As much as we liked it, the HTC 10 didn't really have any stand-out features.

It might have ditched the gimmicks and doubled down on design, but design alone just won't cut it in 2016. You've got to be waterproof, with a kick-ass display, and a capable camera to boot. 

Oh, and you've also got to undercut the price-tastic phenomenon that is the OnePlus 3.

The HTC 10 Evo is that phone. A second try, if you like, built to compete at the mid-range rather than go up against the combined might of the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7.

It mostly succeeds, too. With no price confirmed ahead of launch, it was a tricky phone to review - but HTC managed to avoid a price catastrophe, so I'm actually quite impressed.

HTC 10 Evo DESIGN: HEAVY METAL

Think of the Evo as a streamlined, simplified HTC 10. With a slightly bigger screen.

It's rocking an all-metal body, but ditches the palm-perfect curved back of the 10 for a flatter finish. It's even available in the same colours.

That makes the 5.5in slab a little tricky to hold, especially if you've got tiny mitts. It's even wider than the mammoth Google Pixel XL, making it one of the biggest 5.5-inchers out there. Not something you'll want to balance in once hand unless you want to test its impact resistance.

Still, it feels reassuringly hefty and every bit the premium phone once you pick one up.

The whole thing is as minimal as it gets, with no garish logos on the front at all. Even the HTC branding on the back is subtle. Gorilla Glass 5 covers the entire front face, which should hopefully keep it looking box fresh - even if it shares a pocket with your car keys.

The biggest new addition is something you won't spot - unless you're particularly clumsy around open water. Yep, HTC has boarded the waterproof bandwagon and protected the EVO against a dunking down to 1m, for 30 minutes at a time.

It's great to see HTC catching up to the competition, and it helps that the EVO looks great while it's doing it.

SEVENTH HEAVEN

HTC 10 EVO DISPLAY: BIGGER AND BETTER

HTC has given the EVO a display upgrade, too. The 5.5in panel is that little bit larger than the HTC 10's 5.2in, stretching the same 2560x1440 resolution over slightly more screen space.

You won't notice the slightly lower pixel density from arm's length, so unless you need a magnifying glass to read your Whatsapps, pictures and text look perfectly sharp and detailed.

It sticks with a tried-and-tested LCD panel, rather than switch to OLED, so you know what to expect: crisp and bright colours that avoid becoming oversaturated, and very bright whites, but slightly milky blacks on account of the backlight. 

If incredible contrast is a must, then an OLED phone should still be top of your priorities list.

The HTC 10's "Vivid" and "sRGB" colour profiles are gone, replaced with a colour temperature slider to get more fine-grain control over your image. That'll come as good news to fidelity fans - neither the Samsung S7 or the iPhone 7 are quite so customisable.

Android N's Night mode makes an appearance, cutting out blue light to help you sleep better after those late-night Candy Crush sessions. It's handy, but I hate the persistent notification that refuses to go away until Night Mode switches off in the morning.

PAST TEN-SE

HTC 10 EVO SOUND: HERE COMES THE BOOM

The Evo might seem like music to your ears so far, but I'm about to throw a sonic spanner into the works. Yep, this is 2016, which can mean only one thing: HTC has ditched the headphone jack.

If Apple taught us anything with the iPhone 7, it's that a proprietary headphone port is annoying, but not the end of the world - as long as there's an adapter in the box for using your existing cans. So of course, HTC didn't bother.

Nope, you've got to make do with the bundled buds instead. They plug in over USB-C, and use built-in microphones to analyse the ambient noise around you and adapt to it on the fly.

This works pretty well, giving your playlists some extra punch when the noise level creeps up around you. They can't cancel out all noise, though, and you can't tweak the settings at all.

I thought everything sounded a bit too bass-heavy, even when playing high resolution tracks, so they might not match your own musical tastes.

The phone doesn't have stereo speakers, either - just one, on the bottom of the phone. Right where you're most likely to block it with your hands. 

Tech Specs 
SCREEN
CPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core
MEMORY
3GB RAM
CAMERA
16MP, f/2.0 rear w/ OIS, phase-detect AF & twin LED flash, 8MP front
STORAGE
32GB on-board, microSD expansion
BATTERY
3200mAh
OPERATING SYSTEM
Android 7.0 Nougat
DIMENSIONS
154x77x8.1mm, 174g
Stuff says... 

HTC 10 Evo review

Ticks all the boxes for a great mid-ranger, and undercuts OnePlus at the same time. It’s not the best, but it is a bargain
S$TBC
Good Stuff 
Top-notch design and display
Minimal Android tweaks
Great value
Bad Stuff 
No headphone jack
Camera quality is only average
Last year’s CPU can’t cut it against big-name rivals
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