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Why I'm going back to the HTC 10 after using the Pixel

After months of dealing with Bluetooth reception spottiness on my HTC 10, I ordered a Google Pixel. I made sure to get the 128 GB model so that I could use it as a daily driver, something I never felt comfortable doing on the non-expandable 16 GB Nexus 5X. And my shiny silver Pixel has served me well this winter, but Spring has sprung, and with it, I'm going back to my HTC 10.

Here's why.

Bluetooth blues

When I received the Google Pixel, I was looking to kiss goodbye the problems of my headphones cutting out every time my HTC 10 shifted ever so slightly in my pocket, or every time I turned my head. Well, my headphones still cut out with Pixel, so I guess I'll be finding a new pair of those for my birthday next month. But rather than just issues with Bluetooth cutting out, I encountered two more Bluetooth issues with the Pixel that I'd never encountered before.

Boo on this bluetooth control

First, and worst, is the way that the Google Pixel treats Bluetooth audio levels. On most phones, I turn the Bluetooth volume on the phone to high then adjust the headphones/speaker volume as needed. On the Pixel, the volume level of the Bluetooth device is tied to the volume level of the phone. This meant that volume control was far less precise on my headphones, too soft in the car, and far, far too soft on the Bluetooth receiver I plugged into my alarm clock. It also didn't help that the volume level would reset with every Bluetooth connection, so even if I turned up the volume on my phone while connected to the Bluetooth receiver before bed, if Bluetooth disconnected and reconnected during my nightly 6 hours, the volume still might be too low to hear when my morning music played.

I'm not the only user to experience this, but I know that I am absolutely listening at higher volume levels on my headphones and other Bluetooth devices because of this bug masquerading as a feature, and I need to go back to a device that handles Bluetooth volume normally and sanely.

Bluetooth blues

The second Bluetooth bug is a known Pixel bug, and one that a recent server-side error attempted to remedy: Bluetooth randomly shutting itself off. As someone who relies on Bluetooth connections for most of the work day, every morning, and most of her nights, I need Bluetooth to work, and while it's easy to toggle it back on in Quick Settings, treating the symptom does not cure the bug.

Front-facing fingerprint scanner

Flip it over...

I get the arguments for the rear-facing scanners. Your fingers gravitate towards specific spots on the back of your phone when you pick it up, and it means that you can easily unlock your phone while pulling it out of your pocket and up towards your face. Problem is, I spend a lot of time interacting with my phone when I'm not picking it up.

I don't want to do this.

My phone spends a lot of time in docks, mounts, cradled in coffee mugs stuffed with old textbook covers, and a lot of time just laying on the desk next to the video switcher and keyboards in the control room. And with the HTC 10, I can press the fingerprint sensor while the phone lies face-up on the table. With the Pixel, I have to hit the power button or pick the phone up. I can try double-tap to wake, which works for me maybe 50% of the time.

Don't get me wrong — these are both still a step-down from my good old days waving my hand like an enchantress over my 2014 Moto X's IR sensors to wake it up — but being able to wake the phone without picking it up or pressing the power button is something I've missed dearly on the Pixel. This is especially true when I frequently have to re-wake devices during photo shoots for articles without skewing their angles.

Bigger screen in a similar body

More screen, more keyboard, less bezel

The Pixel's bezels have long been bemoaned for how ridiculously big they are, especially for a screen lacking a front-facing home button. My HTC 10 sports a 5.2" screen in a phone that is only 0.08 inches taller than the Google Pixel, which sports a 5" screen. Those specs aren't helped any more when you consider that the HTC 10 has capacitive nav buttons while the Pixel does not, meaning that on top of having bigger bezels, the Pixel also has less normally usable screen space because nav buttons are taking up the bottom half-inch of the screen.

I've always been one for smaller phones, but I'm for properly utilizing the real estate on a phone no matter the size, and Pixel's front bezels don't make sense. For a phone this physically large, there's no reason for the screen and the UI to feel as small and cramped as they do, especially when typing on SwiftKey's largest layout.

Pretty phones in pretty cases

The Google Pixel is still a fantastic phone. It still has the best smartphone camera on the market — how quickly that will be changing is anyone's guess — and because it's a Google phone, it'll be seeing an OTA Android O beta sometime in late spring or early summer that I fully intend to play around with. The Google Pixel has a screen that can get far dimmer than the HTC 10 (and maybe a hair brighter, too), and while the unlocked US HTC 10 has been getting relatively steady updates, nothing gets updates faster than a Google Pixel. For the latest and greatest of Google's vision of Android, the Pixel is still perfect. It's just not perfect for me.

