The HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle pairs modest specs with flagship polish

Looks like it costs a hefty sum, but probably won't

Feature-packed flagship phones dominate the gadget world's news cycle, but not everyone wants to shell out handsomely for a smartphone. Luckily, your next phone can still look the part, even if you don't want to spend big.

Enter the HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle. Taking cues from the great HTC 10 and other recent handsets from the (hopefully) on-the-rebound phone-maker, the Desire 10 Lifestyle swaps out the top-shelf flagship components for more modest hardware, making this a sleek, polished phone for the masses.

But that's a flagship, right?

Nope, that really is the HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle. It's a good-looking phone at a glance: not hugely distinctive, perhaps, but it has the refined air of a pricier device. Maybe it's the gold metallic trim along the back or the thin profile with the ever-popular camera module jutting out the top corner.

Buying a budget or mid-range phone usually means sacrificing on looks, as our look at the best cheap smartphones makes clear at a glance. That's all well and good, but if you're eager for a flashier phone that doesn't have all the bells and whistles, the Desire 10 Lifestyle looks promising.

So what's inside?

We'll be honest: this Android Marshmallow device on the lower end of the low-to-mid-range hardware scale. That quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor was considered mid-range in 2013, but nowadays it's dated tech. We saw it in 2014's Moto G and in that year's HTC Desire 610, for example. But with more RAM - 2GB or 3GB, depending on model - than those older phones, maybe it'll feel a bit fresher.

It has a large 5.5in display on the front, but sadly it's only 720p - so that won't be the crispest you've seen of late, certainly. The 13-megapixel back camera should be solid, though, and microSD support up to 2TB means you can add plenty of storage beyond the 32GB or 64GB base. The 2,700mAh battery pack sounds solidly meaty, too, considering the lesser specs at play.

Sounds... adequate.

Yeah, that's our initial take. It won't be a speed demon with those specs, and probably won't be the best phone for Android gaming, but for web browsing, streaming media, messaging, and apps, it should do just fine. At the right price, of course.

And "sounds" is actually the right word, because the Desire 10 Lifestyle has some unexpected aural perks. Not only does it pack the BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition speaker from the HTC 10, but it also has Hi-Res audio support. A non-flagship phone for audiophiles? Now we've seen (well, heard) it all.

What's the price, then?

Sadly, we don't know yet: HTC sent over the specs and images, but not the price tag. Based on the specs, audio perks, and design, we suspect that HTC will charge a bit more than you'd spend for one of the phones in our budget handset roundup. But hopefully not too much more.

We should find out pretty soon, as the phone is expected to hit the UK later this month. Also of note: an identical Pro version of the HTC 10 Desire with boosted specs throughout has also been announced, but it's curiously not reaching the UK. Maybe HTC's new Lifestyle will be the perfect match for your own, though.