HTC had their event scheduled for toady and it was expected that they are going to announce two new devices. Well true to the reports out earlier, HTC has unveiled their premium phablet HTC U Ultra and the more affordable HTC U Play. One of the areas that they have focused on is developing a smart AI for U, which is all about focusing on the consumers. Let’s have a look at the rest of the features of both the devices to see what are the different aspects that the company has worked on.
HTC U Ultra is a premium phablet with a 5.7-inch 2560×1440 IPS LCD display. The smartphone makes use of a dual display, which is one of its unique features. The primary display is for the apps and other regular functions and the secondary display is dedicated to the AI, HTC Sense Companion. In the presentation it was described as ‘the window to the AI companion – between you and your companion‘. The secondary display will allow users to connect with their AI companion. It is smart and intuitive and ‘over time device learns more and more about you and personalizes to suit your tastes’.
HTC U Ultra is powered by a powerful Snapdragon 821 SoC, clocked at 2.15 GHz. It will be accompanied by a 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage which can be expanded via the microSD slot. As far as the camera specs go, a 12MP one can be found on the rear and a 16MP selfie shooter can be found on the device. The camera specs are similar to the ones used in HTC 10 with the ability to capture 4k content. There is no 3.5 mm audio jack, instead the USB-C port will be used for stock headphones. The smartphone will be available in 4 colors, blue, pink, white and green.
In the presentation, HTC U Play was dubbed as cousin for the U Ultra for a more ‘playful’ you. It is a mid range device which aims at providing users the ultimate premium experience with an affordable price tag. HTC U Play comes with a 5.2 -inch 1080 x 1920 pixels display. Under the hood the smartphone makes use of the MediaTek Helio P10 with a 3GB RAM and 32/64GB internal storage options. In addition it will sport a 16MP main camera and a 12MP front facing camera. A 2,500 mAh battery will power the device. HTC seems to be done away with the 3.5 mm jack and have not used it in the HTC U Play as well. The AI, HTC Sense Companion will be part of the device which adds to the user experience. The U Play will also be available in 4 colors: white, pink, blue and black.
The design language of both the HTC devices is similar with an aluminium uni-body sandwiched between glass. This has been described by the company as a ‘liquid design‘. The smooth and glossy look provided by the glass used adds to the liquid effect of the device. The HTC U Ultra will have one version which will make use of the Sapphire glass. The Sapphire glass is stronger and scratch proof. But this addition will only be seen in limited devices coming out later this year.
More of the focus by HTC this time around has been on customization and providing users what they need, hence the use of ‘U’ in the campaign. The HTC Sense Companion will learn along side you that means that over the time it will learn about your like and dislikes and suggest you things. Along with that with voice taking over touch, the U Ultra will have four always on microphones that will be ever ready to take the input and provide response without a delay time. This has also given way to Biometric Voice Unlock in which without lifting a finger you can unlock your device and start interacting. The customization has also been included to the sound, HTC U Sonic which is a sonar based audio system- delivers sound customized for you, boosts the sound you cant hear so well. Moderates the ones you are more sensitive to. HTC claims that it will provide ‘Sound Completely Tuned To You’.
HTC with their U line up show promise and the new direction that the company has taken with an emphasis on AI. The devices are expected to start shipping in March. The HTC U Ultra will be priced at $749 and the HTC U Play will be priced at $440.