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Review: HTC U Ultra

Hardware Software Wrap-Up Comments  1  

It's pretty easy to say the U Ultra is HTC's finest phone. You will not find a more visually arresting smartphone on the market. HTC designed an eye-pleasing piece of hardware. I dare you not to fall in love with the hero blue color. HTC made some serious missteps, however, that may be problematic.

The U Ultra has a solid screen, excellent voice and data performance, and solid battery life. The new BoomSound speakers sound very good, as do the boxed headphones. Android 7 and HTC's Sense interface run perfectly on the phone and ensure you can personalize nearly every facet of the phone. The camera is great.

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Then there are the "buts": The phone is huge, making it somewhat unwieldy. The extra display is nice, but the phone would probably be smaller (and possible more appealing) without it. The U Ultra lacks a headphone jack, and I found the USB port was incompatible with several USB-C-to-3.5mm dongles I have on hand. And, in what may be the ultimate dealbreaker, the U Ultra is barely water resistant, let alone waterproof.

These are all secondary concerns when you consider the preposterous $750 price tag. I mean, I get it, the phone is made of gorgeous glass and has top specs all around. That doesn't change the fact that Apple, Samsung, and LG charge $100 less for their flagship smartphones. Rumors suggest the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 might be more expensive than in years past, but that doesn't change the fact that $750 is a lot of scratch. It doesn't help HTC any that it is selling the phone directly to consumers at full price, rather than via a carrier-backed installment plan.

Who should buy the HTC U Ultra? People with cash to spare and who prefer high design over practicality. It's a fine, fine phone, but perhaps not fine enough.

Our Ratings

Battery Life
Hardware Usability
Hardware Quality
Interface Speed
Audio Volume

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