I savor both of these phones, but I bought the HTC 10 because it fit my life, it fit my Android style, and it fit my wallet. And that's why I'm coming home to it.

Look at those curves.

Also, dat chamfer.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

139 Comments
  • Finally someone who doesn't think the Pixel is God's gift to tech nerds and better than everything else. Nicely written. I can see how it fits your purposes better.
  • That's usually how it goes a few months ahead of the new release. I've noticed many reviewers praise a product when first released but when the product cycle is close to being refreshed they change their tune. Perfectly set up to get everyone excited about a new device and a new purchase. Vicious cycle that manufacturers are pleased with.
  • Your theory would hold up if we were anywhere close to a new Pixel, we are not.
  • While that is true, there is already articles about the upcoming android O and soon we will start seeing articles about leaks that are showing up in reference to the pixel 2. Perfect to get salivation started for that new device. Here we go with the second half of the product cycle. Time to get the masses excited. Not saying it's orchestrated but it sure does seem that way at times.
  • Which we still won't see until October
  • I agree with most of what you're saying, but I also think that some of that change comes from just having used a phone for a long time. When you've used a phone for 6 months to a year or more, you become a lot more familiar with it, for better or worse. Like in Ara's case: after using the Pixel for 6 months she's discovered that it has regular problems with bluetooth and that the bezels really do bother her.
  • I've had an Android phone since the g1, never any other. T-Mobile said I had 3 trade ins on my jump on demand on my son's phone line so I decided to try the iPhone 7 plus for a month. Since I owned the pixel XL, I just did a simple swap of sim cards and used only the iPhone for that month. iOS is boring but it works. Bluetooth always works. I just went back to my pixel XL last week and man, Bluetooth is still bad even after Google's so called server fixed. I hate Samsungs os, it's always buggy and laggy, the only Android is I ever likes has been oxygen on one plus. I hate that I sold my op3 to get the pixel.
  • I agree with this, I mean I do love my Pixel, but I would go back to my N6 before going to HTC10
  • so I take it you never used the 10 if you are willing to go back to that old phone lol
  • Can't agree more! Now if we can find at least ONE journalist who acknowledges that metal chassis are terrible in every single capacity besides "jewelry"... Metal blocks all wireless. Cell, wifi, NFC, wireless charging, all of it. Metal not only costs more in every respect, but requires unnecessary Rube Goldberg engineering for each one of the wireless capabilities you want - and it's still less than ideal. That adds more expense and complexity.
    Manufacturing complexity is also the excuse they use for why us business travelers can no longer swap in charged batteries. And weight. If my phone weighs more, I want it to be because it has a big battery. On the flip side, I don't want the chassis to weigh so much that they don't include a bigger battery. The kicker is the impact shock susceptibility (more easily cracked screens and internal damages) because metal doesn't have shock damping properties. If there was a plastic HTC 10 with a swappable battery, I'd pay S8 money in a heartbeat AND change carriers.
  • How long did you have your Pixel before you changed out? Which issues did you have that made you not think it's a great phone?
  • I'll give you a hint. There is a section sandwiched between the title and the comment section. If you put on your best Inspector Gadget goggles and look real hard, you might find the answers to you questions.
  • I agree, the Pixel is the most overrated Android phone on the market. The phone is fine but its way too expensive for "Stock Android" with no "Bells and Whistles". For the price of the Pixel it should have "Bells and Whistles" to justify the price. The Pixel should be priced like the Oneplus 3 & 3T.
  • It has bells and whistles though. Google photos unlimited original storage, the only good stock OEM launcher, updates 6 months before everyone else, Google assistant 6 months before everyone else, and anything the Galaxy out LG g series does to the settings or notification panel make it ugly and slow
  • The back sensor is why I bought an almost year old S7 Edge instead waiting for the S8. My phone spends 9 hours a day on its back or in a cradle at work and I don't want to keep picking it up all day to get to the sensor. It would be pure genius to integrate the fingerprint sensor within the display like Samsung attempted to do with the S5.
  • Isn't there a device that puts the sensor in the side power button? To me, that sounds almost ideal.
  • A few Sony Xperias have a side power / fingerprint sensor.
  • and the Nextbit Robin
  • I was just thinking this. Hopefully, the rumored retinal scan turns out to be true and will allow users to unlock the device without picking it up.
  • Smart Lock, trusted places , whatever you want to call it. Why no one uses this I have no idea.
