HTC U Ultra and U Play: 5 Things to Know, 5 Key Differences


HTC is starting the year with a bang as it unveils its new flagship phone the U Ultra, which features a dual display and artificial intelligence too. Its scaled down version is christened U Play, which comes with a smaller screen size and few other tuned downs specs.

htc ultra

Both the U Ultra and Play bear an all-glass design, which is based on their Liquid Construction technology that tries to imitate the properties of — you guessed it right — liquid.

Following in Apple’s footsteps, HTC has done away with the 3.5mm headphone jack in both these devices.

The glossy finish might mean that you’ll have problems gripping the device, but nonetheless, you’ll be protecting it with a cover/case, so that shouldn’t bother the users much.

Dual-Display Design


The HTC U Ultra comes with a dual display. The primary display is a 5.7″ Quad HD unit with Gorilla Glass 5. The secondary screen placed right beside the front camera has the same pixel density at 160 x 1040 resolution.

The secondary screen serves up notifications, music playback controls, speed-dial contacts as well as reminders.

An Artificial Intelligence Unit

One of the major highlights of the device is its ‘artificial intelligence’ which basically learns from your habits and serves you with your choice of music, tell you to carry a power bank if you’ve a long trip planned, recommend a restaurant when you’re outside as well as book tables for you.

The AI learns from your habits over time, if you let it. The company says that the phone can even recognise its owner’s voice and start working even if it’s asleep as soon as it hears a voice command.

Snappy Snapdragon and Memory In-line with the Trend

htc ultra2

The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC which clocks at 2.15GHz and is supported by Adreno 530 GPU.

The device packs 4GB RAM, as is the trend of the year and comes in two variants of 64GB and 128GB built-in memory, which can further be expanded to 2TB via microSD card.

Bigger Front Snapper

HTC U Ultra’s rear camera comes with a 12MP sensor, while it gets a bigger 16MP sensor on its front camera. The front camera can also be used as a 4MP sensor which has four times the light sensitivity of the 16MP sensor — meant for low light conditions.

Insufficient Battery

At 3000mAH, the battery is a bit of a disappointment, given the huge screen size of the device as well as the features it packs such as dual-screen.

Key Differences Between Ultra and Plus

htc ultra3

  • Display: While the HTC U Ultra gets a 5.7″ dual display, the HTC U Plus receives a downsized 5.2″ screen with a single display.
  • Battery: The battery on the Ultra was low at 3000mAh, and it has been further downgraded to 2500mAh on the U Play.
  • Processor: The HTC U Play gets Mediatek’s Helio P10 processor as compared to one of the latest Snapdragon’s in the market which powers the Ultra.
  • Storage: On board storage on the device has been reduced to half as the two variants of U Play feature 32GB and 64GB of storage.
  • Software: While HTC’s latest flagship, the U Ultra, will run on Android 7 Nougat, out of the box, the U Play runs on Android 6 Marshmallow.

The HTC U Ultra is available for pre-order on their official website for $749 and will be shipped by the end of January. Worldwide release is expected by the end of March 2017.

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Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.