HTC U Ultra

HTC introduces U Ultra and U Play flagships for 2017

HTC has attempted to get a head start on its rivals by launching its 2017 flagship early. The company released details of the HTC U, with two different versions on offer.

The premier device is the HTC U Ultra, which features a 5.7-inch screen and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset.

A 5.2-inch display alongside a MediaTek P10 system-on-chip provide a mid-range alternative in the form of the HTC U Play.

There is actually a notable difference between the two handsets in terms of specs. Here HTC is taking a different route to other companies, with the likes of Google and Samsung producing multiple editions of their flagships, but with relatively few changes in specs.

The HTC U Ultra features a display resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, 12 megapixel front-facing camera with a pixel size of 1.55 µm, 4 GB RAM and either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage.

By contrast, on the HTC U Play there is a 1080 x 1920 display and a 16 megapixel rear-facing camera which offers a pixel size of 1.0 µm pixel size. When it comes to memory and storage, there are versions with either 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, or 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage.

As far as taking selfies is concerned, both smartphones offer 16 megapixel front-facing cameras.

The HTC U Ultra also includes a second screen at the top of the device, similar to the LG V20.

While the difference in specs mean that the HTC U Play is unlikely to get close to the performance of the HTC U Ultra, the Taiwanese company should be able to offer the mid-range device at a much more competitive price point.

There is disappointment, though, for anyone wanting a traditional music-listening experience, as neither of the two new devices come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

In terms of design, there are plenty of similarities between the two smartphones. HTC has developed what it is referring to as a ‘liquid surface’, which involves the devices having been painted under their front and back glass panels.

The result is quite distinctive from other glass smartphones, with HTC’s design resulting in highly-reflective surfaces have been used to produce a unique finish.