  • I use it. Only at home, though.
  • Would never use it at work. Don't want 300 coworkers having potential free access over my personal phone.
  • +1 I don't have as many as you do but in my previous department, we only had desks and no doors or even cubicles. In addition, student workers too. I couldn't trust anyone enough to leave my phone there. My phone was always on me, or in a place only I can see it.
  • You can press or long press the lock icon at the bottom of the lockscreen to manually lock your phone while using Smart Lock so if you are at work and leave your phone at your desk, you can manually lock it before you leave. Once you unlock it with your PIN or pattern, it resumes staying unlocked with Smart Lock. There's plenty of features you can use to make your life more convenient if you look.
  • That doesn't work when 8 hours a day you send near strangers you don't want on your phone. Not a real solution.
  • So you leave your phone unattended? Guess I trust my coworkers. If I did see someone going through my phone it would be the last time.
  • Nope, I don't leave my phone unattended. But anything can happen. And although there is trust among co-workers I tend to be smart and only trust wholeheartedly my close friends and family only.
  • Agreed! Double tap to wake, pattern unlock, it's not like finger print sensors are the only way.
  • Many have mentioned that work isn't necessarily a trusted place. Besides that, personally I used to use trusted places, a fingerprint sensor is just much simpler, quicker and in my opinion more secure.
  • Works great for the car, love this feature, also will do it with my MS Band 2 or whatever future smart watch / fitness device I'm using.
  • I use Bluetooth Smart Lock but it ain't perfect.
  • I use my Pebble as a trusted device, but I'm not comfortable assigning trusted places for work. Hospitals are big, crowded places, and if someone were to swipe my phone off of my desk without my noticing, they could go to a different floor and my device would still be unprotected. With a trusted device, the phone locks immediately upon becoming disconnected from the Pebble, which happens at a distance of like 30 feet.
  • The problem with trusted places is that the "trusted area" can be really large. Accidently leave your phone in a conference room, or a bathroom, and it's going to be unlocked for anyone who finds it. Heck, even in the parking lot outside my building it remains unlocked.
  • it's not an option for me because my exchange work email disables it and pretty much all security options except pin and fingerprint
  • Indeed, I'm not a fan of the back mounted sensors in general, but the one on the S8 looks like it's absolutely terrible.
  • The bluetooth issues are why I am getting rid of my Pixel after 5 months of use. I have the exact same issues listed above. I've also had some strange screen issues as well - I have a page full of folders, and I've noticed if I want to open anything in the top row of folders, I have to click slightly below the folder (close to the text) rather than the center of the folder (like the rest of the folders on the screen in other rows). This issue happens sporadically, so I don't think it is a hardware issue with my screen.
  • Good article. Even on my 7 Edge, each Bluetooth connection, the media volume defaults to a 'safe' volume level. To go above that you have to acknowledge a warning before it will let you increase the volume. Hopefully Google will iron these connectivity issues out before the Pixel 2 release... Not sure if I'm totally in for a front facing fingerprint scanner - exclusive - although I currently have one with the 7 Edge - I do usually end up picking it up anyway to unlock it... kind of hard to get a good thumb print recognition without picking it up. I would be in for a voice activation during those times the phone is currently docked - or charging - to unlock it... Or something else that would work...
  • You should train multiple fingers. Using a thumb may be awkward when it's on laying on a desk, but index is much easier. I have my two thumbs and two index fingers trained for convenience.
  • And a middle finger for good measure. 😇
  • Yep. I have it trained for my left and right thumbs and my left and right index fingers.
  • Great article I really like the green cases on the phones in one of the pictures. What brand is it? Thanks.
  • Google Pixel Case, AnoKe [Scratch Resistant] Colors Totem Mandala Flower Cute Girls Women Ultra Slim Fit Acrylic Clear Hard Cover TPU Bumper Hybrid Fo https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M59WMEP/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apap_n5KrOryUy7WPr?t...
  • Hmm..My Bluetooth seems to be working just fine.
  • Cool story. There's always that one guy who says "mine works fine", no matter how many other people report the opposite. The issue is real, confirmed by Google, and annoying. You probably just don't use Bluetooth the same way (or at all).
  • Then there's always the guy who throws in the, "you probably don't even have/use the device/feature," to try to punctuate his point but only just sounds petty.
