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HTC U Ultra review: A beautiful group of questionable decisions

The quick take

HTC continues to get the basics right with flagships. The U Ultra has a great screen, amazing build quality and stunning design. You get just about every spec inside you'd expect, and the day-to-day performance as a result is fantastic with a super-smooth software experience. Unfortunately, HTC's camera performance once again lags behind the pack, its secondary display is all but useless and there's no headphone jack or waterproofing — all in a phone that's charging a premium price of $749.

The Good

  • Fantastic performance
  • Great screen
  • Stunning hardware
  • Unlocked and bloat-free
  • Absolutely nails the basics

The Bad

  • 2016-level camera performance
  • No headphone jack
  • Second screen lacks utility
  • No water resistance
  • Too big for most hands

HTC U Ultra

U Question why

HTC U Ultra Full review

In 2017, the number of people who think of HTC in terms of nostalgia rather than as a leading smartphone company is growing. If you've been following the company's dwindling market share (and mind share) over the past three years, you'll know why. The company has lost ground particularly heavily in the U.S., where the market is split between Apple and Samsung at the high end, and a trove of low-cost phones at the other. HTC can't compete in either, and perhaps fittingly is barely emphasizing its brand new $749 U Ultra in the U.S.

It's a far cry from the substantial marketing pushes we saw with the HTC One M9, HTC 10 and even HTC One A9, but it makes sense considering the company's position. HTC hasn't made deals with any U.S. carriers for the U Ultra — choosing instead to sell unlocked directly to consumers — and isn't even bringing its mid-range sibling, the U Play, to North America as a counterweight.

Despite the diminished marketing emphasis for the phone in the U.S., HTC has gone decidedly high-end with the U Ultra — and not just in price. It's a big, beautiful, powerful phone with the latest HTC software tricks on top of just about every other feature we're looking for in a phone in this price bracket. The worry, as is far too often the case with HTC, is whether or not the execution is there — and in a world where you have a shoestring advertising budget, the phone has to be great. We put it to the test in our complete HTC U Ultra review.

About this review

I (Andrew Martonik) am writing this review after 8 days using the HTC U Ultra on T-Mobile in the greater Seattle, WA area. The phone arrived on software version 1.09.617.12 (Android 7.0) and was not updated during the course of review. The HTC U Ultra was provided to Android Central for review by HTC.

HTC U Ultra

Simply stunning

HTC U Ultra Hardware

I had the opportunity to see the HTC U Ultra and U Play back at the beginning of January, and since then I still light up every time I come across a photo of that pristine shiny exterior. Holding a fresh blue HTC U Ultra in my hand today, I still get that great feeling. This thing is gorgeous — and not in a generic design sense, but with a very strong HTC vibe. And that's not just the case in this excellent blue color, but also in the pearlescent white and inky black varieties.

A beautiful piece of technology you just want to stare at.

The back is a finely-sculpted piece of glass, technically, but it doesn't look like any other glass-backed phone — distinctly different from the LG G6 and Galaxy S7. HTC calls it "optical spectrum hybrid deposition," and it's the culmination of two years of development on the process. The end result is a glassy exterior that has the color embedded inside the glass, rather than simply coating the underside of clear glass. It's beautiful and I can't take my eyes off of it — and it's sure to catch some attention when you use it in public.

More: Complete HTC U Ultra specs

The mirror-like finish is gorgeous and minimalistic, perfectly curving off to the edges where it meets a color-matched metal frame that doesn't have all that much texture to it. The front of the phone is a pristine black panel of glass that is of course perfectly assembled, and it frames a very large 5.7-inch display that also has an extra 2-inch display on top of it. The bezels on all four edges of the display aren't exactly small, and it leads to a very large overall footprint: 80 mm wide, and 162 mm tall.

I can't tell you what sized phone to buy, but the U Ultra is going to be too big for most people.

Far be it for me to tell you what sized phone you want, but the U Ultra is too big for my hands. I can manage a Pixel XL, or a OnePlus 3T, but the U Ultra is substantially larger than those phones — in fact, it's even bigger than the LG V20 and Huawei Mate 9 ... which I personally couldn't manage either. Looking at the U Ultra beside the LG G6, for example, and you just chuckle at how unwieldy it is. Yes some people will want the most screen possible no matter what it does to usability, but I prefer a bit more balance — and the U Ultra doesn't seem to attempt any sort of balance.

If you're that person who wants "more screen at all costs" you'll absolutely enjoy this display. The 5.7-inch QHD Super LCD 5 is clear, bright and accurate — I really can't find anything bad to say about it. This is a display befitting of a $749 phone, and it's covered in Gorilla Glass 5 for good measure. That same group will also likely enjoy the capacitive navigation keys below the display that don't take up any screen real estate — despite the majority of the market going toward on-screen keys.

