Do we have a good one for you today – Still the latest HTC flagship, the HTC 10 goes up against the all-new Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017). Both devices use an all-metal design that HTC started a few years back with their HTC One M7. Although the HTC 10 has been available since May 2016, it is still their flagship model until its replacement is made available this spring. Although both use a metal backing, the nod in the looks department would have to go to the HTC 10 with its chamfered look, while the Galaxy A7 has a more mainstream Samsung Galaxy S7 look. Because of the time between both devices and the fact that the Galaxy A7 is a mid-range device, they do not have much in common. Let’s take a look to see just what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each device.
With displays, almost a half inch apart – 5.2-inches for the HTC 10 and 5.7-inches for the Galaxy A7 – their physical dimensions are not very close with the Galaxy A7 larger and weighing in 25 grams heavier. Besides the difference in display size, the displays use different technologies and different resolutions. Both came running Android Marshmallow, but the HTC 10 has recently received its upgrade to Android Nougat. The two devices offer a 32GB version, and both offer expandable memory via a microSD card. Both devices offer great primary camera areas but go about it in a different way. They both have a decent sized, non-removable battery with rapid charging capabilities. They both employ a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device or authorizing mobile payments. The usual suspects are here – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below, and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
HTC has struggled in the past with their flagship smartphones, but there is no doubt that the HTC 10 is their best design to date, yet the company still struggles financially. HTC started the craving for all-metal phones with their One M7. However, by the time they released the One M9, users complained the design was getting a little stale. The HTC 10 is new bold design and includes high-end specs, a QHD display, terrific sound, and finally a great camera making it a complete package. Let’s see just how well it stacks up to the new Samsung Galaxy A7.
The HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 QHD display giving it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 565 pixels-per-inch (PPI). HTC took the best processor available to them at the time by choosing the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz and an Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. The HTC 10 is packing 4GB of the DDR4 RAM and a base 32GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB via a microSD card.
HTC has always struggled with the camera area and each year would experiment with new ideas that never got it quite right. With the HTC 10, they finally got all of the right pieces working well together – a 12MP sensor with its UltraPixel 2 for capturing more light and image, and then added laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, a large aperture of f/1.8 and OIS. For the front-facing camera (FFC) HTC used a 5MP sensor, with a large f/1.8 aperture, a wide-angle lens, OIS, and even included an on-screen flash to ensure excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Powering the device is a 3000mAh non-removable battery that it uses Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0.
HTC had to reconstruct their infamous BoomSound to accommodate the addition of the front-facing fingerprint sensor. The ‘low-end’ speaker is on the bottom of the device, and the high-end sounds originate from the earpiece. HTC renamed it to BoomSound Hi-Fi to differentiate it from their original BoomSound. HTC also included Hi-Fi circuitry for great sounding music for your earphones. The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9 mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Carbon Grey, Topaz Gold, and Glacier Silver and it will cost you about $650 with 32GB of memory.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
Samsung’s new Galaxy A7 (2017) could not be mistaken for any other brand – it has their typically rounded corners, speaker grate at the top with the Samsung name under the grill, and an oval home button at the bottom. The Galaxy A7 departs from the glass body of the Galaxy S series and uses an aluminum back and is designed to fit comfortably in your hand. It includes some decent specifications for a mid-range phone, and it should with a price tag of $530. The Galaxy A7 includes the IP68 certification for water and dust and has a new side-positioned loudspeaker. Let’s see just how this new Galaxy A7 mid-range holds up against the flagship HTC 10.
The Galaxy A7 uses the same size display of Samsung’s flagship, the Galaxy S7 Edge, but not the Quad HD resolution. Its 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display uses an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a respectable 386 PPI. Samsung brought over the ‘always-on’ display from its flagship phones to the Galaxy A7 to help save battery life. It is a great feature to check the time, date, or notifications without turning on the main display. The Galaxy A7 uses Samsung’s Exynos 7880 octa-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz and a Mali-T830MP2 for graphics. The Galaxy A7 packs 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The Galaxy A7 uses a 16MP lens for its primary camera and added a large aperture of f/1.9, and includes autofocus, and a LED flash. Samsung added a huge 16MP camera for the Galaxy A7’s FFC that also comes with the same f/1.9 aperture as the primary camera. This large FFC will give you excellent low-light selfies and a great video chatting experience. The Galaxy A7 comes packing a larger non-removable battery of 3600mAh and features rapid charging.
The Galaxy A7 is available in some Asian and European markets now – there is no word on when or if there will be a US release. If it comes to the US as is, it can only be used on AT&T or T-Mobile. It runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with no word about an upgrade to Android Nougat. The device will allow mobile purchases and can use Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is a nice feature that will allow A7 users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. Samsung included IP68 certification against dust and water. Another strange addition is the unusual side-mounted speaker. The Galaxy A7 measures 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9mm, weighs in at a hefty 186 grams, is available in Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist, and Peach Cloud and costs about $530.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
This decision was difficult and came down to a QHD display, processors, memory, sound, and camera area. The HTC 10 is very much off the radar at this point and if you can get one for a decent price that is all the more reason to grab one.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 does offer a larger 'always-on' AMOLED display, IP68 certification, and Samsung Pay, but it is still over-priced for the processor, GPU, and RAM that it offers. It also binds you to only AT&T or T-Mobile networks.
Both devices are well-built and should give you a great experience, but the HTC 10 has a nicer look and better specs for very little extra money at list price. It also is now running Android 7.0 Nougat, and there is no guarantee that Samsung will offer an upgrade to the Galaxy A7.