HTC really stepped up their game when they launched the HTC U earlier last month. The device is also a big deal for HTC as it could be another one of those make it or break it device for the struggling Taiwanese brand. The HTC U, at launch received a very warm welcome though with its 3D Sapphire glass out the back and protecting the display of the device. It came with a slew of things that was pretty unthinkable as well. Above all else though, it looked beautiful; that really matters. Of course then the anticipation around the world builds up after the launch. Every other person and HTC fans were wondering when will it come to their regions, or will it ever come at all. Thankfully, Malaysia is getting this wonderfully made device.
The HTC U is HTC’s latest attempt in capturing the high-end and mid-range market in the smartphone industry. The U Ultra, the flagship comes with the best that the industry has to offer and with the latest Sense UI, it is the ultimate choice for one that looks for the best of technologies. The U Play, on the other hand is the mid-range device that fits most of what you see in the HTC U Ultra but at a lower priced package. Both are compelling devices though so you are technically spoilt by choice at this point.
Starting with the HTC U Ultra, the 2017 flagship, the Taiwanese smartphone giant has spared no efforts in creating one of the most compelling devices of 2017. It is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 which makes it a powerhouse to begin with. Paired with 4GB of RAM the device should be zippy at every corner it turns to. You get 64GB of on-board storage that is expandable via MicroSD card for all the photos and videos you can take with this device. You really want to take photos and videos with this device too, it fits a 12-Megapixel camera out the back with the infamous UltraPixel 2 technology. The f/1.8 aperture as well makes it, in theory a performer even in low light. It records in 4K with 3D audio thanks to the four mics that is built into the beast. The front camera is no slouch either with 16-Megapixel under its lens with UltraPixel technology as well. The front camera comes with its own party trick though. It allows you to take an ultra-wide angle selfie photo with the front camera. No more squeezing in a small blob of people to get into selfies. Then there is the gorgeous 5.7-inch 1440p QHD (2,560 x 1,440) Super LCD display underneath that sapphire glass. Above that, you get another display measuring at 2-inch with 160 x 1,040 pixels to display all your important information and notifications. The Android 7.0 overlaid with HTC Sense also comes with their brand new HTC Sense Companion which, by our understanding, a sort of Artificial Intelligense (AI) that learns and reacts to you as a personal assistant within the device. The device is also supported with a bunch of HTC first innovation like their USonic sound technology, and their BoomSound technology. It charges via a USB Type-C port as well so it is a future proof device. The only downside probably is that it does not have a proprietary 3.5mm audio jack. Its 3,000mAh also seems a little measly for a device this powerful but is quoted to have a standby time of up to 13 days, it does have quick charge 3.0 though so running out of power is not too big of a worry.
The HTC U Play on the other hand is everything the HTC U Ultra is, but at a lower price point. Of course at a lower price point, you do not get the QHD display, the secondary display, the four mic combination, the Snapdragon 821, and the 12-Megapixel UltraPixel 2 camera. You make do with the MediaTeck Helio P10 Octa-Core processor, which is still a performer in its own rights. The display is still a well made, sharp 1080p Full HD Super LCD display measuring in at 5.2-inch. The RAM and storage space remains the same with the Ultra so you still can take high-resolution photos and Full HD videos with the 16-Megapixel f/2.0 cameras out the front and back of the device. You still get the USB Type-C on the budget device but make do with a paltry 2,500mAh battery with fast charging. Both devices does get fingerprint sensor in the form of a home button as well.
With the HTC U, there are plenty to be excited about. Both the U Play and U Ultra is designed with what HTC calls the liquid surface design inspired by the form of liquid flow. The complete 3D glass adds to the drama of the device and makes the frame thin on all sides. This is one of the reason also why the device does not have a 3.5mm jack. The HTC Sense Companion, though in theory sounds very similar to Google’s Assistant, is more than just Google Assistant. We were made understood also that the HTC Sense Companion was based on Google Assistant but also compiles data from other applications you use in your device as well. The USonic audio experience is really something else, setting it up is quick and easy. All these are recipes to a great device. If we are honest too, it is.
The HTC U Ultra will be available nationwide through HTC’s authorised dealers and retailers early March, 2017 onward at the RRP of MYR2,999. The U Play will be available in late March, 2017 for an RRP of MYR1,899. The U Ultra is offered in Brilliant Black, Sapphire Blue, and Cosmetic Pink (it is properly pink). The HTC U Play will be available in Black Oil, and Iceberg White. We were hoping that they had an Emerald Green colour option though, we think it will look exceptionally good in flesh. Gallery and press release after the break.
