HTC U Ultra

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HTC recently launched it’s latest phone, the HTC U Ultra, and it’s an entirely different kind of phone. The once-dominant Taiwanese brand haven’t had a major hit with it’s phones in recent years, and this gorgeous metal bodied gadget might just change it’s tide.

The HTC U Ultra is a bulky 4.7-inch screen phone with a glossy, shimmery, curvy coloured glass back. It comes in sapphire blue, brilliant black, white and pink. According to HTC, the colour is bonded to the glass and there are multiple layers, giving it depth and richness and making it quite hard to believe that it isn’t metal. The smooth finish, however, makes the phone incredibly slippery.

The power and volume buttons are on the right, and there’s a hybrid dual-SIM tray on the top. On the bottom, you’ll find a USB Type-C port and a speaker grille. There is no 3.5mm audio port. However, the power button is difficult to locate and too shallow to be comfortable. It’s tricky to use the narrow fingerprint reader and capacitive buttons, which are all placed right at the phone’s bottom edge, making it difficult to reach them and still keep the phone balanced.

HTC also implemented a secondary screen that sits right above the main screen but doesn’t extend all the way across so that there’s still room for a front camera.They haven’t detailed the exact resolution of the secondary screen, but from it’s extremely crisp images with punchy colours, it’s probably 1440×2560 pixels. The whole front face is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

HTC U ULtra runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, which has two 2.1GHz CPU cores and two 1.6GHz cores plus integrated Adreno 530 graphics. There’s 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, with microSD card support going up to a theoretical 2TB, but you do lose the ability to use a second SIM. The phone and bundled Type-C cable both support USB 3.0 transfer speeds.

Battery capacity is 3000mAh which seems a bit low for a phone this size, but explains its relatively low weight of 170g. The phone also comes with stereo front-firing BoomSound speakers, but has one speaker on the bottom with the earpiece acting as a second one.

Generally, its apps run well, and Android 7.0’s split-screen feature is supported (though not really obvious unless you know how to use it already). The screen is great in all kinds of conditions including under direct sunlight. It is however not worth the price tag it come along with, but rather a statement piece.