The HTC U Ultra was officially announced earlier today (along with the HTC U Play). The Ultra is HTC’s new phablet with a “Dual Display” like the LG V20. HTC hasn’t been on the phablet train as much as other manufacturers. Last year, they released just one 5.2-inch phablet. If HTC wants to play the phablet game they have to compete with the other phablets on the market. We’ve compiled a few of the top big phones on the market for comparison.
Display size is obviously a big part of what makes a phablet a phablet. The Ultra has a 5.7-inch display with 2560×1440 resolution. The LG V20 has the exact same display specs (including a secondary display). The Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus both have 5.5-inch displays, but the iPhone has the lowest resolution at 1080p.
It’s no surprise that the Ultra has the same display as the V20. It’s obvious where HTC got the inspiration for a secondary display. HTC calls it the “Dual Display,” but it does a lot of the same things as LG’s “Second Screen.” Quick information and shortcuts right at the top of the screen for easy access. It will be interesting to see if HTC managed to make the second display more useful than LG did.
The Ultra is a rare phone that actually has a bigger camera on the front than it does on the rear. HTC claims the 12MP UltraPixel camera is rated the best in the industry. The front camera can switch between UltraPixels for low-light and back to typical megapixels in better lighting. A neat trick.
It’s hard to judge a camera on megapixels alone. All the phones in our chart have 12MP cameras, except for the V20 with 16MP. The V20, Pixel XL, and iPhone all have excellent cameras. It will be tough for the Ultra to perform better than these phones. HTC is talking a big talk, but we’ll have to wait until the phone is in our hands before we can judge.
Performance & Battery
The Ultra has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM. That’s the same setup as the Pixel XL, which has insanely good performance. Usually, this is where we would say “but the custom Android skin will make the phone slower than the Pixel.” However, one of the best things about HTC phones is the nearly stock software. The Ultra should be just as blazing fast as the Pixel.
Battery life is where the Ultra may struggle. With only a 3,000 mAh battery, the Ultra is smaller than the V20 and Pixel XL. Only the iPhone 7 Plus is smaller. The Ultra has the same size battery as the HTC 10, which doesn’t have the greatest battery life. We definitely would have liked to see HTC cram in a bigger battery. That’s supposed to be one of the benefits of a phablet.
Which phone is the best?
Now that we’ve compared these four devices, which one do you think is the best? Did HTC do enough to compete with the big boys? HTC wants to get in on the phablet craze, but are they too late? It appears they did enough on the spec sheet, but the real test will come with actually selling devices. Now is a great time to do it since the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is dead. Will you be buying the HTC U Ultra?