Despite the fact that last year’s HTC 10 garnered a lot of praise, HTC seems to be going for another approach for this year’s flagship device offering (teased last month). Just recently, the Taiwanese phone maker unveiled not one but a couple of new devices -- the flagship phablet U Ultra and the U Play -- and looking at these latest smartphones, it does appear that the company is indeed shifting gears.
But first, let us look into the specifications. HTC’s U Ultra comes with a 5.7 inch Quad HD display screen (with a 2,560 by 1,440 pixel resolution), and is paired with a 12 megapixel Ultra Pixel main camera on the rear side (f/1.8 aperture) as well as a 16 megapixel selfie shooter on the front side. As far as hardware specs are concerned, the phablet boasts a 2.15 GigaHertz 64 bit four core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip set, aided by 4 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM) and 64 gigabytes of built in storage. It has a 3,000 mAh battery and is powered by Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat, with HTC Sense.
As for the U Play, it offers a 5.2 inch Super LCD screen with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, and flanked by a 16 megapixel camera on the rear side and another 16 megapixel snapper on the front side. Inside, the smartphone has an eight core Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10 processor, with either 3 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of onboard storage, or 4 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabytes of memory. It packs a non-removable 2,500 mAh battery and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
With the U Ultra and the U Play, some might think that HTC is deliberately veering away from the familiar aesthetics of its previous flagship models. Sure, the devices still sport a mainly metallic look, but the rear cover features an elegant curved glass rendering that produces remarkable reflective properties.
There are also some subtle touches -- like the double screen design of the U Ultra (which is reminiscent of LG’s V10 and V20 handsets). To make the secondary screen useful, HTC has wisely taken full advantage of artificial intelligence via its Sense Companion. This digital assistant is capable of learning the mobile user’s habits and then offers recommendations and reminders depending on the date, the time of day, or the state of the weather. What about the U Play? This device is more like the younger premium midrange sibling of the U Ultra, that is, based on specs. But it does sport the Sense Companion AI, too, which wins it points.
HTC’s U Ultra starts at a price of $749, and is already made available for pre-ordering, with shipment dates starting some time in March of this year. As for the U Play, HTC has not divulged any details regarding the device’s pricing and availability yet. Want to compare these two to other handsets? Start exploring more phones and plans from HTC at Wirefly now.
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