  • Then there's the guy who completely veers off topic in an effort to undermine a logical response to an anecdotal testimony...
  • Then there's that guy that loves bacon
  • Then there's that guy who agrees with the guy who loves bacon.
  • then there's the guy who just wanted to join in the responses but didn't have anything to say but "hi"... Hi!
  • Ooohhh! Ooohhh! Ooohhh! That's me!
  • It does make me really curious about what causes the problem, though. It's obviously a widely reported and notable issue, but I use Bluetooth audio daily with two different sets of headphones, and dozens of cars (my own ad a ton of rentals) and it's never spontaneously disconnected. With use like that, you'd expect that I would have run into problems, but aside from the unrelated fact that the Pixel's Bluetooth audio quality isn't all that good, no issues at all.
  • It's not a disconnection issue. Before the "server fix" Google applied, my Bluetooth radio would just randomly shut off. I wouldn't even notice it until I tried to sync my Garmin or connect headphones. It was weird. After the fix, that no longer happens, but now my devices won't stay connected. Bluetooth radio is on all the time. Not sure what's going on. I would just expect more from something they're flaunting as an iPhone competitor.
  • Yeah each and every single Samsung fanboy. I owned the Note 2, N3, N5. Had serious performance issues with all 3. Yet when i mention that in a comment I get the same 5 thousand responses, mine never had performance issues, mine never lags, or you don't even own a note. Samtards either never owned a good performance phone to understand my logic. Or there's some secret code amongst that fan club that dont allow you to speak negative about Samsung technology.
  • Good article and points. It sounds like the HTC 10 will fit your life better. I recently got a Pixel and I'm enjoying it a lot but I haven't tested Bluetooth. I guess it's time for me to test that out.
  • I had the Bluetooth bug that lots of other people had in that it seemed to be shutting off during the night, but that has since been resolved. I haven't encountered any range or DC issues though. As far as that goes, it works about as well as any other phone.
  • Ah okay, I see. Thank you for that reassurance because otherwise I think the Pixel is the best phone I have ever owned.
  • I think so too!
  • Great write up. I myself relate to some of the things you mentioned. I was a die hard Google fan (Nexus) always prioritizing software over things I really valued on some OEM's great ideas and effort to suit your needs better. The first issue you have is not only Pixel but also older devices like the Nexus 5. And boy do I hate it lol let me control my Bluetooth volume any way I want Google! Huge bezels? No problem, but give me something that is worth taking up so much space like front facing speakers or give me the option to use capacity buttons. At the end just like you we should all get what fits our life. In my case I'm very much enjoying my GS7. It's was well worth the price. Not one issue whatsoever. On the other hand I still think the Pixel is overpriced.
  • Can we not have one on the front AND the back?!
  • Not to act like I like the pixel at all because I don't. If you go from one phone to another and you're having similar Bluetooth headphone issues. Chances are it's the headphones/headset. It's no secret that not all Bluetooth connections from headphones are equal... Not even close to equal. That's especially the case on fitness headphones.
    The finger print sensor is a decent argument but just put a darn pin on you phone and unlock face up like that.
  • You're right, it's probably the headphones... That might be why she said she was going to look for a new set... The problem with a PIN is that you need to first wake your phone and then look at it, not always viable.
  • But it wasn't just the headphones. She mentioned it also affected her car stereo and alarm clock.
  • I don't see why there's a argument on sensor placement. Each has it's own strengths, and weaknesses. Front placement, you don't have to turn it over for notifications. Rear placement, solid in hand feel, better physical protection from accidents (on table, if you drop your coffee mug on it, the screen's still safe, it happened to me). I guess you can see my choice, but it's the individuals choice.
  • I personally love the gestures with the back sensor on the pixel; being able to pull down the notification shade with it is handy. And the pin point is valid. If I am that lazy that I can't pick up my phone at a desk, I double tap, then enter in my pin. Takes a whopping 3-4 seconds to do that.
  • Good piece Ara.
  • After Google's "fix", my bluetooth stopped shutting off by itself, but now my Gear S3 and Garmin fitness tracker will not stay connected and/or sync reliably. I stopped using it for now. Really disappointed overall, considering the premium price tag. It's a nice phone, but it shouldn't be having these issues and when it does, they should be fixed more quickly.
