HTC just does not understand the Indian market.

After launching the MediaTek Helio X10-based One M9+ for a staggering ₹52,250 last year, HTC is continuing its tradition of not launching its best product in the Indian market for the second year in a row. From its official website, it looks like the only variant that will be available to buyers in the country is the HTC 10 Lifestyle, which runs the Snapdragon 652. The HTC 10, with the Snapdragon 820 and 4GB RAM, is nowhere to be seen.

The HTC 10 Lifestyle has a lot of hardware similarities with the HTC 10, including a 5.2-inch QHD Super LCD 5 screen, 12MP UltraPixel camera with OIS and an f/1.8 lens, 5MP UltraPixel shooter at the front (with OIS), and a 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0. What's missing is USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, with the device offering USB 2.0 Type-C.

Then there's the Snapdragon 652, Qualcomm's mid-range offering. The SoC comes with stock ARM Cortex cores in an octa-core setting (four Cortex A72 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four Cortex A53 at 1.4GHz). While a capable chip in its own right, the Snapdragon 652 isn't comparable to the Snapdragon 820's custom Kryo cores. Then there's the question of the GPU (Adreno 510 versus the faster Adreno 530). You're also missing out on Qualcomm's Spectra image signal processor. The HTC 10 Lifestyle skims when it comes to the memory as well, offering 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB on the HTC 10.

The bottomline is that the HTC 10 Lifestyle is turning out to be yet another failure for HTC in India. The vendor will be looking to position the device as an alternative to the Galaxy S7, and like last year's One M9+, it looks like it will be largely ignored on account of the hardware. It is incredibly frustrating to see the vendor falter in the high-end segment, considering that its Desire series of phones continue to be one of the best mid-range options available in the country.