Should You Get the HTC U Ultra?

Should You Get the HTC U Ultra?

Should You Get the HTC U Ultra?

Smartphones are no longer a luxury item. 

In 2015, studies showed that over 15 million Australians owned smartphones--a significant increase over the 11 million smartphone owners in 2013. This trend is only continuing to grow. 

This increased demand for smartphones has led to an increase in smartphone options.

While Apple and Samsung are still the major players, there are now viable alternatives to these big-name brands. One of these options is the new HTC U Ultra. 

Could this new phone be the right smartphone choice for you? We've put together this handy guide to help you weigh your options.

The HTC U Ultra: An Overview

Before we consider the pros and cons, let's look at some of the basic features that this phone has to offer. 

The HTC U Ultra runs an Android operating system and is compatible with Android 7.0 Nougat.

Features include a glass design available in blue, black, and white including a large display. At close to 14.5 centimeters, the phone has the same screen size as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

HTC bills the HTC U Ultra as a "phablet," or a cross between a phone and a tablet, which explains the over-sized screen. The screen is also supplemented with an additional 5 centimeters for a dual display. This allows users to access notifications while using the main screen to run other applications. 

HTC also includes for this phone the "HTC Sense Companion," an artificial intelligence similar to Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana.

Additionally, the screen in made with Gorilla Glass 5, making it quite durable. Just in case, though, purchase of the HTC U Ultra includes a one-year protection program that will cover some repairs.

Now that we know the basics, let's look at some of the phones qualities.

The Pros


One of the best features of the HTC U Ultra is its lightning-fast performance. This is due in part to the Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM which comes standard with the phone.

Additionally, the internal storage includes 64 GB of memory, and room for an SD card. This gives users the ability to use a lot of storage, without sacrificing speed and performance. 

Finally, consumers will be happy to know that HTC bypasses carrier channels and makes updates available directly to consumers. 

Sound quality

The phone features both a small, earpiece speaker at the top, and a larger speaker at the bottom. This makes for good, crisp sound quality for both phone calls and media playing. 

The Cons

No headphone jack

One of the most controversial features of this HTC smartphone is that it has no headphone jack. This choice was particularly surprising, considering the consumer backlash against other phones released without this feature. 

For private listening, users have the option of the included blue-tooth headphones. 

While the blue-tooth headphones are nice, it can be frustrating to not have the option to use other earbuds.

Additionally, if the headphones included with the phone are lost or broken, they'll have to be replaced with HTC headphones. The HTC U Ultra only pairs with HTC brand headphones, and these headphones only work with HTC brand products. 

The price

This phone has a pretty hefty price tag at $749. While this is comparable to the price of competitor products, some consumers may be surprised to learn that choosing a lesser-known brand doesn't bring a discount.

Additionally, with some of the other cons of the phone, some consumers may find $749 hard to justify. 

The In-betweens

There are some features of this particular HTC phone that can be considered positives or negatives, depending on your personal preferences. 

The size

If you have smaller hands, the size of the phone might just be overwhelming.

Additionally, at close to 14.5 centimeters, this phone is both a large phone and a small tablet. Or, as we said earlier a "phablet."

Some might enjoy a device that can function as a phone and a tablet. However, if you prefer your electronics to be more clearly defined, this feature can be frustrating. 

The battery life

The battery life is one of the features of the HTC U Ultra that isn't terrible, but that could be better for a phone at this price point.

The 3000 mAh battery is fairly small compared to similar phones. With the large size of the phone and the dual screen, a larger battery would be warranted, if not expected. 

At the same time, though, the phone does have a Quick Charge 3.0 feature that can guard against having a dead phone in the middle of the day. 

So, again, the battery life is respectable--it just can't quite compete with similar phones at similar prices. 

The camera

The camera on the HTC U Ultra is another example of a feature on this phone that is just fine. The problem is that, at the price point, most consumers would expect something better than fine. 

For basic picture taking, this phone is capable of producing 12MP photos that are clear and focused. Ultimately, however, the camera's performance in low-light situations is just too shoddy to compare with similarly-priced phones.

Our Verdict

At the end of the day, that seems to be the major sticking point for this phone: the price.

It's not that there are features of this phone that are low-functioning or disappointing. Rather, it's that there are not enough high-quality features to justify the price of this phone. 

The HTC U Ultra would be a great $500 phone, but is simply an underwhelming $750 phone. While it does have some awesome features, other phones at similar price points can simply deliver better in key areas like battery life and camera quality. 

So, what's our answer to the question, "Should you get the HTC U Ultra?"

Honestly, it depends. 

If you're looking for a high-performance phone with a large display, and you don't mind shelling out a little more cash, the HTC U Ultra could be a great option. If, however, you are looking to get the best value for your money, there are other phones at this price point that deliver better in key areas. 

What do you think? Have you tried the new HTC U Ultra? Would you recommend it?


Tags: HTC U Ultra

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