  • Was it a slow news day? A whole article on personal preference over some minor nuances seems a bit odd. I had the Bluetooth bug for a while but they appear to have fixed it. It was only a minor annoyance and mine has never once cut out while streaming music. Is it possible you have a lot of interference where you use it most? As for the sound, I actually prefer this Bluetooth setting over the other. It was always so annoying to have to adjust volume in two places. Now whether I adjust on the phone or headset I only need to do it once. I wasn't a fan of the rear fingerprint sensor before I purchased my Pixel, but now I love it. Anytime I use the phone I pick it up. Sliding my finger to the sensor feels natural. I no longer use a dock at work because the battery lasts long enough I don't need one. Being HTC hardware, I'm sure they learned a thing or two from producing the Pixel line. I'm sure their new one will be great. However, will it have the same battery life and no bloat?
  • Could be considered an editorial piece.
  • Huh? I have read articles like this across Mobile Nations recently and I see nothing wrong with them. In fact, people can relate. On Windows Central, an editor wrote about why he's choosing the 950 XL over the Elite x3. That article was published yesterday.
    On iMore, a writer there wrote about why she's going back to the iPhone SE after using the 7 Plus for a bit. That was published either last week or the week before, can't recall exactly. Additionally, the same writer wrote about being happy about the storage bump for the SEs last week.
  • I don't mind the article, it's better than getting incomplete or erroneous assumptions rammed into our eyes. BUT, I would like to know why people consider this a "good article." Are we really at the point where an opinion piece is a good or really nice article? *shudder*
  • If it makes you think or consider some things you haven't thought about before, I consider it a success, Ara wasn't bashing the Pixel, and in my opinion, it's somewhat common to see people bash the old phone to justify the new one. For her, that's reversed of course. Opinion pieces can also be good articles too.
  • A Good Article. A good article to me is where the author writes a piece based on personal observation, backs it with facts to the best of their knowledge and tries very hard not to be biased in any way... and is open to discussion afterwards... Integrity. I like it. We need more of it. Good article Ara.
  • Was this a slow commenting day? An entire comment about how pointless the article is then you go on to give your personal preference? Sad.
  • For real. Four paragraphs long. That's a comment bordering on a dissertation.
  • You want to just list specs?
  • Yeah! Some HTC 10 love. This company makes some terrible decisions (U Ultra) but they can make a good phone when they try. Really looking forward to what the 11 will offer
  • +1 on all points!
    I never understood why so many believed that a rear fingerprint scanner was better. I thought I was the only one who realized that's true only if your phone is always on your pants pocket. The speed with which the HTC 10 wakes and unlocks in one motion means I don't need to resort to Smart Lock outside of the Bluetooth in each car. Best phone I've used to date!
  • Very nice article indeed. :) Ara: regarding performance and smoothness, is the Pixel really that better? Cheers
  • Smoothness wise? Yes, just a bit.
  • Thanks for the answer. But it's not a deal breaker, right? I ask this because I want to upgrade from my HTC one m8 and if the soon to be released HTC 11 (or U) doesn't have what I want I will buy the HTC 10, which is much cheaper now. Cheers
  • I love having a fingerprint scanner on the back. One thing I think that LG gets right is having the choice to unlock the phone from the front or the back. In the front I can use the knock knock feature. One the back the fingerprint sensor. Not too much more I can say in favor of LG other than that.
  • A ixel...wow....what newfangled tech is this thing of beauty?!?! :D
  • I currently have an HTC 10 running Resurrection Remix on Nougat. It's the best phone I've personally used and have no reason to upgrade. It's snappy, it has incredible audio quality from the headphone jack, and leaves me with over 50% battery life by the end of most days. I could safely get two days out of this device. External SD card for immense expandable storage. I also have MultiROM running so I can swap back to Sense with a quick reboot should I desire. The only personal con I can ding the phone for is the camera is not up to Samsung/Apple standards. My wife's OnePlus3 comes in as a close second. Both devices have an excellent dev community. I can't stand phones that cannot be easily rooted for adblocking, firewalls, backups, and whatnot. It's a shame the phone didn't have a chance in the retail outlets.
  • Man, I don't think I have ever owned an Android phone that got bluetooth right. Some were better than others but it seems like every single one has some kind of issue when it comes to bluetooth. The randomly cutting out for a second happens to me in my Jeep when it is connected to my head unit, but not when it is connected to my cheap bluetooth headphones. I think the random shut down of bluetooth has been fixed this time, but jesus that was annoying and never should have been a thing. Good article, perspectives like this help people who don't hangout on Android websites all day make informed decisions when buying a phone.
