For those who believed that HTC had already thrown in the towel and once abandoned the smartphone market, you were wrong. The Taiwanese manufacturer has just announced the U series and breaks with its traditions in the search for a new identity. We had the chance to test the new U Ultra and here you get our first impressions about the new HTC device.
HTC U Ultra – Release date and price:
HTC has a bit of a hurry. The HTC U Ultra will be available even before the Mobile World Congress. His new series arrives on the European market in February. Firstly, we will have the HTC U Ultra with 64 GB of internal memory and the colors black and blue. In March, the U Ultra arrives with 128GB of internal storage and a sapphire crystal display.
The HTC U Ultra with 64GB has the suggested price of $ 750, while the 128GB version and the sapphire display arrive for $ 898 ($ 2,887.43 in a direct conversion) .
HTC U Ultra – Design & Build Quality:
Forget everything you know about HTC. The manufacturer said goodbye to its traditional unibody metallic body with the U series. For years, HTC has remained true to this type of design in its smartphones.
The representative of HTC in Germany, Fabian Nappenbach, told us at the launch of the HTC U Ultra, that the new design took two years to be developed. The reason for this was the development of a method that would produce rounded edges on the glass. And, on the other hand, there was also the need to produce a sapphire crystal so HTC could use in this format.
Between the front and the back, we have an aluminum frame around the HTC U Ultra. On the sides, only the button to turn the unit on and off, the volume, the USB Type-C input and the speaker grille on the bottom. That’s right, we do not have the input for the headphones.
Overall, the HTC U Ultra made a good impression. The footprint is very good as well as the quality of construction.
Looking more closely at the HTC U Ultra, we quickly noticed four microphones used for voice control and noise cancellation. Each of these microphones are omnidirectional, similar to Amazon Eco or Eco Dot. Within a two meter radius, the U Ultra is able to reliably recognize voice commands thanks to these microphones. Unfortunately, the software is not definitive yet, so we could not test the function.
Another special feature is found in the front, just as in the LG V20 , HTC includes a second screen in the U Ultra.
HTC U Ultra – Screen:
The main screen of the HTC U Ultra has a diagonal of 5.7 inches and offers a QHD resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels). The pixel density reaches the same amount of 515ppi as in the LG V20. The second screen is located at the top of the main screen, next to the front camera, and has a resolution of 160 x 1040 pixels.
As in V20, the information on the second screen also depends on the context in which the user is. The HTC Sense Companion is the artificial intelligence that feeds this screen, which also brings up recently used application information.
For example, if the battery has 50% and you have a long flight scheduled for the same day, the HTC assistant will remind you to charge the device battery. HTC believes that AI is good technology and simplifies the lives of users.
HTC U Ultra – Software:
HTC factory offers the U Ultra with Android 7.0 Nougat, along with the customization of the HTC Sense interface itself. The Sense Companion comes as an extra software installed on the device in application form. We still do not know if the Sense Companion that will be in the final version of the HTC U Ultra software will be an app. According to Fabian Nappenbach, the development team is considering several possibilities to optimize this application.
HTC U Ultra – Performance:
The technical specifications of the HTC U Ultra are not state of the art, but they are not bad. OR Ultra has many components that we have seen in Google Pixel and Pixel XL , which ultimately form also produced by HTC. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal memory. The handset supports microSD card and can have expanded memory up to 2TB.
Since the hardware is similar to Pixel XL, it is assumed that the performance will behave similarly. Anyway, to talk more about the performance of the new device from HTC, we will need more time with the device.
HTC U Ultra – Audio:
The HTC U Ultra could not fail to rely on BoomSound sound technology, even if its design is completely new. Here the HTC mounts the same system we already know from the HTC 10 Evo and HTC 10. The main speaker is facing down while the second is hidden in the speaker phone calls.
The sound of the HTC USonic headset comes with the device.
HTC U Ultra – Camera:
HTC’s smartphones are questionable since the HTC 10 when it comes to camera. Even though the Pixel and Pixel XL have shown that HTC and Google have learned from the past in choosing modules for their cameras. The HTC U Ultra is built in accordance with the same camera module as the Pixel XL.
The camera sensor captures photos with up to 12MP and video at 4K resolution. With four microphones, the unit can record video with 3D audio. The pixel size is large, has 1.55μm and should also provide good photos even in low light. The focus is very fast in any situation as it consists of three modes: laser, contrast and phase. Unlike Pixel, HTC has put a lens with optical image stabilizer, fortunately.
The front camera has a 16 megapixel sensor while the videos are Full HD. It has a mode of noise reduction in low light conditions, the Pixel Ultra mode, but we could not test because the software is not the final version.
In addition to the Ultra pixel mode, there is also a panoramic mode for selfies. If you lean left or right during the photo you can have a wider field of view.
HTC U Ultra – Battery:
The Ultra U battery has exactly 3,000mAh. According to HTC, the battery of the U Ultra has a range of up to 26 hours connected to 3G / 4G networks and standby can last up to 13 days. We also know that the HTC Sense Companion is always in standby mode and consume a maximum of only 1%.
HTC U Ultra – Technical Specifications:
- KIND: Smartphone
- FASHION MODEL: HTC U Ultra
- MANUFACTURER: HTC
- DIMENSIONS: 162.41 x 79.79 x 7.99 mm
- WEIGHT: 170 g
- BATTERY SIZE: 3000 mAh
- SCREEN SIZE: 5.7 inches
- SCREEN TECHNOLOGY: LCD
- SCREEN: 2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)
- FRONTAL CAMERA: 16 megapixels
- BACK CAMERA: 12 megapixels
- FLASH: LED
- ANDROID VERSION: 7.0 – Nougat
- INTERFACE: HTC Sense
- RAM: 4GB
- INTERNAL MEMORY: 64GB
- REMOVABLE MEMORY: micro SD
- CHIPSET: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
- NUMBER OF CORES: 4
- MAX SPEED: 2.15 GHz
- CONNECTIVITY: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2
HTC is reinventing itself with the U series. Its ever-growing hardware and ever-increasing resolution screen can appeal to users who want to have a smartphone with the ability to make everyday life easier. In theory, the HTC Sense Companion in conjunction with the second screen is a very interesting bet to achieve this goal. Under the slogan “simply brilliant”, the new U Ultra will have to prove this in our final review.
Leave your comment on this review and tell us your ideas about this HTC U-series.