HTC's latest flagship smartphone looks like a cross between the LG V20 and Galaxy Note 7

Josh L

TS Rookie

HTC has taken the wraps off two new smartphones — the U Play and U Ultra. As their names suggest, the former is geared towards the mid-range market, while the latter is aimed at power-hungry users looking for a high-end device with stellar specifications.

Both handsets ship with an intuitive AI assistant on board, which HTC is referring to as Sense Companion, and have seen the omission of the beloved 3.5mm headphone jack — a decision that proved to be a deterrent for potential customers of the firm's last smartphone, the Bolt

As seen below you might say the larger of the two devices, the U Ultra, looks an awful lot like an amalgamation of an LG V10/V20 and Samsung Galaxy Note 7, adding a secondary notification screen on top like the LG's.

Both units sport an all-glass exterior that's been touted as crafted to mimic the properties of liquid. That's not necessarily a good thing, though. Apart from looking great, there aren't many benefits of opting for what HTC's calling a Liquid Surface construction. In fact, there aren't any. If you choose not to protect your phone with a case, it's "liquidy" build will almost definitely result in it slipping out of your hand.

Now, for the specs. The mid-range U Play sports a 5.2-inch Full HD display, a MediaTek Helio P10 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a 16MP rear- and front-facing camera and a 2,500mAh battery.

The U Ultra is more impressive. Under its glass hood, it comes equipped with a 5.7-inch qHD screen (2560 x 1440), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64/128GB of expandable storage, a 12MP rear-facing camera, a 16MP selfie shooter, ultra-sensitive microphones and a 3,000mAh battery.

Aside from aesthetics and internals, the most noticeable difference between the two handsets is that the U Ultra adds that second display, discreetly positioned below the speaker grill. Like the LG V10 and V20, it can be used to show notifications, toggle shortcuts to frequent contacts, and manage music playback.

It'll probably come as a surprise to hear that the U Play will ship with Android 6.1.1 Marshmallow on board, whereas the U Ultra will be pre-loaded with the latest build of Android 7.0 Nougat. Both will be skinned with HTC's Sense UI.

The HTC U Ultra is available for pre-order starting today at $749, while the more compact 5.2-inch U Play will be available later for a yet undisclosed price in select markets only. In addition, HTC announced plans to offer a limited edition model of the U Ultra with a sapphire glass display and 128GB of internal storage — so if you're a die-hard HTC fan, that's something to look out for.

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Nobina

RTX 2080 Ti and iPhone XS MAX 512GB
That button or fingerprint sensor whatever it is should be centered. It triggers me.
 

madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
Which sadly reminded you of the fact that your car is an antiquated model, at least 3 years old. ;) Just teasing you here, I couldn't resist it, no offence.
I know right? I look at some of these 2017 models and go "oh maaaaaaaan..." But my car is also completely paid for and probably has another 5+ years of life in it... so yay saving money? XD
 
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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Which sadly reminded you of the fact that your car is an antiquated model, at least 3 years old. ;) Just teasing you here, I couldn't resist it, no offence.
I know right? I look at some of these 2017 models and go "oh maaaaaaaan..." But my car is also completely paid for and probably has another 5+ years of life in it... so yay saving money? XD
I like older cars because they're easier to work on(I rarely pay a mechanic). All the computers in these newer cars scare me, too many cars are have every part vin linked so you're forced to take it to the dealership. currently drive a 99 hond aaccord V6, my next care will be a 2008 accord V6. After that I may move to Subaru since they are sold as a platform to mod on, not something for dealerships to siphon money out of your pocket
 

Spect

TS Booster
What's the phone to get now? Pixel? I drive all day and stream music mostly all day. Should I wait for the next hottest thing? Should I just get a S7 or Pixel?
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
I know right? I look at some of these 2017 models and go "oh maaaaaaaan..." But my car is also completely paid for and probably has another 5+ years of life in it... so yay saving money? XD
It's nice when you know the bank no longer owns all the nice stuff you have.
I know that feeling. My car is 13 year old, looking forward to getting another 10 years out of it. My previous car went 20 years, would have been more if it didnt rust out from the salt.
What's the phone to get now? Pixel? I drive all day and stream music mostly all day. Should I wait for the next hottest thing? Should I just get a S7 or Pixel?
The unlocked moto z play (or the locked verizon version) have 8-10 hours of SOT, which can be combines with the mophie battery to double that battery number.

