HTC U Ultra was announced earlier this year, in January, as sort of a flagship replacement and now it’s here for testing purposes. We’ve played with it a few weeks ago, but now we managed to handle it for a few hours and the first impressions are below. This is a massive phablet priced at $749 and the design is certainly the first thing to catch the eye.
It involves a slightly curved glass panel at the front and also one at the back, but it’s no regular glass. The back one is able to slightly change hue when exposed to different types of light. In sunlight it shows one color, in artificial lighting another and if there’s white artificial light, it changes again. That’s kind of nice and certainly a special attribute of the phone.
Since this preview is in lieu of an unboxing, I’m going to go ahead and list what you can find inside the box: HTC fast charger, USB Type C cable, HTC Clear Case, headphones, a dust cloth and a SIM tool. The phone really needs that dust cloth, since it’s prone to smudges and fingerprints, using so much glass. By the way, it’s also very slippery.
Upfront we find the 5.7 inch Quad HD screen standing out, with an extra 2.05 secondary screen above it. That one shows notifications, but also shortcuts, the weather, reminders and even more. It’s in the vein of the LG V10 and LG V20 and it’s a welcome feature, albeit a vanity one, that we can live without. The phone also has a special version with 128 GB of storage, aside from the regular with 64 GB and the special one brings a sapphire glass protection.
Other than that it’s just typical 2016 end fare, specs-wise, like a Snapdragon 821 CPU, 4 GB of RAM and a Quad HD resolution. The battery feels a bit modest at 3000 mAh, but the 12 MP camera with OIS, laser focus, dual tone flash and Ultrapixel tech feels just right. We also get a front 16 MP shooter for selfies and be sure to watch the whole video to learn what we thought about the first pics taken indoors. Hint: they’re quite well balanced in color and have good details and lighting.
HTC Sense Companion, the much bragged about virtual assistant will come later via an update, making use of the device’s 4 omnidirectional microphones. So far so good and we get ready for the final review. You can get the device here in the meantime.