With a slump in phone sales, it is not a surprise to see that HTC has endured some rough times these couple of years, despite being known as one of the top Android manufacturers at one time. Whereas HTC One M7 and One M8 were the positive moves towards the right path by HTC, the company was suddenly hit by plenty of critics on its HTC One M9’s design, camera, and features. Although HTC tried to turn things around by releasing the HTC 10 last year, it failed to leave a mark that the HTC was hoping to achieve, despite that the public accepted HTC 10 better than the previous model. This year, HTC tried to do the same by releasing the new HTC U Family, with two models, the high-end HTC U Ultra, and the mid-range model HTC U Play. As of now, it is still unknown if the HTC U Ultra will replace the existing HTC 10. However, given its larger overall size, it is assumed that HTC U Ultra was designed to complement some of the other HTC smaller flagship models.
HTC U Ultra hardware specifications are:
- Primary Display: 5.7-inch Super LCD5 display with Quad HD resolution
- Secondary Display: 2-inch secondary display with 160 x 1040 resolution
- Processor: 2.15 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
- Graphics Processing Unit: Adreno 530 GPU
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB or 128GB depending on the model version
- Additional Storage: Expandable using microSD up to 2TB
- Rear Camera: 12-megapixel HTC Ultrapixel 2 camera, 1.55μm pixel, laser auto focus, PDAF, OIS, f/1.8 aperture, dual tone LED flash
- Front Camera: 16-megapixel front-facing camera
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS + GLONASS, and USB Type-C (USB 3.1)
- Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
- Battery: 3000 mAh with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
- Weight: 170 grams
- Dimension: 162.41 x 79.79 x 3.6-7.99mm
Case and Design
Throughout the years, HTC phones have been well-known for their solid and metallic casings. However, HTC tries to do something different this time by using a 3D Contoured glass for the HTC U Ultra, a material that is similar to some of the cases found in certain Samsung and Huawei phone models. Overall, the HTC U Ultra still maintains its traditional HTC look. As the design is a subjective matter, we will have to see how the market responds to it when the phone officially launches.
HTC U Ultra will come included with the famous Boomsound Hi-Fi speakers, an audio feature that HTC has been renowned for. A new feature called HTC U Sonic Feature, with the capability to adjust the volume of your headset to suit the environment that you are in, as claimed by HTC in their official press release will also be implemented in the HTC U Ultra. However, no headphone jack will be included in the HTC U Ultra, and this can be a hassle for those users that want to connect their existing headphones to the HTC U Ultra.
HTC claimed that the new Sense technology can function as your personal assistant by learning your habits and giving you reminders on small tasks including charging your phone, recommending restaurants to you, asking you to leave for work earlier by using the information based on weather, conditions of the road, and etc. The idea behind it, is the more you use the Sense technology in the phone, the more it will evolve. After all, the slogan for HTC U Ultra is It’s All About You, emphasizing a phone that represents the best of you and learns from you.
Pricing and Availability
Currently, HTC U Ultra is only available for early pre-orders at the HTC official website. The available colours are Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, and Ice White and the prices start from USD 749 for the unlocked version. Another colour option, Cosmetic Pink, is also said to be available in some of the regions, but this colour option is presently not available in the United States. HTC Trade Up, a trade-in phone program where you trade in your old phone and get credit for your new HTC phone, is also applicable to the HTC U Ultra.
What’s In the Box?
HTC U Ultra comes included with a HTC U Ultra Clear Case, HTC U Sonic Earphones, Rapid Charger 3+ USB Type-C Cable, and a Quick Start Guide.
HTC U Ultra certainly comes with some new improvements and exciting features such as the 3D Contoured Glass body, HTC U Sonic Feature, and the new Sense technology, but, is it enough to satisfy the public? The outcome remains to be seen when the phones are being shipped out in the middle of March 2017.