Published: Fri, January 13, 2017
Research | By Elizabeth Houston

HTC puts AI at the heart of new U-series smartphones


The flagship smartphone HTC U Ultra comes with 5.7-inch display along with the 2.1-inch secondary display. The U Ultra also comes with a secondary screen called strip, which is a 2.1-inch in size and placed on the right side of the front camera.

Body Design. The HTC Alpine or better known as the HTC U Play will have a Fingerprint Scanner embedded on its Home Button, something that most smartphone companies are implementing on their devices these days. The 128GB storage variant of the HTC U Ultra is an exception, though, as that phone comes with a sapphire display.

Under the hood, the smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor, along with 4GB of RAM. It runs Android 7.0 on a 5.7-inch 2560x1440 super LCD 5 display and has a 12-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus, laser autofocus, optical image stabilization, and dual tone LED flash.

Apart from the Sense Companion, the devices also feature HTC USonic on board, a technology that would scans user's ear drums with Sonar-based technology for calibrated audio output. In comparison, the HTC U Play is compact, user friendly in many ways including a smaller screen, reduced resolution and obviously will come with a lower price tag. The model has a 16 megapixel front and a 16 megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture. The device also sports a 2,500 mAh battery and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow along with HTC's own Sense interface. The smaller U Play will be available sometime in Spring.

The phone will be available in four colors: black, white, blue and pink. In any case, the HTC U Ultra is the company's new flagship, and it is considerably more powerful than the HTC U Play, and it also features a secondary "Dual Display" above its main panel.

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RAM: The U Ultra comes with 4GB RAM and the U Play has 3GB/4GB RAM variants. However, battery capacity is slashed from 3,000 mAh to 2,500 mAh. Its Sense Companion learns user habits through machine learning to provide useful features like notifications, reminders, and by acting as an app launcher. Both have a fingerprint sensor on board along with USB Type-C. For the selfie cam, the HTC U Ultra features a 12MP HTC UltraPixel shooter.

U Play packs in a 3000mAh battery and HTC claims that it can deliver up to 26 hours of talk time on 3G or 4G with Quick Charge 3.0 support. The 64GB U Ultra goes on pre-sale today for $750. HTC says the U Play is a "playful phone that fits perfectly in your hand". It further comes with support for expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD card.

HTC's new Ultra series of smartphones seem to be revolving around their new HTC Sense AI companion, created to learn from you based on your habits and surroundings.

The phone features voice recognition, so it can actually recognise your voice and respond to commands.

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