Edit: Corrected a mistake about the HTC Nexus One being made after the HTC One M7.
When people talk about the HTC 10 bringing back the glory of the HTC One M7, it implies that besides both these devices, the HTC One M8 and One M9 are considered inferior. That’s not really the case.
Technically, with each new generation in the flagship series, the specs get better – of course the HTC One M9 performs better than both the One M8 and One M7.
But the triumph of the first model of the series after the HTC One X and the current HTC 10 has more to do with how they’ve impacted their own generation of rivals in the industry.
Before winning the “Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet” award with the HTC One M7 when it was first introduced at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, HTC was picked as Google’s partner for the Nexus project which led to the HTC Nexus One in 2010.
You’re not picked to be the torchbearer for the Android ecosystem unless you’ve either made a big enough impact in the Android market or have the potential to do so. In the case of HTC, it was the latter.
The essential design language from the One M7 that HTC has kept for its subsequent flagships has made its mark in the industry as well. Not only has it been taken by Samsung for its C-Series handsets, the OnePlus 3 has adopted it as well.
And the great news is that after the HTC 10, Google is again enlisting HTC to be in charge of Nexus again. We’re not talking about the comparatively meek and sidelined Nexus tablet series, but the successors to the Nexus 5X and 6P.
Folks can chalk it up to coincidence, that the HTC 10 so happened to be a major hit just when HTC is back on the Nexus boat. That may be true, we wouldn’t really know; or it could be that Google has prescient knowledge in such matters.
At the end of the day, Google has mostly been inclined to pick winners to help build its flagship smartphone, and HTC has been picked again this time.