The 5.7-inch HTC U Ultra, the latest flagship phone from the Taiwanese company, follows Apple’s iPhone 7 by ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack, although it features a second screen and AI assistant.
The U Ultra features a sleek all-glass design, and is available with 64Gb or 128Gb of internal storage. It contains a 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, and a Quad HD Super LCD 5 screen.
A key difference between the U Ultra and its rivals is the 2-inch Dual Display feature. The tiny display strip is located at the top of the screen, and can perform a range of personalised functions, without interrupting the main screen.
In addition to this, there is ‘Sense Companion’, an Artificial Intelligence assistant that monitors the behaviours and plans of users, to make tailored suggestions on when they should leave for work based on that day’s traffic or weather, what they should wear for the day ahead, and so on. It can also help maximise battery life, by analysing usage statistics and what you’re planning to do later on.
While it isn’t the first phone to offer an AI assistant, it provides more competition to the Google Pixel and Apple iPhone 7 in this department.
HTC also revealed the 5.2-inch U Play, which is very similar to the U Ultra. The main differences are its smaller size, the absence of the dual-screen, and slightly lower camera and processor specs. Still, this is expected to be available at a cheaper price (HTC have yet to reveal how much the phones will cost), so this balances out the differences to some extent.
Unlike Apple, whose AirPods are not included in the box with the iPhone 7 (and cost a fortune), HTC includes wireless USonic earphones, to compensate for the lack of a headphone jack.
HTC won’t be including an adapter dongle like Apple, but the box does contain USB-C earphones anyway, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you can’t stand to use the earphones provided, then you can still buy an adapter if you want.
The lack of headphone jack can be highly irritating, but it is at least pleasing to see that HTC aren’t removing it and charging £160 for a pair of its wireless earphones.
The U Play and U Ultra will be rolling out to European countries in February, HTC announced, while the U Ultra is expected to reach the US during Q1 of this year.
Images courtesy of HTC