Jan 9th, 2017

After a long week filled with interesting new gizmos and gadgets at CES, we have HTC looking to make their first big statement of 2017 in a few short days. We’re expecting a so-called HTC U Ultra, something or another, to be doled out.

It may not be HTC’s marquee launch for the year if rumors are to be believed, but thanks to a quick drop by Evan Blass, we might have gotten first glance at an intriguing upcoming contender. Is this the HTC Vive phone that literally no one was expecting?

This marketing video the leakster offered seemingly serves to set the tone for HTC’s 2017 marketing efforts, and may have even spoiled a few devices to get our mouths watering. The theme for the video seems to be how HTC is going to be exploring the use of new materials to provide unique looking and feeling phones, perhaps with a degree of customization offered ala Moto Maker.

That in itself is pretty interesting, but our eyes can’t help but look away from the Vive phone sitting right there. Of course, with no commentary to go along with it, we’re left to our own devices to wonder what a Vive-branded phone is set to bring.

Our immediate obvious guess is that HTC is about to place a lot more emphasis on mobile VR. The company came out of left field with perhaps the most impressive consumer-ready VR package available today, so it makes little sense that they aren’t already challenging Samsung who has been a key component for the growth of this budding field.

We’re not too sure what HTC could do differently in the mobile space in that regard. We imagine exclusive VR titles will be the bare minimum, with HTC, Sony, and Oculus already battling along those lines in the console and PC fronts. Technology wise, the phone in question doesn’t show any unique external quirks which would give us any clue.

For all we know, HTC could be planning a Daydream VR headset and leave it at that. We wouldn’t be opposed to that considering the platform has proven to be quite intriguing in the early going, but with the Vive logo fixated on its rear we’re hoping for more.

But we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves since we’re still not exactly sure what we’re looking at here. Let’s hope some answers arrive this Thursday when HTC makes their first big announcement of the year.

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