HTC has announced its latest high-end flagship smartphone in the new U-series, called the U Ultra at a media event held in its home country Taiwan. The main highlight of the smartphone is it has a 2.05-inch 520 PPI secondary touch-screen above the 5.7-inch Quad HD main display. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (64-bit) processor paired with 4 GB of RAM, has 64GB/128GB (Sapphire variant) of expandable internal storage and runs Android 7.0 (Nougat) with HTC Sense UI on top.
In terms of camera, it has a 12-megapixel (Ultrapixel 2) rear camera with large 1.55µm pixels, OIS, f/1.8 aperture and it can shoot 12-bit RAW & 4K 2160p videos as well, same as the HTC 10 and feature a 16-megapixel front camera, which also has an Ultra Pixel mode that can output 4MP images with increased low-light performance. It also has HTC BoomSound audio along with four microphones that are always listening, and it can record 3D Audio.
Unfortunately, the U Ultra lacks a 3.5mm audio jack and the stock earphones plug into its USB Type-C port instead. HTC said – “We removed the headphone jack because we believe the audio experience on the phone can be so much more than just the simple transmission of sound. The sonar-like capabilities of the new USonic earphones [included in the box] wouldn’t be possible with a 3.5mm headphone jack. We have microphones built into both earbuds that “listen” for sonic pulses, which can then adjust your audio to match your ears’ unique architecture. We believe the market is ready to push audio into new innovations that benefit consumers’ listening experience.”
The HTC U Ultra is a very premium-looking device. It has a glass finish on the front and back with a metal frame and the rear glass is fully curved on all the four edges. HTC says that it has developed a unique process called “optical spectrum hybrid deposition” to give the glass multi-layered color.
It has new HTC Sense Companion software that uses an AI to learn about you and offer intelligent suggestions. It learns your most important contacts and apps, and surface related notifications on the second screen. It will also advise you when to charge the phone, if your schedule indicates you may run out of power before bedtime.
HTC U Ultra specifications:
- 5.7-inch Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixels) Super LCD 5 main display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection / Sapphire crystal Glass (128GB version)
- 2.05-inch (160 x 1040 pixels) Super LCD secondary display
- Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821 (64-bit) SoC with Quad-Core (2 x 2.15GHz + 2 x 1.6GHz) Kryo CPU
- Adreno 530 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB / 128GB internal storage, expandable up to 2TB via microSD card
- Android 7.0 (Nougat) with HTC Sense UI
- 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, 2G, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band (2.4GHz & 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS & Beidou, NFC, micro USB 3.1, USB Type-C 1.0 (reversible connector)
- HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition, HTC USonic, 3D Audio recording with 4 mics
- 12MP (HTC Ultrapixel 2) rear camera with 1.55µm pixel size, 26mm lens, BSI sensor, f/1.8 aperture, Laser AF, PDAF, OIS, RAW support, dual-tone LED flash, 4K video recording
- 16MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture, UltraPixel mode, BSI sensor, 1080p video recording
- Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, E-compass, Magnetic sensor
- Non-removable Li-Ion 3000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (50% in 30 min)
- Dimensions: 162.41 x 79.79 x 7.99mm
- Weight: 170 grams
- Colors: Sapphire Blue, Comestic Pink, Brilliant Black, Ice White
The HTC U Ultra standard 64GB unlocked variant is currently available for pre-order from htc.com for $749 in the US. In Taiwan it is priced at NT $23,900 (US$ 753 approx) for the standard version and the Sapphire Glass version with 128GB storage costs NT $ 28,900 (US$ 911 approx). It will start shipping from mid- March.