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HTC's U Ultra attacks the high end with a glass back, an AI companion, and a second screen

Michael Simon | Jan. 13, 2017
The flagship HTC U Ultra phone represents a bold new direction for the company—one that doesn't include a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Sound off

However, while HTC says the phone was built for “you,” that doesn’t necessarily extend to the listening experience. While the phone continues HTC’s focus on audio with BoomSound HiFi edition, the handset doesn’t include a 3.5mm audio jack. The company claims that its bundled USB-C “individualized, custom-made sense-adapted” USonic earphones will provide immersive audio, but most people will simply grumble about not being able to use their existing headphones without an adapter.

htc ultra HTC

The HTC U Ultra’s main camera is the same as last year’s HTC 10, but the front sensor has been upgraded to 16MP.

Along with the U Ultra, HTC also released the HTC U Play, making it clear that the U brand is part of a wholesale transformation. Essentially a little brother to the Ultra, the Play includes a 5.2-inch screen 1080p LCD screen, underpowered MediaTek Helio P10 chip, 16MP UltrPixel-less rear camera, 2,500 mAh battery. It also doesn’t include a headphone jack.

While the unlocked HTC U Ultra is available for preorder through the HTC’s site for a hefty $749, it won’t be shipping to the Unites States until mid-March, at which point Samsung, LG and others will likely have unveiled their own 2017 flagships. The company has yet to release pricing or release information for the smaller HTC U Play except to say it will begin shipping in early 2017.

 

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