HTC U Ultra, U Play smartphones finally land in India; prices start at Rs. 39,990

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HTC, after a month’s wait, finally launched its first flagship of 2017 called the HTC U Ultra in India today. Alongside the high-end model, the company had also launched the HTC U Play — a cheaper variant of the U Ultra. While the U Play bears a price tag of RS. 39,990, the U Ultra will set you back by Rs. 59,990 which will be up for grabs starting March 6. The U Play, on the other hand, will be made available for purchase from mid-March.


For the unaware, both the smartphones were first launched in the US last month. The USP of both these smartphones is the inclusion of Sense Companion — an AI based software that learns user’s daily activities to offer personalized recommendations. Also, the high-end U Ultra has a secondary 2-inch display (with a resolution of 160 x 1040 pixels) above the main screen which the company labels as a Priority Screen. This screen, similar to the one on LG’s V20 will be mostly used to display alerts and notifications.

In terms of hardware, the U Ultra boasts a metal and glass build with a 5.7-inch QHD Super LCD display. A layer of Gorilla Glass 5 technology runs over the phone’s display to protect it from scratches. Under-the-hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset along with 4GB of RAM. The smartphone will be available only 64GB variant in India. However, you can extend the storage space up to 2TB with the help of a microSD card via the hybrid SIM slot.

The imaging department will be taken care of by a 12-Ultrapixel camera at the back with a f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, and OIS. There’s also a dual-tone LED flash at the back to assist in low-lightening conditions. At the front, there is a 16-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture and UltraPixel mode.

On the connectivity front, the HTC U Ultra offers support for 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, NFC, HTC Connect, Miracast, and USB Type-C. Also, the company has gotten rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack similar to the Apple iPhone 7.

Other features include a fingerprint scanner integrated into the home button, HTC BoomSound audio along with four dedicated microphones for 3D audio recording, and Hi-Res audio support. The device runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box with HTC’s Sense UI on top and is backed by a 3000mAh battery. It also offers support for Quick Charge 3.0 for faster charging speeds.

The HTC U Play, on the other hand, features a 5.2-inch Full HD Super LCD display. At the heart of the device is an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 SoC clubbed with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage which is also expandable up to 2TB provided you have a microSD card. However, you’ll have to give up on a SIM slot, thanks to the hybrid SIM setup. There’s a 16-megapixel camera at the back with f/2.0 aperture, OIS, PDAF, and dual-tone LED flash. A 16-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture and UltraPixel mode at the front takes care of selfies. Unlike the high-end model, the HTC U Play boots Android 6,0 Marshmallow-based Sense UI.

A 2,500mAh backs the entire package. Connectivity options for the HTC U Play remain the same as seen on the U Ultra.

With the all new ‘U’ series smartphones, the company plans to attract more customers towards the brand? The big question is, will it be successful? Well, only time will answer this question. What do you think? Will these smartphones put the company back on the success ride? Shoot your comments below.

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Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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