Both the U Ultra and the U Play smartphones will be available to purchase from February at HTC's online store, Amazon, Very.co.uk and other retailers. The launch of these phones featuring premium specifications and new features does suggest that HTC may not unveil a flagship phone at Mobile World Congress due next month.
The U Ultra arrives with a 5.7-inch 3D contoured liquid surface as well as a second display which will display useful notifications. The secondary display will also let you access your favourite contacts, apps and reminders, very much like the secondary display in LG's V-series phones. The phone also features user-friendly and intuitive features like the HTC Sense Companion which works like an AI assistant, offering weather updates, lifestyle suggestions, battery status and restaurant recommendations.
U Ultra will recognise your voice and respond accordingly, be it taking or rejecting calls, navigating to your preferred destination, setting or dismissing alarms and more. The voice assistant feature will get accustomed to your lifestyle and needs and will evolve overtime. A new feature named HTC USonic will be able to analyse your inner ears by sending sonar-like pulse and will optimise headphones based on your hearing ability. It will also adapt to external noise and customise sound levels accordingly, be it a crowded place or a quiet one.
Audio-wise, like previous HTC phones, U Ultra comes with HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition speakers which can deliver pulse-pounding audio thanks to separated sound design, four microphones in four directions and separated tweeter and woofer placements. The feature can also record 3600-degree immersive audio and play it back in great clarity. The main 12-MP UltraPixel camera comes with faster autofocus, less blur and better low-light photography and the phone will let you switch between a 16-MP front camera and an UltraPixel front camera, depending on your requirement.
The phone's internal specifications include Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, a 2TB MicroSD slot, a 3,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support and a Quad HD Super LCD 5 display. HTC U Ultra will also be available as a premium 128GB variant which will also feature Sapphire Front Glass for better durability.
The 5.2-inch U Play also comes with Sense Companion, voice recognition, USonic and a 3D contoured liquid surface but lacks a secondary display. Its front cameras are similar in resolution as the ones in the U Ultra but the main camera is 16-MP one instead of a 12-MP UltraPixel one. Other specifications include a MediaTek™ Helio™ P10 processor, 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, a 2TB MicroSD slot, a Full HD Super LCD display, a 2,500 mAh battery and a USB Type-C port.