- Bright display
- MicroSD support
- Fast LTE speeds
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- IP57 Water resistance
- Adaptive earbuds
- Uncomfortable grip
- Average camera
- Average battery
- No headphone jack or included dongle
- Bloatware on some carriers
HTC has a hit-or-miss record with phones in the past few years. Their latest offering, the HTC Bolt--also known as the HTC 10 Evo, looks like a larger version of their popular HTC 10. On paper, the specs look solid for a mid-tier phone, but does that translate to value and an enjoyable experience?
Reviews are rolling in across the web and we’ve scoured them all to bring you this summary!
If you’ve seen a recent HTC phone, you’ve seen the HTC Bolt. It sticks with the traditional HTC aluminum unibody design with minimal flair. You’ll find a camera on the back, volume buttons and power button on the side and a USB Type-C port on the bottom. With an IP57 rating, the phone can also withstand brief submersions and splashes.
Reviews on the design were mixed. While no one had a problem with the appearance of the phone, many mentioned problems with grip. Alphr noted, “This is not comfortable to hold, feeling too wide to sit comfortably in the hand.”
There’s also the lack of headphone jack. They don’t include an adapter either. However, they do include a set of specialized earbuds that received decent reviews. According to HTC they optimize sound to fit your ear’s shape and the environment in which you’re listening. Alphr checked out this new features and said, “Once configured, the sound does genuinely feel better to the ear, with more detail immediately noticeable.”
Heading around front, you’ll find a 5.5-inch LCD screen running at 1440-by-2560 pixels. There’s also a fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the front panel. Reviews for both were average. Phone Arena summed up opinions well, saying, “Its 500-nit output is far from bad, and should treat you well during a lot of outdoor usage. Color accuracy isn't quite spot on, but it's close enough not to be distracting.”
Powering the phone you’ll find an older octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB of RAM. This was one area where reviews varied wildly. Alphr noted, “In 2016, no fresh install of Android should lag on the intro screens, or slow down when using the built-in keyboard. The HTC 10 Evo does both of these things.” However, many reviews found the phone performed well for most tasks. Just remember that it’s a mid-tier phone and not a flagship that the phone’s price might suggest.
With 32GB of internal storage and microSD support up to 2TB, there’s more than enough room for your favorite apps, media or pictures.
The phone runs HTC’s latest Sense UI skin over Android 7.0 Nougat. PC Magazine applauded the UI, saying, “[It] is rather light compared with most manufacturer skins. It largely resembles stock Android aside from app icons and BlinkFeed.”
However, for readers looking at the Sprint exclusive variant, beware of bloatware. Reviewers noted more than 60 apps pre-installed on their devices--many redundant or useless.
Reviews indicate that the phone’s 3200mAh battery appears enough to get a full day of light-to-moderate usage on a single charge--but only just. Fortunately, QuickCharge 2.0 support means you can charge up completely in just over 1.5 hours.
Lastly, you’ll find a 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and a front-facing 8MP lens. Like other aspects of the phone, reviews for these were average. Expert Reviews UK said, “Photos seemed lacking in detail and, while colours were bright and well-balanced, the focus seemed to struggle to stay locked on.” Low-light performance was respectable in many reviews as well, though it doesn’t keep up with recent flagships in that regard.
Overall, the biggest issue facing most reviewers was the price. At full retail pricing, the HTC Bolt is only slightly cheaper than the superior HTC 10 and is priced well above competing handsets with better specs. For that reason alone, most reviewers recommend passing on this latest HTC release. Tom’s Guide summed up the problem well, saying, “the Bolt is a decent but pricey midrange option — but it should have been better than it is.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- GSMArena team, GSMArena
The first question a marketing department should answer is this - "Do people want a product like this?" A sub-€500 HTC phone is definitely something people want. An HTC with a 5.5" QHD screen is something people want. An HTC with a Snapdragon 810 chipset? We're leaning towards "no". Because her...
- Alex Todd, Recombu
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.
- Alex Todd, Recombu
The HTC 10 Evo is a great phone, but it's also a strange phone. On the surface it looks and feels like a tight flagship-class device reaching towards a full five stars, packing a killer screen, solid cameras, water resistance, USB-C and even shedding a headphone jack (which seems to be an increasing...
- Bailey Stein, Android Authority
Unfortunately, the HTC Bolt is perhaps the most compromised smartphones that we’ve recently reviewed. Although we generally like its design, display, and camera, the HTC Bolt simply has too many small issues for its $600 price tag for us to make even a conditional recommendation. It’s ha...
- Kinan Jarjous, Absolute Geeks
While HTC was making it clear where it was trying to go with the HTC 10, the Evo seems rather unnecessary. In the most important ways, it is a step backwards — bulkier, uncomfortable, lower-specced, average display — and in other ways it wants to be part of the future with improved camer...
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the HTC Bolt user manual here.
HTC backs up the Bolt with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Bolt has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact HTC support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find HTC's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
Manuals / User Guides
- HTC Bolt Manual (PDF)
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