HTC Bolt

After a good amount of leaking, Sprint and HTC have unveiled the carrier-exclusive Bolt, a new phone that borrows much from the HTC 10 but ups the ante a bit with a larger screen, new software and deep integration with Sprint's latest network technologies. Sprint is selling the Bolt based on a headline feature of its network capabilities, where it supports Sprint's 3x CA (carrier aggregation) LTE for the highest possible speeds of any phone from the carrier.

Network speeds aren't the only thing people consider when making a phone purchase, though — actually, that's probably nowhere near the top of the must-have list. Thankfully the Bolt has other redeeming qualities. It starts with a full-metal build that's perfectly sculpted just like the HTC 10, though slightly tweaked with a flat back and overall larger footprint. That hides a 3200 mAh battery, and includes a Super LCD 3 screen at 2560x1440 resolution with Gorilla Glass 5 covering it.

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There are also two firsts here for HTC. The body is IP57 dust and water resistant meaning it can withstand 30 minutes in up to three feet of water, just like much of the competition. The Bolt is also shipping with Android 7.0 Nougat, along with some well-known HTC Sense customizations.

More: Complete HTC Bolt specs

There are just a couple of curious spec choices here.

The interesting and puzzling part of the HTC Bolt is its odd combination of specs. Though it has a nice display on front, the aforementioned metal body, waterproofing and the latest software, it's using a decidedly last-generation Snapdragon 810 processor and just 3GB of RAM. It also has a standard camera setup without the extra UltraPixel features, and lacks a traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack in exchange for USB-C audio.

Sprint is offering the HTC Bolt for $599, though the big advertising push will be that it'll set you back just $25 per month for two years. That's definitely on the higher end of what most will be looking to pay for a phone that doesn't have all of the latest specs inside, but it is a small step down from the likes of the Pixel XL, Galaxy S7 edge and even the HTC 10, which will remain on sale from Sprint. The Bolt is available right away at Sprint stores and online.

Press release:

Blazing Speed Meets Stunning Design With the New HTC Bolt™

Built for the Sprint LTE Plus Network, HTC Bolt is Sprint's Fastest Smartphone Ever

SEATTLE – Nov. 11, 2016 – A blaze of lightning across the sky. A world-class sprinter dashing across the finish line. Stunning speed is thrilling, exhilarating and empowering – and like a lightning bolt or sprinter, speed was the inspiration for HTC, a leading innovator in mobile and virtual reality technology, to create HTC Bolt: the fastest Sprint smartphone. Built for the extraordinary Sprint LTE Plus network – with support for 3x20 MHz Carrier Aggregation1 thanks to the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X10 LTE modem – and available to purchase beginning today, HTC Bolt blazes with data speeds that leave the competition in the dust.

With HTC Bolt web browsing, file downloading, streaming video and music is smooth and vivid. Sharing photos and videos with friends seems to be almost instantaneous and online gaming races like never before.

Forged from glass and metal, HTC Bolt is a dramatic evolution of HTC's "sculpted by light" design. It features a 5.5-inch Quad HD (2K) display and it is the first water-resistant aluminum unibody Android phone2, along with more precise contours and a flatter back for sharper contrast that catches light beautifully. Bold, chamfered edges are carved out of Gunmetal or Glacier Silver3 metal to make the 3.7mm side cut look and feel slimmer than ever in your hand. HTC Bolt also introduces HTC BoomSound® Adaptive Audio earphones that tailor sound to your ears' unique structure for a truly personal audio experience.

"The HTC 10 released earlier this year was the most advanced smartphone we've ever built, so we knew we had to raise the bar even higher for Sprint's most advanced ever network," said André Lönne, president of HTC America. "For HTC Bolt, we took everything that was so great about the HTC 10 and made it even better. We took the award-winning design and made it water-resistant. We took the awesome audio and made it more personal. And, of course, we took the wireless speed and supercharged it with Sprint, turning HTC Bolt into a smartphone unlike any you've ever experienced."

HTC BoomSound® Adaptive Audio tuned to you

HTC Bolt features HTC BoomSound Adaptive Audio, which scans your ears and the ambient noise around you to adjust audio output to suit your personal hearing capabilities. Just plug in the USB Type C headphones (included) and, almost instantly, you'll experience music and movies with thundering bass and pitch-perfect treble that sound clearer than you believed possible. In addition, Hi-Res audio delivers 24-bit sounds as you would hear it in the movie theater, nightclub or concert hall.

Sharper shots in a snap

Whether you're in town or out hiking, incredible moments can happen when you least expect them, so HTC Bolt's 16MP camera, supported by the Snapdragon processor, has OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) to reduce camera shake and capture sharp photographs and 4K video even in low light. With a quick camera launch time and an ultra-fast autofocus of 0.3s with Phase Detection Auto Focus, you'll be sure to capture the perfect shot every time.

Selfies are great, too, with HTC Bolt. An 8MP front camera with Auto HDR means vivid details will bring out your smile and the environment behind you. Super-wide panorama mode lets you capture your whole family and an expansive background, and an integrated screen flash ensures shots look great in low light.

Power, convenience and customization

Running the latest Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, HTC Bolt offers all the powerful features you would expect from the latest flagship smartphone, including split-screen view, quicker multitasking, free unlimited photo storage with Google Photos™, and Google Duo™ video calling preloaded.

HTC Bolt's built-in fingerprint sensor lets you unlock your phone at the touch of your finger – in as little as 0.2 seconds and lets you lock and unlock apps using Boost+. Even better, Boost+ also keeps your phone in top condition by cleaning up junk files and dynamically allocating resources like phone memory as required, ensuring your phone runs smoothly and efficiently.

HTC Freestyle Layout frees you from an on-screen grid and lets you customize your home screen. Drag icons, stickers and widgets anywhere, layer them, overlap them, group them and more. You can even link stickers to apps, or just get rid of on-screen icons entirely.

Power users can rejoice that all these features are supported by a powerful 3,200mAh battery, enough for up to a day or more use on a single charge. If you need to recharge quickly, HTC Bolt features Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2.0 technology for fast charging4. Load up on photos, videos, movies and games with the HTC Bolt's 3GB RAM and 32GB storage space5, expandable with optional SD cards for up to 2TB of space so your storage needs are covered now and far into the future.