Despite espousing that it is a top-level phone in every other way, most notably in its price, the U Ultra has two feature omissions that will rub people the wrong way. Just like the Pixel XL — which is nearly the same price and also made by HTC — the U Ultra isn't waterproof. Now HTC does offer its "UH OH" protection program (opens in new tab) (for free!) that covers one replacement of the phone, including water damage, but the average buyer would far prefer to just not have to worry about water damage at all. And unlike the Pixel XL, this is one of multiple stumbles rather than a single flaw with the phone.

No, I won't hear your arguments for removing the headphone jack.

The far more puzzling — and polarizing — exclusion on the U Ultra is the headphone jack. Just as we guessed when HTC rolled out the Bolt late last year, this looks to be the new direction for the company: skip the headphone jack in favor of USB-C audio, despite having very large phones that seem to have the room to accommodate the port. HTC's USonic headphones are comfortable, sound good and are designed to tune sound that's appropriate for your ears ... but I want to use different headphones sometimes. I want to plug into a speaker or a friend's car stereo now and then. And that's not possible with the U Ultra. I know this is A Thing™ now, but it really doesn't have to be and it goes against what most consumers want.

HTC includes those USB-C headphones I mentioned in the box, but charges you an extra $12 for a USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone adapter (opens in new tab) if you want to plug in something else. (C'mon, even Apple includes an adapter in the box.) Better yet, the headphones that come in the box don't work with other USB-C devices, so these really are headphones only for your U Ultra. No matter how good they are, that's annoying.

HTC U Ultra

Downright fast

HTC U Ultra Software and performance

HTC's take on Android hasn't changed much in the past year in terms of design and interaction. It has a clean, dark look with splashes of white, grey and green — and compared to the bright and overly colorful options from some manufacturers I'm a fan of HTC's choices. It still paints over the whole interface with a heavy brush, but its changes aren't so far out of touch with the way modern apps and Google's guidelines look.

HTC's built-in apps for phone, messaging, email, clock, etc. all follow a consistent design as well, and thankfully it does a nice job of not doubling up with Google's own apps — for example, Google Photos is your only gallery app, and Google Calendar is your default calendar. HTC unfortunately still includes some of its most annoying "features" like the spammy, low-quality News Republic app that likes to push crummy "news" at you, and the quite useless Blinkfeed area of the launcher. Thankfully you can disable News Republic, and turn off Blinkfeed or replace the launcher altogether.

I didn't receive a single Sense Companion notification that was useful.

More in the head scratcher camp is HTC's oddly named "HTC Sense Companion" app, which was originally billed as a full-on artificial intelligence system but then dramatically scaled back for launch. What it basically comes down to now is providing you with recommendations for places to eat, bad traffic around you, changes in weather and suggestions for other ancillary content. The notifications arrive on your lock screen or second screen, and aren't actually useful in any way — after over a week with Sense Companion turned on, I didn't receive a single notification that was interesting to me. I turned it off.

Beside its questionable usefulness, the thing making Sense Companion completely unnecessary is the fact that Google Now and Google Assistant are here. Google Now provides me with better recommendations and notifications throughout the day, and the U Ultra's excellent microphones and software performance make Google Assistant very useful.

Aside from the Sense Companion, which I don't think anyone will actually use for more than a week, the second screen provides a pretty basic set of features. Just as you'd expect, it almost perfectly mirrors what the LG V20 can do: show you a generally static read-out of weather, calendar, contacts, a music player, an app launcher or a reminder. I used the weather display most often, and while it's neat to see at a glance I don't see a reason to waste battery life or overall device size in order to have it.

It feels tacked-on and distracting, particularly with the odd implementations of certain panels like the music player only working for Google Play Music, and the contacts launcher only working for on-device contacts. Perhaps design time and component costs could have been better utilized elsewhere in the phone.

Performance

The U Ultra continues HTC's well-deserved reputation for having lightning-fast and responsive software, where everything you do on the phone happens now with no hesitation or slowdown. Scrolling is silky smooth and transitions are quick, not unlike the experience of using a Google Pixel XL. I didn't have a single crash, slowdown or stutter on the U Ultra in my review period — it's impressively fast, and I love seeing phones that perform like this.

It isn't just fast, it's top-notch impressively fast.