  • My wife absolutely loves her HTC 10. I was lucky enough to get one for her from T-Mobile before they inexplicably decided not to carry it, which was a shame because at the time it came out, it was only challenged by the Galaxy S7 for Android supremacy. Had the major cell providers marketed the phone, it would have been a hit.
  • Yeah, they were available for such a short time at T-Mobile. And even then I had to wait about 2 weeks for my local store to get a 10 in stock. I have Jump On Demand, so essentially I could switch to a different phone at any time...but nothing they have at T-Mobile has made me want to switch. (Wish they carried good midrange phones like Huawei, etc.)
  • At least he didn't change mfg's. HTC built the pixel for Google under google's direction. HTC must have told Google "that bezel's too big!". Google must have said "bah! you failing mfg, don't give advice, we're google"! How did that slip by?
  • (clears throat) He??
  • My mistake, sorry, barely ever look at the author. I just post~go, when the article interest me.
  • HTC 10 owner here too... Yes, it's a fantastic device. It's damn good at everything. No gimmicks. What a shame the world doesn't care or know about it. **** Samsung and Apple.
  • Same
  • I've been using the 10 for almost a year and it's a great phone. Great camera, great audio, Sense stays out of the way, and it gets timely updates. I'm now going to wait for the HTC U (Ocean). Sad that this site slammed HTC for putting a 3000mAh battery in the Ultra, but gives Samsung a pass on putting the same size battery in a 5.8" device. SMH
  • I just mentioned to some friends how people were berating HTC for a 3000mah battery but was not really saying anything about samsung having one on a larger screen phone... and samsung is notorious for poor battery optimization...smh
  • Waiting and hoping for a better Pixel 2. Otherwise HTC or Samsung for me probably.
  • Within a month I bet you switch back to Pixel. I had similar thoughts and went back to a S7 for the front sensor and it has a bigger screen with a smaller footprint, etc. And two weeks in, I couldn't take it, had to go back to Pixel. It is just too quick, too smooth, and too responsive of a phone to give up. Plus, that camera...
  • I used love the S line. The bloat has gotten so bad I just couldn't put up with it. That and the so-so battery life. It was better than the S6 but the Pixel blows it away. The only perk I sort of miss is the wireless charging.
  • Wireless charging was really nice for sure. It's not necessary, but it has a luxurious convenience to it.
  • Great article, I loved my 10. HTC customer care is why I sold it. Never talked to so many people who will flat out lie to you, just to get you off the phone.
  • Wow, where were all these glowing comments when the 10 was actually released? It was obvious from jump that the 10 was a phone you could live and grow with, as opposed to the flashy piece of glass the S7 was. Yet it was roundly trashed in the blogosphere. Now, nearly a year later, y'all are finally realizing how good it is.
  • It was the first phone I spent my own money on in three years. I knew the value of the phone a year ago.
  • I bought the 10 when it first came out and posted quite a few times in the forums saying how good the phone is. I never use bluetooth headphones as I have not found a pair that match the sound quality of wired ones and only occasionally use bluetooth to connect to my Bose mini, most of the time I use that wired again because of the sound quality.. With regard to the camera, once again no problems I have taken some great photos with it. The phone is great!!!!
  • I haven't had any Bluetooth issues since my HTC 10 received the Nougat update, thankfully. And I'm very happy with this phone. I prefer the size, metal design rather than glass, Sense, and the front FPS (although embedded in the display is ideal). I'm actually a tad concerned that upcoming flagships won't be a good fit for me with large displays, too much glass, new aspect ratios, etc. I'll likely continue using the 10 for a lot longer than I expected, I guess.
  • Check out WaveUp , wakes up your phone with the proximity sensor.
  • Came to the comments to post exactly this. I didn't trust that my Nexus 5 Powe switch would hold up. Wave Up solved that problem by requiring less than half the button presses. On of the first things I installed on my Axon 7.
  • Was the Pixel on Nougat 7.1.2 developer version? As that fixed the Bluetooth dropping issue on my Nexus 5x.
  • Nope, I try to keep my daily driver on the stable Publix software.
  • The linked volume "issue" is actually a feature on iPhones. Bluetooth is designed that way, except android doesn't support it. I personally just use my phone for volume so it doesn't matter to me, but this is still further supporting my argument that the Pixel is the iPhone of the android world.
  • yeah that's right. I love it on the iPhone, don't like it on the LG G4.