ALL ABOUT U, FOR U
The All New HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, Built For the Brilliant U
MALAYSIA, 16th February 2017 – In the pursuit of brilliance, leading innovator in mobile technology, HTC, today launched the all-new HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play in the Malaysian market; combining an all new design with futuristic technology in a smart device which embraces individuality and diversity.
Built to be personalised to the needs of the individual, the HTC U series of smartphones embodies its slogan “It’s all about U”, which puts the user first and is truly built for the Brilliant U. The HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play come complete with features which reflects, learns, puts U on top, listens, captures the very best of U and is set to take personalisation to another level.
“Everyone with a smartphone today leads vastly different lives and we each have our own individual needs that we consider most important. By pursuing our passion and the things that make us unique, we believe that is when we are able to truly become brilliant. This belief has led us to rethink our approach to smartphone design by putting you, the brilliant U first above all. Our all new line of HTC U devices are designed to grow with you and develop a bond with you, to help realise the potential that comes from being different.” Said Chia-Lin Chang, President of Smartphone and Connected Devices Business of HTC.
A Reflection of U
The HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play introduce a new, beautiful 3D contoured liquid surface design that’s designed to reflect the best U. The curved glass construction reflects light beautifully in a unique way, ensuring that it creates a distinct look under any lighting. Colours from vapoured minerals are also layered in to add depth and brilliance, creating an additional shimmer resembling the surface of water. The back of the device is also polished with the glass screen to create seamless and smooth edges, allowing it to nestle perfectly into any hand.
Learning from U
The HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play truly capture the spirit of individuality with the introduction of HTC’s revolutionary system called HTC Sense Companion, a personal AI companion that is always learning from you through the power of machine learning. It has the ability to provide smart suggestions based on a user’s lifestyle and external information, redefining what it means to own a “smart” phone. It can recommend what you should wear for the day based on the weather or remind you to charge your device at optimal times to help you last the day and even recommend the perfect restaurant. Best of all, the HTC Sense Companion is made to evolve with more interactions and will eventually come to know you just as a friend would.
Responds to U
Using its voice recognition system, the HTC U series is able to listen to your every command and allows the user to interact in the most natural way using their voice. Just say the word and you can unlock your smart device, take or reject incoming calls, snooze or dismiss an alarm, send messages and even begin hands-free navigation.
Putting U on Top
Get updated, not interrupted. The HTC U Ultra features an exclusive always-on second screen at the top of the device, ready to give you the latest updates right at your fingertips. The large 5.7” phablet-sized screen on this device is great for regular day to day activity; while the new second screen is perfect for fast, convenient access to the things you use the most – like your top contacts, app shortcuts, event notifications and more, because what’s important to you should always be right on top.
Listening to U
Every person’s inner ear is uniquely different like a fingerprint and experiences sound differently. HTC’s all-new HTC USonic earphones adapt to your hearing pattern by analysing your inner ears with a sonic pulse to optimise the headset for you, giving your music the perfect clarity and impact. Similar to having a sound engineer in your device; now with the HTC USonic, you can hear the finer details you were missing before in your favourite tunes.
Capturing the Best of U
Being built for U also means putting you in the best light. With both devices, you can take brilliant selfies anytime anywhere by easily switching your front camera between the unparalleled UltraPixelTM mode with 4X light sensitivity for perfect night shots and the 16MP camera mode for greater detail. As for the main camera, the HTC U Ultra’s 12MP UltraPixel and HTC U Play’s 16MP rear camera with super-fast laser focus enable you to capture every moment with greater precision and accuracy, not missing a single moment.
Availability of HTC U Ultra & HTC U Play
Both the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play will come in a range of stunning color combinations. The HTC U Ultra comes in Brilliant Black, Cosmetic Pink, and Sapphire Blue while the HTC U Play comes in Black Oil and Iceberg White. The HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play will officially be available at all official retail outlets and partnered online stores from early March onwards for the price of RM2,999 and RM1,899 respectively. For more information about the HTC U Ultra or the HTC U Play, please visit https://www.htcmalaysia.com.my/.
Source: HTC Malaysia