or inspect it front to back when I let them hold it in their hands, impressed by the solid/premium feel of it. At this point, the One M8 is still (rather unfortunately) HTC's high-water mark. Although having said that I did just order the HTC 10 to take advantage of their sale ($150 off if you buy an unlocked phone directly from HTC from 10/1/16 to 10/8/16).

    Also, I read some of these comments saying that it's a waste of time to review or buy a phone 7 months after it's launch - that's not true and is a really misguided/misinformed opinion. A lot of people buy a phone that long after it's come out simply because they are waiting for their current phone contract to expire. Other reasons are because some of the teething bugs have been worked out or simply because the price drops after that amount of time (read above re: HTC's current sale on the HTC 10). The average person doesn't need to buy the newest/highest-end/highest-spec phone every year, and most people probably get 2-2.5 years out of a smartphone like this.
  • ipaulw83 - Monday, September 19, 2016 - link

    certainly not dead, the HTC 10 is a far much better choice than the G5, S7 & Note 7 "Fiasco" and other flagships. the only real threat to HTC is the OnePlus 3 but overall the build quality and camera is in favor of HTC 10... i would hate to see them die or break software updates promises as recent news, nevertheless they have a great product that is more special than any other current android flagship (IMHO).
    i do not own any HTC product currently or stock or anything i use an iphone and an LG nexus 5x but wanted to give my opinion
  • repatch - Monday, September 19, 2016 - link

    "far much better choice" for you perhaps. Why all the generalizing?
    I for one went with the LG G5, for one reason: the camera. The super wide angle camera on this thing is FANTASTIC, everyone who's seen it marvels at the kind of shots you get with it. It's REALLY fun. For ME, the "far much better choice" is the G5, but that won't apply to most others.
    The S7 for me was a no go due to the glass back (can't stand glass backs because they are so prone to breakage, my Nexus 4 went through 3, and NONE of those were broken due to drops). The HTC 10 just didn't have anything 'special' going for it.
    Again, that's MY opinion, it's best to sit down and write down what are go/no go's, for YOU, and make a choice that way.
    IMHO of course.
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    I really wanted to like LG's latest, I use an ultra wide lens on my mirrorless M4/3 cameras so that was right up my alley... The overall package (and uber gimmicky modules on their latest) never convinced me.

    If I HAD picked up a new phone last year it would've been a 10, for the better audio and lack of TouchWiz... My N5 is still trucking along tho, at least until the Pixels come out.

    This breadth of choices, even in a market that's contacting, is still something I really like about the Android ecosystem.
  • FourEyedGeek - Monday, September 19, 2016 - link

    Already have the Galaxy S7...
  • smorebuds - Monday, September 19, 2016 - link

    And this article is for you and only you...
  • FourEyedGeek - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    Its for all those people who want to make a decision on buying a new smartphone, but might have been helpful to those making a choice months ago don't you think?
  • Freido - Monday, September 19, 2016 - link

    HTC 10 is a nice looking phone. But it lacks a high brightness screen. It is a tad bigger as well. Thats my personal opinion. If it was a bit smaller like 4.9", I would have bought it. I've decided to buy Sony X compact or iPhone SE. Recent Sony phones like xlX performance and XZ sports very good displays I think. Looks as stunning as of iphones IPS displays.
    I was wondering why Anandtech never reviews Sony flagships even though they does release good phones with less gimmicks.
    Will anyone consider my suggestion?
  • fanofanand - Monday, September 19, 2016 - link

    They have addressed this in the past, typically Sony does not give out samples to the press. In today's "give me everything for free" world, websites like this simply don't have the excess cash to go buying every cool new toy that comes out. Would it be sweet? Absolutely, but for the most part if Anandtech doesn't review something it's because they couldn't obtain one from the company.

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