  • Glad the HTC 10 works for you. I came so close to buying one during the holidays. That Camilia Red HTC 10 is gorgeous. My local Verizon store even has the HTC 10 on display, so I could play with it. I loved it. Except for one deal-killer: the screen is polarized. If you wear polarized sunglasses like I do, it makes it completely unreadable at certain angles. Sure, this only would have been a problem outside, but it also would have impacted the use of the phone in the car. I don't like looking at my phone while driving any more than absolutely necessary, and having to deal with polarization and viewing angles on top of that was a solid no. It's a great phone. I still really like it, but that thrice-damned polarized screen kills it for me.
  • I just got unpolarized prescription sunglasses, but yeah, it can get annoying.
  • Thank you for a fair real world review. I wish more reviewers would do the same rather then just hype the product.
  • I switch between my Nexus 6p and my HTC 10 I love stock Android but I really love HTC skin on top of Android.
  • Well said. There are other reasons to prefer the 10, for instance the Sense interface (I have never liked vanilla Android) and its camera software. The Pixel just never impressed me that much, and the 10 has offered everything I want and need in a handset for a while.
  • Bluetooth turning itself off is absolutely infuriating but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be a Pixel problem, but an Android 7 problem. About two weeks after it surfaced on my Pixel XL it also started happening on my work phone, a Motorola Droid Turbo II. I would turn Bluetooth on and sometimes it would turn off after just two minutes. Makes using a smartwatch a PITA. After suffering a few weeks I finally found a solution that seems to have worked, namely resetting the network settings (and having to re-pair everything, and re-enter my wifi passwords). I've done it on both the Pixel and the Droid and it seems to have worked for now (over a week with no random disconnects so far). I had an HTC 10 before I got my Pixel and loved it as well, but I can't go back to that camera, the PIxel's is just too good. But during the bluetooth issue I probably would have tried to go back if I hadn't given it to my son (and he's not giving it back :) )
  • Thanks for the tip. I'll try this with my HTC One A9.
  • I use an app called Bluetooth Volume that lets me set the volume individually by Bluetooth device. I set it to 100% in my car, and 80% for my Bluetooth headphones. I'm also experiencing the bug where Bluetooth turns itself off on my HTC One A9 with Nougat. Unfortunately, HTC can't be bothered to release security updates in Canada, so I don't foresee this ever changing.
  • "Problem is, I spend a lot of time interacting with my phone when I'm not picking it up.
    My phone spends a lot of time in docks, mounts, cradled in coffee mugs stuffed with old textbook covers, and a lot of time just laying on the desk next to the video switcher and keyboards in the control room." AMEN! I hate to see Samsung go to a rear mounted sensor on the S8 for this very reason. Even if the iris sensor works perfectly, you'll still need to pick the phone up to unlock it.
  • The S8 has the worse placement for fingerprint sensor, I think next year they will move it under the screen as it should be. on the home button again.
  • I just returned my Pixel two weeks ago and returned to Moto for many of the same reasons. Notifications on Pixel are terrible and the fingerprint sensor on the back wasn't convenient. Plus calls drop a lot more than on Moto phones.
  • I agree in large part with most things, but you know you can turn off Absolute Volume in the developer settings, right?
  • Nope. I kept researching the issue, but everyone just told me "it's not a bug, it's a feature. Move on". Nice to hear, though.
  • Hi Ara,
    Our phones are truly our butlers; they not only have to be the jack of all trades, they have to fit our special needs and personalities as well. So I do understand why you made the choice to switch phones. Having said that, I'll just mention that the Pixel has a great OK Google voice detection unlock feature and it works well even in noisy environments. In my opinion, it is even more convenient than fingerprint or iris scan unlock. As for the bezels, I have the 128 gb Pixel XL and I find the bezels really handy when I'm watching videos in landscape mode, or playing a game. Looking at the S8 I can't imagine teaching my fingers new contortions to be able to hold that phone comfortably. The Bluetooth is a legitimate issue even though I personally have not experienced any thing unusual myself, before or after the update. I have 3 Bluetooth headsets/earphones (sennheiser, sony, jaybird) and my car is always playing Spotify via Bluetooth.
    My first Android phone was HTC Desire and I've been an Android user ever since, switching between HTC , Samsung and Sony mostly. I'd confess that in terms of overall experience, the Pixel XL has been the best android phone that I've ever used. Great screen, fast and buttery smooth UI, no bloat, great camera, contextual Google assistant, night light, timely updates, excellent battery life, quick charging, unlimited full resolution pics and 4k video storage on Photos, VR ready..... there's just so much that they did right with this phone that I simply can't imagine switching to something else unless something catastrophically broke the phone. I'd love to have waterproofing and stereo speakers but those are minor quibbles that I can easily live without. This is the first phone that has truly integrated itself intelligently in my life, anticipating my needs and delivering precisely, like a great butler :)
