HTC has launched an early assault on 2017 with the release of two new handsets; the premium U Ultra and mid-range U Play.
No, you’re not looking at a resurrected Galaxy Note on the right – that is, in fact, HTC’s newest premium device: the U Ultra.
HTC took to the stage today to take the wraps off its two newest devices. While the U Ultra serves a performance base for the series – rocking a 1440p display at 5.7″ – the U Play brings the fun with a smaller 5.2″ display with a resolution of 1080×1920. Read: HTC‘s Desire 10 is a mid-range rocketship that looks stunning
Both devices have strapped in to set some 2017 standards; both devices lack a headphone jack but come equipped with an AI assistant dubbed Sense Companion. Furthermore, users can expect a secondary screen – a little like the one found on the LG V20 – on the top of the U Ultra.
U Ultra: The powerhouse
As far as the U Ultra goes – if you can discount its Galaxy lookalike-design – the device functions as HTC’s warning shot to all devices set to follow at Mobile World Congress this year.
Available in blue, pink, white, black and green, the U Ultra runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and sports a Snapdragon 821 SoC. 4GB of RAM and up to 256GB of expandable storage makes the rounds, while the device packs in a 12-megapixel camera with OIS and a 16-megapixel selfie shooter.
The Ultra supports USB Type-C and bears a fingerprint scanner, and is complemented by a 3,000mAh battery.
Feature-wise, the device uses HTC’s Sense Companion to provide proactive alerts and suggestions (much alike what Google Assistant supports aboard the Pixel), while the device’s secondary screen boasts a resolution of 160×1040 pixels and can be used to hold shortcuts to favourite apps or contacts.
HTC’s USonic (are you seeing a pattern here?) is a technology we saw on the US-only HTC Bolt; the U Ultra’s bundled earphones are capable of scanning the internal structure of its user’s ears and adapting its sound output for maximum effort. Of course, that comes with the sacrifice of a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack converter won’t be bundled in the box.
The U Ultra will retail for $749 USD, while there has been no word on local availability.
U Play: The playground
Where the U Ultra is power, the U Play brings the fun. Arriving with a Media Tek Helio P10 chipset, the device accommodates 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage.
The device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and includes a 2,500mAh battery in addition to a 16-megapixel primary camera and secondary unit.
While the U Play sports the same Sense Companion and USonic technology found on the U Ultra, consumers will have to do without a secondary screen. The device will be available in black, blue, pink and white versions, while pricing is yet to be announced. Read: Beyond BlackBerry: Do Sony, LG, and HTC face extinction too?
Have your say!
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