Performance of this level isn't just because of the Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM inside, but having the latest internals (for the time) definitely help. You can just tell that HTC has done plenty of optimization in this hardware, and it bodes well for the future as well. Further to that point, 64GB of base internal storage — plus an SD card slot — means you aren't as likely to run into update jeopardy after you've used your phone for a year and loaded it up with apps and media.

One more "performance" note that doesn't really have anywhere else to live: the speakers. HTC is using the same "BoomSound lite" type of setup here with a small speaker at the top of the phone (it's just the earpiece speaker) and a bigger speaker that plays a majority of the sound at the bottom. And it sounds good — albeit not at the super high volumes you expect from BoomSound of yesteryear with two dedicated full-sized speakers. I'm fine with this compromise, especially if dual front-facing speakers would've made the U Ultra even taller.

How about updates?

Completely skipping the carrier channels and selling unlocked directly to consumers is an overall win for everyone, and one of the benefits is not having any sort of extra restrictions or carrier bloatware in the software. This should theoretically let HTC update the software on the U Ultra more often as well, though at the time of writing this in mid-March my U Ultra has Android 7.0 with the January 1 security patch.

Looking back at HTC's history of security and platform updates, things haven't been fantastic. Some phones have done really well with getting one big platform update quickly, only to quickly trail off and get dramatically slower support or no security patches. Let's hope HTC can do right by its loyal customers, who have stuck around for a long time, and keep updates rolling.

At least we know going forward that any shortcomings in software updates land squarely on HTC and not a carrier.

Battery life

As I've already covered, the U Ultra is an unashamedly large phone — and despite being filled with lots of solid specs, it's small in one area: the battery. With just 3000 mAh inside, it's one of the smaller capacities out there in a top-end phone, coming in underneath the Pixel XL, LG G6, (expected) Galaxy S8 Plus, Mate 9 and ... you get the idea.

Full-day battery ... in a huge phone you expect a bit more from.

Longevity is actually pretty good on the U Ultra — I was able to get through a full day without hitting the battery saver (which triggers at 15%) on most days. But spending a little extra time browsing apps and listening to streaming music for a while throughout the day, I was able to kill it off in about 15 hours. That's good, but not great — and for a phone this big, most people are expecting "all day no matter what" kind of battery life.

You do get Quick Charge 3.0 here, with a compatible charger in the box, and perhaps that's enough to ease many people's worries about having just 3000 mAh inside. But being able to get better battery life each and every day out of a smaller phone from a different company makes this a tough sell for HTC.

Solid for last year

HTC U Ultra Camera

The glory days of HTC having industry-leading, captivating camera experiences are behind us. The HTC 10's camera was strong in 2016 but didn't challenge for the "best of the best" designation, and HTC has only slightly tweaked things for the U Ultra. A 12MP "UltraPixel 2" sensor, which has large 1.55-micron pixels, sits behind an f/1.8 lens with optical image stabilization and focuses with phase-detect and laser auto focus. That's everything you ask for in a smartphone camera in terms of hardware.

HTC's camera interface is slick and offers quick access to other modes — including a full manual "Pro" mode — but understandably focuses on the main point-and-shoot function. I appreciate the toggle to quickly switch between HDR modes and big buttons to shoot video and switch to the front camera.

Thanks to all of the solid specs listed above, right out of the box you'll be impressed by the general quality of the U Ultra's camera. Just like most smartphone cameras today (to say nothing of $749 flagships), the U Ultra's can put out 12MP shots that are in focus, crisp and consistent from shot to shot.

It's only once you shoot with the camera for a week or more that you start to notice the few quirks that tell you the U Ultra is going to perform along the line of previous HTC cameras. Just like its predecessors, the U Ultra fights you in two main areas: a general lack of dynamic range, and hit-or-miss low-light performance.

For daylight shots, the U Ultra does well — where it struggles is in its dynamic range not being high enough to properly capture all parts of a less-than-ideal scene without something being short of your expectations. Even with HDR turned on, the U Ultra's pictures will leave some portion of a mixed-light scene blown out or too dark. Turning on "touch autoexposure" in the settings is necessary so you can get proper metering for the actual subject of your photo, so at least that will be exposed properly and look good. Colors in general are just fine, but this low dynamic range leaves many photos coming out bland or improperly exposed to the point of being disappointing, particularly when you just point and shoot.

Fighting to be the best camera of March 2016.

At night, the U Ultra again is very capable thanks to its high resolution, OIS and large pixels, but some of the processing seems a bit off at times. The biggest issue I found is the U Ultra's willingness to go for really slow shutter speeds in dark scenes — as slow as 1/5 second — to try and brighten things. The issue with dropping to 1/5 second is it introduces lots of potential for hand shake and blur, which combined with over-processing of grainy areas leads to very soft and blotchy results. Even when the shutter speeds are a bit quicker, around 1/20 or so, the U Ultra hesitates when taking low-light shots, making it easier to introduce hand shake that requires re-taking a photo.

