HTC U Ultra Flagship Phone Unveiled Boasting Dual Display, AI Assistant And No Headphone Jack

HTC has announced two new smartphones, including one with a second innovative touchscreen display features a narrow panel at the top of the phone. The newly launched HTC U Ultra has many great features that are here to detail.

The HTC U Ultra features a 5.7-inch display that delivers notifications without interrupting the user’s browsing experience. This same panel can also be customized to provide shortcuts for favorite contacts or apps, and reminders though, event notifications as well, depending on what the user wants to appear there.

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Speaking about the second screen, which is designed to work with the phone’s HTC Sense Companion software, while users artificial intelligence to learn from your daily phone habits and deliver”:the right messages when you need them,” according to the company.

The HTC U Ultra has a curved-glass body – nevertheless, it’s been inspired by the surface tension on water droplets, and comes in a choice of four colors – Black, White, Blue and Pink. This 5.7″ U Ultra device inaugurates a new U series of smartphones and joined by the smaller and less U Play. HTC is touting a new Sense Companion to take advantage on the growing trend for putting AI assistants into phones. As with Apple’s latest iPhones, Lenovo’s Moto Z and the HTC Bolt, neither of HTC’s new handsets has a headphone jack.

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The main highlight of the company’s flagship smartphone is that it has a 2-inch 520PPI secondary touch-screen display above the main screen, like LG V20. It has a glass finish on the front and back, and a metal frame and rear glass is fully curved at all four edges. It has developed a unique process called optical spectrum hybrid deposition to give the glass multi-layered color.

However with the new HTC Sense Companion software, users can use an AI to learn about and offer intelligent suggestions. It even learns your most important phonebook contacts and Android apps, and will also advise you when to charge the phone. If you schedule indicates you may run out of power before bedtime. The Quad HD screen is awesome and bright, and the U Ultra is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor paired with 4GB of RAM.

It has HTC BoomSound audio technology with four microphones that are always listening, and can record “3D AUDIO”, but it has USB Type-C since it lacks a 3.5mm headphone audio jack. With the launch of U Ultra, HTC has moved to a new level all-glass exterior, which it calls Liquid Surface construction.

The big change on the outside is the U Ultra’s secondary screen, which is a thin strip residing to the right of the front-facing camera and immediately above the Super LCD 5 screen. This 2″ strip serves as a landing spot for notifications, reminders, shortcuts to frequent contacts, and music playback controls.

The photography department on the HTC U Ultra goes with an upgraded version with the addition of phase-detect autofocus, but it otherwise unchanged from the 12-megapixel UltraPixel shooter on the HTC 10. You still get laser AF, large pixels, an f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS). The front-camera of the U Ultra scales to a higher resolution of 16-megapixels, though, it also has an UltraPixel mode that produces 4-megapixel snaps.

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Battery package would be little on the small side for the U Ultra’s larger display and the smartphone by HTC announced comes with the latest Android 7.0 Nougat software on-board.

The HTC U Ultra with 64GB of storage goes on pre-sale today for $749 from HTC.com in a choice of four different color options: Sapphire Blue, Comestic Pink, Brilliant Black and Ice White colors. Deliveries in Taiwan will begin by the end of January, but the rest of the world will have to wait until March.

HTC U Ultra Specifications

  • 5.7-inch (1440 x 2560 pixels) Quad HD Super LCD 5 display with Gorilla Glass 5 protection /  Sapphire Glass (128GB version)
  •  2.0-inch (160 x 1040 pixels) 520 PPI Super LCD 5 secondary display
  • Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 64-bit processor (2×2.15 GHz Kryo and 2×1.6 GHz Kryo) with Adreno 530 GPU
  • 4GB RAM, 64/128GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 2TB via microSD
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with HTC Sense UI
  • Hybrid dual SIM (nano+nano/microSD)
  • 12MP (UltraPixel 2) rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, 1.55um pixels, f/1.8 aperture, Laser AF, OIS, 4K video recording
  • 16MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture, UltraPixel mode
  • HTC USonic, HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition, 3D Audio recording with 4 microphones
  • Dimensions: 162.41 x 79.79 x 3.6-7.99mm; Weight: 161 grams
  • 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS with GLONASS, NFC, USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0

It is available for pre-order and is priced at NT $23,900 (US$ 753 / Rs. 51280 approx.) in Taiwan and the Sapphire Glass model with 128GB storage costs NT $ 28,900 (US$ 911 / Rs. 62015 approx.). Shipping starts from March 2017.

Update X1: HTC has also announced a smaller variant of U Ultra without dual-curved display, called HTC U Play.

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