    I hope you give the Pixel another try.
  • I am very happy with my HTC 10.
    The audio is top notch, the device isn't too large, it's fast, responsive, takes great photos, and it's durable. My only gripe is battery life.
  • A common complaint. That said, QC 3.0 is nice.
  • Front FPS wins.
  • I had the HTC 10 and the Pixel. Although I enjoyed both devices, I wish I would have kept my HTC 10. The only solid con about the device(at the time I had it) was battery life(it wasn't that bad). I hope HTC comes out with a solid flagship this year. :)
  • I've done the same except I've gone back to my Moto Z-Force Droid. I love how buttery smooth the Pixel is, but the Moto Z-Force Droid seems like a better all-round phone and I don't have any Bluetooth issues. And the Moto Z-Force camera is only two digits down from the rating of the Google pixel on dxomark
  • So Motorola shouldn't make the dimple an FPS. :)
  • Cure for your lift to unlock: an app called Kinscreen.
  • This is one of the worst articles in regards to substance that I've ever read on here. As an opinion piece it's even meh.
    The HTC should have a bigger a screen because it's a bigger device. 145.90mm x 71.90mm x 9.00mm
    143.84mm x 69.54mm x 7.31mm I'll always prefer compacitive buttons and HTC finally gets it right without a super duper chin but when compared to the Axon 7 it's bezels are still behind the times. IMO the only reason the HTC 10 seems a bit favorable against the Pixel in regards to screen to bezel ratio or display size is because it's being compared to the only flagship Android device released in 2016 with bigger bezels than it! With that being said the HTC 10 is probably the first HTC phone I'd consider buying in years. I would finally take it over a galaxy or lg's current offerings up until these latest releases. I have to see how the new display ratio feels in my hand for the new flagships. Is it the new way larger phones/flagships will be built or is it a gimmick. HTC has avoided battery implosion and boot loop issues but they have had their share of QC issues on their OEM devices like the Nexus tablets. When compared to the Pixel.....I can see it squeaking by depending on what's important to the user. It is just an article....but man...
  • Meh. Bluetooth is perfect for me, screen is perfect and camera is superior to HTC 10.
  • Pixel owner here. Completely agree with the Bluetooth issues (especially the volume control. Extremely annoying!) and agree that the pixel is way overrated. I'm surprised nobody talks about the easily scratched fragile back glass as well. I'm never a phone case person, but with the pixel, I had to.
  • I'll take my V20 over anything else right now.
  • Bluetooth volume controls! Talk about "fixing" something that was never broken! I actually thought my phone had a problem and asked customer support. Instead of telling me that was intentional, they sent me a new phone! Imagine my frustration when this new phone did the same thing. At least Google is out hundreds of dollars for their boondoggle idea.
  • Not too impressed with the 10 to be honest, volume is pretty low and it's kinda sluggish, it's a greatly built phone but it's not up to par imo. but the pixel is worse imo lol
  • The problem with Bluetooth shutting itself off would be easy to solve with Tasker: just create a profile of Variable Value, comparing %BLUE to "off", and toggle BT if so. It might even work for your volume levels: create a profile (BT Connected) for each device, and for the task set the volume levels accordingly. It's too bad you gave up on Tasker months ago. It's also too bad that you probably won't read this.
  • I'm a happy HTC 10 owner, simple UI, great theming engine, nice DAC, and good camera w/ manual controls. I am jealous of the Pixel when it comes to android updates and VR capability. I do miss the boomsound speakers of past HTC flagships. I'm eagerly anticipating HTC's Vive mobile VR solution later this year.
  • Aren't you going to miss the Pixel's unique Halo-Cam™ feature?
  • If only Verizon didtn't force this "Connected to WiFi" notification every time the HTC 10 connected to WiFi, I wouldn't be thinking about ditching it or Verizon... none of the other carrier versions do that, and it happens 2 to 24 times per day. Verizon of course says "it helps you save cell data", but it doesn't, as it only appears when you're connected to WiFi. They say "well it goes away when you're not connected so you can tell", except that the default expectation is that it will automatically connect, and having a notification disappear when it disconnects means there's nothing to notice if you haven't already noticed the icon in the status bar on the top right is gone. Verizon just ruins phones with their nonsense logic (nevermind the "Location found" notification it forces on its phones). I think these issues have pushed people to other phones like the Moto Z (which doesn't have these issues), or other carriers.