HTC today introduced two new models; HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play with which it seeks to recover lost ground suffered in recent years. Although their equipment is always well received by the press and have very good quality, sales are constantly falling and in 2016 they fell 35% compared to the previous year; Today they are at the lowest level of the last 12 years. At the same time, the company is succeeding in the realm of virtual reality with its HTC Vive helmet.
But today’s theme was the U Ultra, its new high-end model, in which the company leaves the classic metal (it was the first to use a casing made of one piece of aluminum, with the One M7) and now it is passed To the front and rear glass or – in a version of the most advanced model – a combination of glass and sapphire crystal.
The HTC U Ultra has, like the LG V10 and V20, two front displays: the normal (5.7 inches of Super LCD 5, resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels) and, above it, a small “tape” always visible, showing Notifications and shortcuts. The team has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and 4 GB of RAM (away from the 6 GB of RAM being brought by the latest high-end computers, and without the Qualcomm 835 Snapdragon that will be the star of Qualcomm this year), Along with 64 GB or 128 GB of storage and a 3000 mAh battery. The company joins Apple, Lenovo and LeEco by dispensing with the analog audio jack and opting for a USB-C port for audio.
The main camera is the same as that of Google Pixel, which HTC makes: a 12 megapixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture, laser focus and PDAF (phase detection) and optical image stabilizer. The front camera – next to the secondary display – has 16 megapixel resolution, f/2.0 aperture and a wide angle lens for group autofotos.
The team runs Android 7, is the first after the Google Pixel to integrate Google Assistant (the new digital assistant of the company) and what HTC calls artificial intelligence: to what Google contributes its internal monitoring adds to try to detect what is doing The user and adapt the operation of the equipment (and privilege, for example, notifications of certain users over others, or warn if it is raining); It’s not clear how these features will integrate with those already offered by Google.
In addition to the fingerprint sensor in front, the company included four microphones, always active, both to interact with Google Assistant and to use verbal commands as an alternative method of biometric security to unlock some tools of the phone.
The price is at $750 in the United States starting in March, and will have a competition from all angles: beyond the iPhone, there are, among others, the OnePlus 3T (with similar hardware and lower price) Samsung (with the Galaxy S8) and LG (with the G6) are expected for April.
The company also introduced the more modest U Play, with the same design but a single screen of 5.2 inches, MediaTek Helio P10 chip, 3 GB of RAM and a 16 megapixel camera.