- Poor low-light camera performance
- No headphone jack or adapter
- Overall value versus the competition
The new line of HTC devices are turning heads. In their usual style, the HTC Ultra U offers a look you won’t find anywhere else paired with a respectable set of specs. But this doesn’t always mean success for HTC.
Is their glossy new phablet worth the investment? Reviews are in and we’ve read them all to bring you this summary!
Reviews on the looks of the U Ultra’s all-glass back and slim design are overwhelmingly positive. They particularly loved the sapphire color. While many worried about fingerprints on the gloss finish, most found the phone exceptionally easy to wipe clean. Phone Scoop called the phone “absolutely gorgeous.” After a week of regular use, PC Magazine noted, “the phone didn't pick up any scratches despite sharing a pocket with keys and loose change.”
One issue that is still dividing reviewers is the lack of headphone jack. HTC also doesn’t include a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, so you’ll need to use the headphones included or buy an adapter separately. Fortunately, the included USonic earbuds received great reviews.
Heading around front, you’re greeted with a 5.7-inch 1440-by-2560 display. There’s also a secondary display tucked next to the camera to show notifications. Reviewers found that the feature worked well, but they often forgot to use it. Recombu summed up opinions of the display well, calling it “nothing short of stunning at any angle.”
The only complaint found was from Pocket Lint. They noted, “When scrolling through text when in night mode, there's obvious red ghosting which we find distracting - especially if you're flicking through a website or menu.”
Using the same processor as most early-2017 flagships--the 2.15Ghz Snapdragon 821--the U Ultra received no complaints for performance either. Good Gear Guide said, “Everything flies along as fast as you’d hope and responsiveness is almost instant.”
That said, the 2K display and powerful processor appeared to take their toll on battery life. While many flagships can last a day plus on a single charge, reviewers found their phones only lasted a full day. Though it did so with a little room to spare even under heavy use. The 3,000mAh battery is also QuickCharge 3.0 compatible, offering a full charge in just over an hour with the included charger.
HTC is known for their subtle hand at skinning Android. Their latest Sense UI running on top of Android 7.0 Nougat is no exception. Reviewers were pleased with the clean look and lack of bloatware.
The phone is available with either 64 or 128GB of storage. Should you need more, the microSD slot makes it easy to add up to 2TB of storage space in seconds.
HTC is touting their UltraPixel cameras with their newest line of phones. The U Ultra comes with a 12MP rear camera and a 16MP front-facing selfie lens. Indian Express summed up the general opinion on camera quality, saying, “While the HTC UltraPixel branding doesn’t mean much for the ordinary consumer, as far as smartphone cameras go this does an excellent job when you have great lighting.”
Unfortunately, in low light, many reviewers felt the camera couldn’t keep up with similarly priced competitors.
One of the features that always stands out on HTC phones is the audio experience. Their new phablet doesn’t disappoint here either. While the mono speaker received so-so reviews, reviewers loved the included earbuds and the audio quality offered by their HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi processing.
In the end, the biggest concern for most reviewers was the price. Tom’s Guide summed up the overall opinion in their verdict, saying, “But with a starting price of $749, subpar battery life and a digital assistant that’s not yet ready for its debut, the U Ultra is an alluring phone I wish HTC had spent a little more time polishing.” However, if you can find a good deal, reviews indicate the phone holds its weight against the best of best in early 2017.