HTC started off 2017 with a series of smartphones called the HTC U. The concept is quite simple, the look and feel of the phones are all about you. In this blog post, I will be reviewing the HTC U Ultra. Within the last year, we’ve seen more and more large smartphones.
HTC is continuing the trend with the release of the U Ultra. This phone has a 5.7-inch display screen, that’s bigger than any other HTC phone that we’ve ever seen.
HTC U Ultra Features:
The U Ultra has two display screens, the main display screen is a QHD 5.7-inch display screen. And there’s a second display screen which is located at the top of the phone which is 2.05-inches. This display screen offers additional functionalities which include controls, notifications, and music.
This display screen displays apps and it works in a similar manner to the way the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge features work with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
When you’re using the main display screen, the smaller screen provides a way to see important notifications without interrupting you.
So if you’re surfing the net and you’re reading something important on the main screen and you receive a text message. The notification will appear on the second screen at the top and you can open it without having to get out of what you’re doing on the main screen.
This feature will come in handy when you’re multi-tasking. However, you will only get a small preview of the text message you received especially if you received a long text message. You will not be able to read the entire text message on the second display screen.
The second display screen has a variety of different interfaces. These interfaces contain options for contacts, music, calendar, and weather. But you can customize it to display shortcuts to some of your favorite apps if you prefer to do so.
When using the second screen you can navigate from one display screen to the other by pressing and sliding the display screen from left to right and vice versa.
Another great new feature of the U Ultra is the AI feature aka HTC Sense Companion (HSC). The AI feature is an artificial intelligence system that works in a similar way to the Siri feature in an iPhone, or the Google Assistant in an Android phone.
HTC U Ultra Design And Hardware:
The main display screen is a 5.7-inch QHD display screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels (515ppi). The picture quality on this phone is great. The U Ultra is a large phone, some people may like it and some people may not. The back panel of the phone is made of glass.
HTC refers to it as the “liquid surface”, this is an attractive combination of glass and metal. It may appear as one color or a pearlescent. It all depends on the way the light reflects of off it. The back panel of the phone has some nice curves that fit perfectly into the contours of your hands.
Even though the phone is a large phone with a back panel that’s made of glass, it does not feel slippery when you hold it in your hands.
The fingerprint scanner on the U Ultra is a bit small which makes it a little difficult to get your finger in the right place to unlock the phone.
The U Ultra comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, 64-bit quad-core processor, 64GB of storage which is expandable up to 2TB, and 4GB of RAM. A 3000mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0, 12MP primary camera and a 16MP secondary camera (selfie camera).
HTC U Ultra User Interface:
The U Ultra also comes with the Android 7.0 Nougat which has its own Sense UI which makes it unique. The UI is extremely user-friendly which makes it easy to find whatever you may be looking for. Many of the features of the U Ultra are Android 7’s with a hint of HTC.
This is great because you will get the opportunity to use the HTC’s UI which provides more options for customization than you would get if you had a phone that has stock Android 7.0.
In the UI there’s a feature called News Republic. This feature will provide news stories that you may be interested in which will appear when you unlock the phone. HTC’s Blinkfeed is also available and it will keep you updated with news updates and social media.
HTC U Ultra Battery Life:
The U Ultra comes with a 3,000mAh non-removable battery which will last for a full day of moderate use. That’s considered average battery life. That’s not bad considering the battery is powering a 5.7-inch QHD display screen. However, it would have been better if HTC had used a more powerful battery.
HTC U Ultra Camera:
The primary camera on the U Ultra is a 12MP camera with a f/1.8 aperture. The camera is fast, however, the colors aren’t rich and vibrant as you would expect with a premium phone such as this one. When taking photos in a well-lit setting the picture quality is okay.
But when taking photos in a darker setting the quality of the photos are not the best. The photos tend to be a bit darker than they should be, HTC could have done a better job in this area.
The User Interface is simple and user-friendly. There’s a mode called Zoe Camera, this is a camera mode which captures a three-second video recording around your photo. There’s a panorama mode, this mode allows you to stitches multiple frames together to form a single photo.
The selfie camera on the U Ultra is a 16MP camera. This camera offers video recording at Full HD and there’s also an auto HDR mode.
U Ultra Performance:
The U Ultra is a fast and efficient phone the 64GB of internal storage along with the 4GB of RAM makes the phone run smoothly. However, the battery is only a 3000mAh battery. The battery life on the U Ultra isn’t bad but it would have been much better if the phone had a bigger battery.
Even though the phone comes with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology it takes a little over an hour and 40 minutes to achieve a full charge. That’s too long, there’s plenty of room for improvement in this area.
My Final Thought:
The HTC U Ultra is a big phone with a hefty price tag. The main selling point of the U Ultra is the dual display screen that it possesses. The U Ultra is available in black, white, pink and blue and it’s available at Amazon for US $716.20. This phone is priced a bit too high for what it offers, the Google Pixel XL or the iPhone 7 offers much more value.