Otherwise, the pixel is nice. I wouldnt recommend anything with a heavy skin (samsung, HTC) or anything from LG with their quality issues.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
I like older cars because they're easier to work on(I rarely pay a mechanic). All the computers in these newer cars scare me, too many cars are have every part vin linked so you're forced to take it to the dealership. currently drive a 99 hond aaccord V6, my next care will be a 2008 accord V6. After that I may move to Subaru since they are sold as a platform to mod on, not something for dealerships to siphon money out of your pocket
I prefer to work on my cars myself, something I've done all my life but it's also something that's getting harder for me to do these days and not because of computer complexity.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
I know that feeling. My car is 13 year old, looking forward to getting another 10 years out of it. My previous car went 20 years, would have been more if it didnt rust out from the salt.

The unlocked moto z play (or the locked verizon version) have 8-10 hours of SOT, which can be combines with the mophie battery to double that battery number.

Otherwise, the pixel is nice. I wouldnt recommend anything with a heavy skin (samsung, HTC) or anything from LG with their quality issues.
I somehow doubt you'll see the same longevity from something like a Tesla, in fact I know you wont.
 

madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
currently drive a 99 hond aaccord V6, my next care will be a 2008 accord V6.
Good choices, I actually drive a 2007 Accord SE V6 and installed an iSimple AUX/iPod kit when I got the car. I suppose if I could get a bluetooth adapter that plugs into AUX...
 

Wizwill

TS Booster
Phones > cars:
Interesting comparisons. I'm a hot-rodder from WAY back.If it doesn't perform as I think it should, I "mod" it. Cars, tools, houses; you name it, I've rebuilt them all to suit my needs.
If a manufacturer would just build a nice, unfettered phone with a fast quad processor, 4-8 GB RAM, 128 GB expandable storage, replaceable battery, non-glass back, big screen, Note-like stylus, decent stabilized rear camera and current stock OS, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. No "skinned" interface, no mandated bloatware, no 'call home' spyware. I think folks would pay more initially for a simpler experience and offset the residual income from all the self-serving crap most new phones require extraction of before they work properly.
Shaved chrome, efficient exhaust and intake, tires that grip properly with sidewalls tall enough to resist potholes and an interior that 'fits' normal-sized folks. Oh yeah, electrical fittings and body parts that aren't affected by salt.
 
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madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
If a manufacturer would just build a nice, unfettered phone with a fast quad processor, 4-8 GB RAM, 128 GB expandable storage, replaceable battery, non-glass back, big screen, Note-like stylus, decent stabilized rear camera and current stock OS, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. No "skinned" interface, no mandated bloatware, no 'call home' spyware. I think folks would pay more initially for a simpler experience and offset the residual income from all the self-serving crap most new phones require extraction of before they work properly.
Now that's looking for the proverbial leprechaun/unicorn. You'd think a manufacturer would have done this in the last couple years but... there are always compromises everywhere. Especially regarding the OS/Bloatware/("default") interface...

Shaved chrome, efficient exhaust and intake, tires that grip properly with sidewalls tall enough to resist potholes and an interior that 'fits' normal-sized folks. Oh yeah, electrical fittings and body parts that aren't affected by salt.
I too want all these features as well (on my phone!) XD
 

Trillionsin

TS Evangelist
Which sadly reminded you of the fact that your car is an antiquated model, at least 3 years old. ;) Just teasing you here, I couldn't resist it, no offence.
I know right? I look at some of these 2017 models and go "oh maaaaaaaan..." But my car is also completely paid for and probably has another 5+ years of life in it... so yay saving money? XD
I have my truck paid off, too... you should also look at it this way; repairs VS what it would cost to have a new monthly payment. I have to take my truck in regularly and drop anywhere from $500 to $1000 dollars in repairs the last couple years.. I'd rather pay this then a new $250 to $350 dollar monthly payment. Of course it's a larger sum up front, but I usually have a decent savings, so I can do that. Of course, I only commute around town, and if we go on long trips we take the wife's car, because the truck isnt so reliable these days. You have your pros and cons with an old vehicle. lol
 
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