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HTC announces U Play

The U Play is HTC's newest mid-range smartphone. (Source: Droid Life)
The U Play is HTC's newest mid-range smartphone. (Source: Droid Life)
The HTC U Play drops the secondary display found in the U Ultra and packs more modest specs.

Last night, HTC announced their new flagship U line of smartphones. We’ve recently reported on the launch of the U Ultra, a 5.7” phablet sporting a secondary display and all-glass construction. For those wanting a smaller phone with simpler features, HTC will also offer the U Play.

While the Ultra packs all the specs expected of an early 2017 flagship, including a pixel-dense 1440p display and a Snapdragon 821, the Play is fairly toned down. The display is a smaller 5.2 inches and only 1080p, while the device is powered by an older MediaTek Helio p10 octa-core processor. Other specs include:

  • 32 or 64 GB of storage
  • MicroSD expansion
  • 3 or 4 GB of RAM (based on storage option)
  • Rear-facing 16 MP f/2.0 camera with OIS
  • Front-facing 16 MP f/2.0 camera with UltraPixel support
  • 2500 mAh battery
  • USB Type-C (2.0) charging/data port

Despite the less powerful processor and downgraded display, the Play retains the fingerprint reader and glass design of its more powerful brother and will run HTC's updated Sense UI. The Play has also followed the Ultra’s lead and dropped the headphone jack, for better or for worse. Also gone is the secondary display from the Ultra. It would also make sense for the Play to not feature the Ultra’s AI-backed notification system, but that is yet to be confirmed.

HTC hasn’t announced pricing or availability but has said that the U Play will be available globally. The U Play will not launch in the United States.

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Sam Medley, 2017-01-12 (Update: 2017-01-12)