HTC Announces U Play and U Ultra
HTC today announced that it’s adding two new smartphones to its lineup, the U Play and the U Ultra. The Ultra can be preordered by U.S. residents right now for $749, while the Play will be made available at some point in Q1 2017 at an as yet unknown price.
Both new phones are cosmetically the same thanks to what HTC calls their “liquid surface” design, though the Play is a little smaller. Both the front and back of the phones are made of glass over an aluminum frame, which looks good yet may prove to be a magnet for fingerprint smudges. The size difference means that the Play has a 5.2-inch 1080p display, while the Ultra has a larger 5.7-inch, 2560×1440 display partnered with a small 2-inch screen used for displaying notifications and the like.
On the inside, the Ultra and Play have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of regular RAM, which is a little underwhelming considering manufacturers like SK Hynix are rolling out 8GB DRAM chips. Internal storage is limited to either 64GB or 128GB, which also seems a little low, so users are likely going to make good use of the microSD slot that can handle up to 2TB.
Following in the footsteps of Apple, both phones also do not have a headphone jack, preferring to rout audio through a USB-C port. The Ultra will come with a 2500 mAh battery and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, while the Play will support a more regular 5V/2A charge.
The U Ultra and U Play are a strong bid by HTC to take back some of the Android market share they lost to competitors like Samsung and LG, yet it remains to be seen if the new “liquid surface” design, lack of a headphone jack, and faintly underwhelming specs will strike a chord with consumers.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.