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HTC launches new flagship smartphone lineup – U Ultra and U Play

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Last year, when HTC launched its flagship smartphone HTC 10, the company ditched the gimmicky stuff and presented a no-nonsense smartphone. However, the company has adopted a different approach this time.

Today, HTC has launched its new flagship smartphone — U Ultra. Just like every other flagship smartphone, this one too comes with an AI assistant. HTC has named it Sense Companion. Also, there is a second screen at the top of the phone — very much like the one included in the LG V20. Besides an AI assistant, HTC also followed the on-going trend of removing 3.5mm jack.

With the launch of U Ultra, the company has completely changed the design on the phone. This glossy device comes with a new all-glass exterior, which HTC calls Liquid Surface construction. This glossy touch might, however, make the phone slippery.

HTC U Ultra comes with a big 5.7-inch Quad HD display. Above that display, there is a second display — a thin 2-inch strip with screen resolution of 160 x 1040 pixels. This strip displays notifications, reminders, provides shortcut to frequent contacts, and music playback controls, among other features.

Under the hood, the smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor, along with 4GB of RAM. In terms of internal storage, it comes with two options — 64GB and 128GB. There is also an option to expand the storage up to 2TB using a microSD card.

On the imaging front, the camera remains the same — a 12 MP Ultrapixel sensor, however, it has been upgraded with phase detection auto focus. It also features laser auto focus, f/1.8 aperture, and OIS. On the front, the camera is a 16 MP sensor, with a new “Ultrapixel Mode” which produces 4 MP images.

The device is powered by a 3000mAh battery, which seems little small for a device with 5.7-inch QHD display. In terms of software, it runs on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat operating system.

As the headphone jack is now missing in the new device, HTC is now bundling USonic earphones — a rebranded version of the in-ear headphones that were included with the HTC Bolt and 10 Evo, which connects with the USB-C port.

For those who don’t need a secondary screen, there is another model — U Play. It comes without the secondary strip display, and with a smaller 5.2-inch full HD display. It will be available in two variants — 3GB of RAM with 3GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage.

Instead of the Snapdragon 821 SoC, the smartphone is powered by a Helio P10 processor, with 2500mAh battery. However, in the software department, it’s a step behind U Ultra, as it runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS.

While the U Play is a lesser variant of the U Ultra, the company has retained the same design style and the new AI assistant Sense Companion. The device will be available from Spring.

The HTC U Ultra with 64GB storage will be available on pre-sale from today for a staggering sum of $749. The phone will be available in four colour options – blue, black, white, and pink. Shipping of the phone will commence by the end of January while for the rest of the world will have to wait until March.

He has been a technology writer since more than five years. At The Tech Portal, he covers gadgets, startups and the good and bad of tech.

Email: [email protected]


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