HTC U Ultra and U Play review: 2 screens and excellent sound

U Ultra - this is not HTC's flagship, but the ambitions are great, thanks to the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel. The smartphone has two screens, a shiny glass case, an UltraPixel 2 camera and incredible sound. The price is too ambitious, but let's still see if this device is worth the money.
Technical specifications of HTC U Ultra:
Dimensions: 79.79 x 162.41 x 7.99 mm;
Weight: 170 grams;
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Processor: 2x 2.15 GHz Kryo, 2x 1.6 GHz Kryo, Adreno 530, 624 Mhz;
Operating memory: 4 GB, 1866 Mhz;
Built-in memory: 64 GB, 128 GB;
Display: 5.7 inches, Super LCD 5, 1440 x 2560 pixels, 24 bit;
Battery: 3000 mah, Li-polymer (Lithium Polymer);
Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat.
Technical Specifications of HTC U Play:
Dimensions: 145.99 x 72.9 x 3.5-7.99 mm;
Weight: 145 grams;
SoC: MediaTek® Helio ™ P10;
Operating memory: 3GB;
Built-in memory: 32GB;
Screen: 5.2 inches, Full HD (1080p);
Battery: 2500 mAh;
Operating System: Android.
The model looks fantastic
HTC U Ultra gloriously arrived from the far space - the glass hull looks really futuristic with its quirky curves. Or you will fall in love with it at first glance or you will find it terribly impractical and you will pass by it. At present, smartphones that cause such strong emotions are few.

HTC called the Liquid Surface design, Floating surface. It is difficult for the picture to convey the effect, so it should be seen live. The Ultra is available in four colors: blue, white, pink and black. The blue pattern - a bite that's hard to find. In our tests, the white hand came.

The magic softens when you take the phone in hand: the glass is immediately covered with prints. Fortunately, they are quickly erased. The other inconvenience - the device is very large. The display diagonal is 5.7 inches, and this is not the LG G6 with the thin frame. The HTC U Ultra has a pretty wide frame at the edges.
A silicone case comes with the phone, but hiding such beauty is not desirable. Our foreign colleagues accentuate the high strength of the material, as evidenced by the tests where the JerryRigEverything experimenter failed to scratch the cover with a stationery knife.
For a device with a 5.7-inch display, the HTC U Ultra is used fairly comfortably. He is not very slippery and thanks to his rounded shapes, he lies well in his hand. Calling SMS 's is free and accurate.

One screen is fine and two - unusual

Two screens have already seen in the LG V10 and V20. The idea is interesting, but without the extra screen you can safely pass. What does HTC boast? Let's start with the main display. Under the protection glass Gorilla Glass 5 glass is a Super LCD matrix of the fifth generation. Color rendering is good: the nuances are juicy, saturated, but with a measure - it's not like AMOLED. On a slope, the picture does not fade, although the black color loses its position and a little pale. Brightness can be added even more: even in a room, the slider has to move to 80-90%.

The resolution is not all that simple. For a large diagonal Quad HD - that's a lot: with this resolution, the image can not be seen super-clean. On the other hand, such a screen quite consumes the charge. With AMOLED, at least a portion of the pixels is turned off. The small screen is above the main screen. The diagonal - 2.05 inches, and the resolution - 160 × 1040 pixels. After taking the smartphone in hand, this screen shows the basic information: date, time, and battery charge.

The most useful "feature" on the display - displaying notifications. For example, you communicate on Facebook and SMS arrives. Typically, the text goes up, "eating" a portion of usable space. And in HTC U Ultra, the message appears on the small screen and goes out until you remove it. Comfortable! Here, you can also see application icons, favorite contacts, calendar events, and weather. If you work with the music player, you can change songs from the window. But, despite the obvious convenience, all this is not required. The reason is trivial: the phone is too big.

For example, I can not reach the other corner of the screen to launch an application if I hold the camera with one hand. There is potential in the extra screen, but HTC does not reveal it. For example, when you start the camera, you can set the capture parameters or the zooming slider here. But instead - a black screen. Even in business applications there are no features, not to mention third parties. And no one will rewrite their programs for HTC U Ultra.

Quiet sound with clever settings

HTC U Ultra came under the pressure of fashion trends and was left without a headphone jack. Apple said it was giving up old technology and freeing space in the shell. The reason for the HTC's denial of this connector is the U-Sonic technology. What is this beast?

