Here’s what you should know about the HTC U Ultra

HTC’s new flagship features two screens and an improved AI system.

Meryl D'Souza January 15, 2017

There was once a time when HTC was all set to be the Android ruler. That was before Samsung decided it too would make the switch from a plastic body to a metallic one. HTC held its own after Samsung's switch, but the spotlight had to be shared.

The HTC 10 was a good phone. It didn’t stand out like the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the Apple iPhone 7, but it was a decent phone for its time. Unfortunately for the Taiwanese company, the HTC 10 wasn’t appealing enough to get people to choose it over the competition.

That bit of information wasn’t lost on the Taiwanese company. On Thursday, HTC unveiled its new flagship phone: HTC U Ultra. In a bid to stand out from the rest, HTC has deliberately stayed away from calling it the HTC 11. Consider this the company’s attempt at peacocking.

You really can’t blame them. Ever since Samsung’s Note 7 exploded off the Android market (RIP) the mantle for best Android phone has been up for grabs. And although the Google Pixel looks great, it hasn’t cemented that position. For HTC – the hardware brains behind the Google Pixel – that title is not out of reach.

Here’s what we know about HTC’s new flagship. 

There is no headphone jack
Like the iPhone 7, the HTC U Ultra will contribute to the death of the headphone jack, by not sporting one. Instead, buyers will get a pair of USB-C buds bundled in.

The camera is more or less the same

We didn’t have a chance to test out the HTC 10’s camera like we did with the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy 7 in camera wars, but we liked what the phone offered. Having said that, we imagine it’s a bit of a gamble to simply stick with the same tech from last year. Especially considering the fact that Samsung and Apple will come out all guns blazing later in the year.

A new AI
Artificial Intelligence was a recurring theme at this year’s CES and it looks like it will be the theme of the year. HTC’s all-new AI, Sense Companion, is designed to smarten up your phone. We’ll just have to wait to see how much.

Two screens
The HTC U Ultra is said to come with a 5.7in, Quad HD Super LCD 5 screen with a 2in Dual Display. The Dual Display features a small display strip that sits above the main display that, among other things, delivers messages from priority contacts and your favourite apps without interrupting the main screen.

The HTC U Ultra’s release date for the Middle East hasn’t been announced yet. Rest assured that when the word is out, we’ll be there to follow up. Watch this space for more.