Review: HTC U Ultra
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.
The HTC U Ultra and U Play are the company's new high-end phones, replacing the iconic HTC 10 and One series. They sport flowing 3D curved glass on the back, and high-end specs.
Apr 17, 2017
HTC today kicked off a week-long sale that sees some of the best-ever prices for its handsets. Notably, the new HTC U Ultra has been knocked from $749 down to $599, a significant cut for the smartphone.
Mar 8, 2017
HTC has indicated via its web site that the U Ultra, the company's flagship handset for 2017, will begin shipping on March 10. The $750 smartphone comes in black, white, or blue, and features a 5.7-inch screen, Snapdragon 821 processor, 16-megapixel camera, and personalized sound profiles.
Feb 16, 2017
HTC plans to exit the entry-level phone market moving forward and will instead focus its handset portfolio on high-margin devices. The company made the comments during a conference call with media to discuss its fourth quarter financial results.
Jan 12, 2017
HTC today announced its new flagship phone, the HTC U Ultra, along with a smaller version, the U Play. Both phones have a new design with colorful glass on the front and back, and a metal frame.