The right and left ear of a person perceives the sound at a slightly different frequency. The headphones that come with the phone work as a loudspeaker: they receive the reflected signal from the ear, transmit the information to the smartphone, and U-Sonic adjusts the frequency. In addition, there are built-in microphones that analyze the external sound and change the volume.
In the end, there is a permanent exchange of data between the headset and the phone. With the mini jack, such a complicated operation can not be done, so USB Type-C comes to help. This explains why HTC did not fit the Type-C adapter to 3.5 mm. What is reality? With U-Sonic, the sound becomes deeper, more voluminous, but slightly reduces the average frequencies. The bass is stronger and the higher frequencies do not change. In fact, it's just an automatic pre-equalizer. U-Sonic only works with the headphones from the set, so the other Type-C or Bluetooth headphones will not change anything.
In terms of sound quality, HTC is one of the leaders in the smartphone market, with competitors in the area being ZTE, Meizu or LG. When I played Dead Effect 2, the headphones transmitted the shootings and the roar of the beasts very realistically. But was it worth it because of the dubious U-Sonic, the company has dropped a 3.5-mm connector? I think not. Last year's flagship HTC 10 in no way subside with the current model.

The games are running at full power

The mainstream Snapdragon 835 processor is expected in the HTC 11 flagship, and the model will now have to accommodate Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM. This is the "gold standard" for flags of 2016, and he does all the tasks. Here's how to introduce HTC U Ultra in Synthetic Tests:

Games, applications, photos - everything works fast and smoothly. With cooling, however, not everything is so good. After 30 minutes of Implosion, the phone was heavily heated, and after three hours of Subway Surfers, the handset became a hot iron. Then, however, HTC U Ultra is not good at putting it cold: the heated glass may burst.  The base model is 64GB of memory, but there is a 128GB version. The tray is traditionally hybrid: it holds either two SIM cards or a memory card in one SIM socket. Supports MicroSD up to 2 TB.
The finger scanner is embedded in the Home button on the front panel. The dactyloscope is pretentious to damp fingers and does not always recognize dry ones, but if it detects you, it unlocks the phone immediately. Here I decided to use an old and tried trick - I introduced a finger to unlock the smartphone usually several times (as you can usually enter up to 5 separate fingers). In this way, the sensor works seamlessly.

Flagman Chamber

The main camera is taken from HTC 10. This is a UltraPixel 2 technology sensor and the resolution is 12 megapixels. There is also optical stabilization, laser and phase autofocus. The photo module was great, so it stands out over the back cover.

Evening pictures are more indicative. As with HTC 10, the large pixel size here does not save us from poor detail and fuzziness. In the night sky the clouds are visible, but they are so "noisy" that it is better to reduce ISO. Also, the photos are not sharp enough, and the lens constantly captures the glare from the lamps that are not even in the frame. With the front camera the situation is the same: during the day - well, and in the evening - the same result.

Charge twice a day

The HTC U Ultra can not boast of a large battery - a total of 3000 mah. Which is strange: the phone is huge and not the thinnest. For example, the same battery capacity is in the Galaxy S7, which is thinner, smaller and with an energy-efficient AMOLED display. So, for a long autonomy, it can not be said. The charge is sufficient for one day or 3.5-4 hours of operation on the display. Ultra lasts for 6.5 hours in video playback, and it's hard to withstand even 4 hours in games. By the way, here is QuickCharge 3.0 Fast Loading Technology. From zero to 100%, the smartphone is charged for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The feature of HTC U Ultra has become the virtual assistant of HTC Companion. This is an artificial intelligence based on machine training, which analyzes the user's habits and gives advice. For example, should you take an umbrella tomorrow, what cafes are nearby and can you cancel a meeting. The tips appear on the small screen. It takes a few days to learn HTC Companion. The time we tested the phone turned out to be short - the assistant failed to collect enough data. The idea of ​​something like this is great, and probably after more calling the technology with you will work well.


HTC U Ultra - you will love it if you are a fan of the brand or if you want something different. Yes, this is a beautiful, powerful two-screen device with excellent sound. The benefits of the second screen are controversial and will be really useful if you get used to it, and the lack of a 3.5-mm connector may be frightening for those who have expensive headphones. And if these peculiarities can get used to, the biggest criticism is actually the price of $ 750, there are too many suggestions that we can stop on the market.
Among the competitors we will firstly mention iPhone 7 Plus or Google Pixel XL. They can not boast of incredible design or two screens but are powerful and reliable devices. The comparable Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, the Huawei P9 Plus with 2 Leica cameras and the AMOLED-screen are comparable.


Unusual "overflowing" design;
Notifications and tips on the second screen
Ultra-clear natural color display
Powerful sound in headphones and speaker;
U-Sonic support headphones;
The camera flashes perfectly during the day;
High performance;
Comfortable and beautiful HTC Sense wrapper;
QuickCharge 3.0 Quick Charging System.


The body collects fingerprints;
Inconspicuous navigation buttons;
No 3.5mm headphone jack;
The fingerprint reader does not always work;
Strong heating of the hull in games;
In a dark room, the photos fall behind those of competitors;
The front camera also gives way to competitors;
Quickly dilute.

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