HTC U Ultra, U Play smartphones with AI and no audio jack launched: Price, specifications and features

HTC’s anticipated smartphones have been finally announced. At the ‘For U’ event, HTC finally announced the HTC U Ultra smartphone that comes with a LG V20-like secondary ticker display. The smartphone will be up for pre-order today, priced at $749 (approximately Rs 51,000). Buyers will be able to choose from multiple colors including a new Cosmetic Pink. Along with the HTC U Ultra, the company also introduced the HTC U Play at the same event. This is an affordable variant of the smartphone, but the company has not revealed details about the pricing or availability.

What makes the HTC U Ultra standout is that it features a 3D glass design and comes equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Meanwhile the HTC U Play boasts a smaller display size, yet offers top-of-line features at an affordable price. Among the highlights of the smartphones is what the company calls HTC Sense Companion. This is basically an AI personal assistant on the device, which uses machine learning to make the device more personal. It also uses data from the cloud to further enhance user experience with alerts and notifications.

HTC U Ultra specifications

In terms of design, the smartphone comes in a metal and glass unibody design. It features a 5.7-inch Super LCD 5 display offering 2560×1440 pixel resolution with Gorilla Glass 5 or sapphire glass on top. It further features a secondary display offering 160×1040 resolution. The secondary display is powered by HTC’s new Sense Companion AI platform. The secondary display on the U Ultra shows companion alerts in small, intuitive and discreet ways. Over time, as the platform learns user behaviour, the alerts will show what interests you more and push down those which are not that relevant.

At the heart is Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core chipset paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It further comes with support for expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD card.

In terms of photography, the smartphone comes with a 12-megapixel UltraPixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture with Optical Image Stabilization. The HTC U Ultra is also selfie-focused as it features a 16-megapixel front camera with UltraPixel mode. ALSO READ: Alleged HTC Vive smartphone leaked via promotional video

On the software front, the smartphone runs Android 7.0 Nougat with HTC Sense UI on top. Connectivity options include fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. Keeping the smartphone running is a 3,000mAh battery that comes with support for Quick Charge 3.0.

The HTC U Ultra further comes with voice-enabled search support. It includes four ‘always-on’ microphones which listen to voice commands and also aid in unlocking the device. Additionally, it can be used to record 3D immersive audio. The earphones supplied with the smartphone make use of HTC U Sonic which is sonar based audio technology that boosts sound output by reducing external noises.

HTC U Play specifications

The HTC U Play is a smaller variant, without a secondary display. It comes with a 5.2-inch Super LCD display offering 1080p resolution. It is further protected by Gorilla Glass on top. Under the hood, MediaTek Helio octa-core processor is paired with 3GB/4GB of RAM with storage choices of 32GB or 64GB on-board. It also comes with support for microSD card for storage expansion.

In the photography department, the smartphone features a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture with OIS. For selfies, there is a 16-megapixel front camera with UltraPixel mode. On the software front, the smartphone runs Android 7.0 Nougat with HTC Sense UI on top. ALSO READ: Huawei turned down opportunity to manufacture Google Pixel smartphones; here’s why

The HTC U Play draws its juice from a 2500mAh battery with fast charging technology. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and NFC. It further comes with a fingerprint sensor

The HTC U Ultra is currently listed on the company’s US website. There is no word on the availability of the HTC U Play smartphone, nor is there word on an Indian launch.

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