HTC U Ultra and U Play coming February 20th
Announced just a month ago in January, the 5.5-inch HTC U Ultra will be available in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland starting February 20th for a price of around 700 to 750 Euros. Color options include Brilliant Black, Sapphire Blue, and Ice White. The smaller 5.2-inch HTC U Play will also be launching simultaneously in the same three color options for around 450 Euros. Wireless carrier O2 will not begin selling the phone directly until the end of this month.
Both HTC U models are equipped with "smart" software such as HTC Sense Companion to passively learn and adapt to the daily smartphone habits of the user in order to make relevant recommendations. For example, the energy management software can automatically remind the user to recharge the phone on the day before a scheduled phone conference on the calendar. HTC will make available the HTC Sense Companion app through the Google Play store beginning Q2 2017.
The most notable aspect of the U Ultra is its smaller second screen above the primary screen for displaying notifications, reminders, and other messages. The "smart" software utilizes this extra space heavily for communicating to the user.
In the U.S., every new purchase of a U Ultra smartphone will also come with a pair of U earbuds. The special earbuds are equipped with microphones that "analyze your inner ear and automatically adapt the sound profile" for a more optimized audio experience.
Both the U Ultra and U Play ship with front-facing 16 MP cameras. Unique to these cameras is the "UltraPixel" mode for taking low-light photos at the cost of a resolution of just 4 MP. The wide-angle "selfie panorama" mode will also allow for selfies without requiring a selfie stick.
The U Ultra utilizes a 12 MP "UltraPixel 2" rear camera with a 1.55 micrometer sensor, optical image stabilization, triple focus, and f/1.8 aperture. In comparison, the U Play utilizes a more standard 16 MP rear camera with single lens focus, OIS, and a f/2.0 aperture.