In a live-streamed press event today, HTC unveiled their new flagship smartphones, the HTC U Ultra and the HTC U Play. The presentation seemed to focus more on the innovative features of the phone rather than the technical specifications. Considering the phone was leaked earlier this week, we are already aware of the hardware that goes into the device.
HTC’s new Ultra series of smartphones seem to be revolving around their new HTC Sense AI companion, designed to learn from you based on your habits and surroundings. The secondary display on top of the phone is used to quickly access the notifications and apps you need most, drawing stark similarities to the LG V20’s dual display setup.
The phone comes in blue, black, white and pink color models. With a massive 5.7-inch QuadHD display, the HTC U Ultra seems to have specs that are ready for 2017. The Snapdragon 821 powers the smartphone, supported by 4GB RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. There’s also a MicroSD card slot capable of expanding your storage space up to 2TB.
The main camera on the back seems to consist of the 12-megapixel UltraPixel sensor the HTC 10 was famous for, but with better autofocus features. The front facing camera is capable of taking wider photos and comes with a 16-megapixel sensor that has an UltraPixel mode supporting 4-megapixel captures, which sounds a little strange to say. We will have to see it in action to figure out just how much of an upgrade it really is.
The HTC U Ultra also features four omnidirectional microphones that record sound in 360 degrees while recording video. Along with the capability to record surround sound, the microphones can also be used to analyze your speech and use those biometrics to unlock your phone.
The HTC U series will be dropping the 3.5mm audio port in order to support their new USonic audio system that dynamically adjusts your audio experience and caters to the way you want to listen. While we’re sad to see the 3.5mm jack go, HTC will be bundling USonic earphones with the smartphone that connects via the USB-C port.
The HTC U Ultra comes with a 3,000mAh battery, which seems a little on the low side compared to the current generation of phones. The U Play version comes with a 2,500mAh battery and swaps out the Snapdragon processor for a MediaTek Helio P10 processor. The display on the HTC U Play is Full HD and the rear camera uses a 16-megapixel sensor. The U Play will be shipping out with Android Marshmallow and the U Ultra will be using Android’s latest Nougat software package.
The phones are set to be released in the first quarter of the year and pre-orders for the HTC U Ultra have already been announced in the US for $749. We will likely be receiving more information from local retailers regarding the pre-sales, but we expect the phone to launch here by March.