HTC 10 Evo camera review: HTC’s latest smartphone, the 10 Evo, is a peculiar creature, namely because of the older processor powering its current-gen tech, but one aspect that can’t be called into question is its camera setup.
At least with regards to raw resolution, the 10 Evo actually outclasses the company’s current flagship, the HTC 10, with a 16-megapixel primary snapper and an 8-megapixel front-facer. The larger camera sports an f/2.0 with a 28mm focal length, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), optical image stabilisation (OIS) and a dual-tone LED flash. The front camera, meanwhile, sports an f/2.8 aperture and a 29mm focal length.
HTC 10 Evo Camera Review: UI
HTC’s latest Sense overlay, running atop Android 7.0 as found on the 10 Evo brings with it a clean, easy to use camera interface that keeps almost all of the important settings tucked away in a single drawer, save for the camera switcher, video switcher, shutter, gallery, shortcut, flash and HDR controls.
Tapping anywhere on the screen forces focus, which is suitably fast for a premium device such as the 10 Evo, but also grants access to an exposure adjustment slider for last minute tweaking.
The pull-out drawer is divided into two columns; one serves as a mode switcher, whilst the second is a smaller, context sensitive tab, the options of which change depending on the mode you’re using. It lets you cycle through shooting resolution with a single tap or toggle format when capturing in manual mode.
HTC 10 Evo Camera Review: Picture quality
Overall, there’s little to complain about when it comes to the Evo’s primary camera. As it, like Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL, captures in HDR by default, even high contrast environments turn out well, with detail throughout and only the brightest areas pushing beyond the sensor’s dynamic range.
Macro imagery turns out particularly clearly and there’s a pleasing amount of detail under artificial lighting too, with intelligent white balancing to ensure colours remain true to life. Low light plays host to grain and image blur is unmistakable in handheld shots despite the OIS system, but they still appear impressively bright relative to the actual amount of light available.
Jumping around to the front-facing snapper and despite the relatively large sensor, image quality isn’t quite as on point as you might expect. Shots in artificial lighting appear a touch murky, with lacklustre fine detail and colour reproduction. The wide angle lens is appreciated as is the live makeup tool (aka beauty mode), which doesn’t overstep the mark too dramatically as is so often the case on rival devices.
HTC 10 Evo Camera Review: Video quality
The strangest part of the 10 Evo as a device is its dated processor, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, which was originally announced back in 2014 and graced most Android flagship phones throughout 2015. It is, however, powerful enough to ensure that the Evo can shoot at up 4K resolution at 30fps.
Standard 1080p HD footage, like the stills, is well exposed, crisp and clear with pleasing colours. Automatic exposure adjustment is fast, albeit a touch jerky, shifting through the EVs, whilst the OIS is clearly working hard but does an extremely effective job of smoothing out handheld footage, even whilst walking.
The 10 Evo’s promising audio capabilities include its video recording chops too, as it boasts the ability to film with high-resolution audio capture enabled. Audio is competently clear and crisp natively, but this feature boosts levels and clarity in footage, although is also susceptible to pushing background noise alongside it, at least in the busy London streets.
HTC 10 Evo Camera Review: Verdict
As we learnt in our full review of the HTC 10 Evo, the company has geared this to offer a flagship-like experience, despite not being its flagship handset. The imaging experience still plays second fiddle to the HTC 10’s optics, but the phone boasts an undeniably well-rounded pair of cameras that are fast, sharp and comfortable in a range of conditions.
If you’re looking for a great smartphone camera, the HTC 10 Evo can absolutely offer that, but there are bigger issues with the device beyond its imaging capabilities, like its processor and its price that would leave us inclined to recommend looking elsewhere.
You can see full resolution photo samples from this article here.