out the HTC U Ultra. It has a strange little second screen: a bit like someone
glued a MacBook Pro touch bar to the thing.
only-slightly-dodgy second hand car. For the rest of us, there’s the
HTC U Play phone. It’s the ‘normal’ version.
It’s funky build gives it something to brag about, but is that enough?
Anyone that bought one in those glory days will remember: it was the bomb.
some, erm, homages to other phones, like the very iPhone-like their One
A9. The job of the U-series is to prove it’s designers still have some
original-ish ideas left.
on the back, aluminium on the sides. Pretty familiar stuff.
white version we have (it also comes in black, blue and pink). They
say it’s meant to look like liquid is flowing over the phone. Presumably
petrol, in this case.
like a Samsung Galaxy S7. You’ll probably want to use the included transparent
clip-on case to make sure it stays looking smart, though.
stretch for adult hands, not like the U Ultra, because the display just isn’t
that big at 5.2 inches.
and has a great fingerprint scanner just below the screen. It’s not a button;
you just put a finger on it when the phone’s sleeping and the U Play wakes up.
phone that won’t leave you disappointed. The screen is a perfectly nice,
1920×1080 Super LCD panel, functionally identical to an IPS display.
resolution, but you can at least tweak it to your own tastes, using a colour temperature
slider in Settings.
punchy, but not so oversaturated. Your eyes will need a break after a
while. It just makes the U Play display more orange-y or blue-y.
it’ll fill your pocket like expanding foam, but not small enough you’d never
want to watch Netflix on the thing.
days. They’re all good, which is perhaps why HTC decided to bung another one
onto the U Ultra to set it apart.
(with an upgrade to 7.0 planned) and a new version of HTC Sense. It looks and
feels a lot like the old version, though.
normal Android, and you can still change that look with themes. A preinstalled app
lets you flip between them.
apart at their launch, but we’ve noticed nothing different about how the phone operates,
to be honest. Hopefully whatever it’s doing behind the scenes will be more
obvious in the HTC U Ultra, with its second screen.
This is not a powerful CPU, given you’re paying Rs39,990for it, using four
Cortex-A53 cores rather than any true high-end ones. It’s not all that far off
the Motorola Moto G4’s CPU, using the same kind of cores, just running
seen in other phones that use the Helio P10 CPU, its graphics chip just isn’t
powerful enough for flawless 1080p gaming with Android’s best-looking titles.
setup – but isn’t too shabby either.
That’s a lot of megapixels, although it’s no secret the very best phone cameras
(as of mid-February at least) have 12MP sensors.
check out the HTC U Ultra. It has a strange little second screen: a bit like
someone glued a MacBook Pro touch bar to the thing.
only-slightly-dodgy second hand car. For the rest of us there’s U
Play. It’s the ‘normal’ version.
U Play’s funky build gives it something to brag about, but is that enough?
there with chocolate oven gloves. The HTC U Play phone doesn’t have a headphone
headphone-maker, Beats, and the Lightning connector forces a sound quality
of Lightning headphones needs, effectively, a tiny little DAC to convert the
signal. USB C can transmit analogue audio, making USB C headphones
(potentially) functionally identical to normal ones.
stamped them with the Hi-Res audio logo, that’s used so widely these
days it’s about as credible as a Donald Trump tweet.
than the best pairs that ship with more expensive phones. The treble is a bit
harsh, the mids congested and low on detail, and they tend to fall
out of your ears pretty easily. Fine for a freebie, but you could do better for
that the battery is a bit of a stinker. A 2500mAh unit just isn’t good enough
for a phone with a 1080p screen.
connected features, like web browsing or music streaming. With normal use (some
4G browsing and a few podcasts) it burns through two full charges in a single
day. As I write this, it’s 12:30 and I’m already down to 40% charge. Bad times.
either. It’s not slow, but not super-fast either.
of HTC’s classic Boom Sound HTC One, you may be disappointed too.
podcast audible while you boil a kettle for a brew, but is also slightly
harsher and less full-sounding than the best.
but the closer you get, more and more of the little things you notice chip away
at its appeal. Top-end games don’t run as well as they should, the camera is a lag-fest at
times, and you have to be pretty careful to get through the day without needing
to plug in.
just bask in its glassy loveliness. But, well, it’s not.