When I stabilized the U Ultra and took a few shots to pick the best from the bunch, it can take great low light photos — you can only start to quip at little issues when you zoom in and notice soft edges. But the shot-to-shot performance at night can vary considerably, and that's just a problem that high-end smartphones of the last year don't struggle with.

The U Ultra would have a very competitive top-end camera if it were launching at this time last year. Its daylight performance is good, and if you know how to use it you can overcome issues with its lower-than-most dynamic range. Even though the low light performance is tougher to manage, it can capture solid shots But when you combine those two main issues that are likely to be present in photos you'll take on a weekly basis, you get a camera that is very much befitting of a $500 phone rather than a top-tier flagship commanding a 50% higher price.

This camera doesn't go toe-to-toe with the LG G6 or Pixel XL — it's basically just a step above the the OnePlus 3T or Honor 8, at double the price.

HTC U Ultra

Too many flaws

HTC U Ultra Bottom line

HTC made about 80% of a great flagship smartphone, but is choosing to sell it for 100% of a flagship price. Time after time, HTC continues to absolutely nail the basics: excellent design, perfect hardware execution, a top-notch display, great internals and fast software are all here. But then there are odd stumbles: no headphone jack, puzzlingly weak low-light camera performance, a small battery and distractingly tacked-on "artificial intelligence" software.

HTC made 80% of a great flagship smartphone, but is selling it for 100% of a flagship price.

Even some decisions, like skipping waterproofing and including its little second screen, wouldn't seem so bad if the rest of the phone was great. But add these small issues to an already-flawed phone and you wonder what the thought process was for the whole device — that once again is commanding a top-dollar price tag of $749 where the competition gets just about everything right.

To have sales figures that actually move the needle, HTC can't get by on its hardware design and software performance anymore, as great as both aspects may be. There's plenty here to get HTC fans to buy a U Ultra purely for its great design, strong performance and big display — but those sales will be overshadowed by the overwhelming majority of people who will go for the better overall phones on offer from big-name companies at the same price or less.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

81 Comments
  • I agree with all the cons expect for the camera, where all reviewers have been impressed by its performance. But yeah, this phone has literally no point at this price tag. And no headphone jack just for the sake of not having it. The board at HTC is really smoking a weed from another planet. That's the only reasonable explanation.
  • Oh I'm impressed by the camera. It takes good photos. But it's not an elite-level camera that belongs in a $749 flagship in March 2017.
  • Yeah I had the U Ultra for a week and returned it today. Definitely good camera but my Pixel XL takes better pictures than things. I would have kept this if it was easy to handle but it was uncomfortable for using it day to day.
  • sent my black version back today. extremely good looking phone. however, (1) battery wasn't getting me through a work day (10 hours and i was at 13% for 4 days in a row), (2) no options for 3.5mm jack (i have Shure SE845 in-ear monitors and not giving them up for HTC's headphones) and (3) too big for screen size by my standards and compared to the upcoming flagships. i might be headed to the LG G6...
  • If you wanted to use your existing headphones with 3.5mm jack, why did you even buy this phone in the first place? A similar question springs to mind about the screen size. Did you research it at all? Not that I disagree that the phone is a turkey, because it is.
  • yes, did the research, read the reviews knew about the lack of a 3.5mm jack, etc. however, i like HTC phones and using the U Ultra was the only way for me to know if i liked it and/or was willing to compromise based on its shortcomings. if the battery was 3500 mAh and the phone size was smaller, i would consider using a DAC (e.g., Dragon RedFly 1.2) to mitigate the lack of the 3.5mm jack (and use my headphones). :)
  • I wanted one. I even preordered it, but on launch day it didn't ship so I called HTC support and they said I likely wouldn't receive mine until April. I told them to cancel. I was iffy on it in the first place. I ended up with the Moto Z... So glad I did. I love this phone.
  • I see, interesting point. Let's hope they do something way better for the market with the HTC 11 and they put back a headphone jack on it. I won't buy it as I'm aiming at the G6, but I wish them the best
  • I see no reason to get this phone with the G6 coming out at the end of the month (and at a cheaper price tag with better features) and the S8s coming out in six weeks. Why did HTC make this phone?
  • Only HTC could create the most beautiful phone of its time (M7) and gimp it with a gimmicky camera. Only HTC could take the same phone and make it thicker the following year.
  • And make it with a worst camera likewise!
  • I think the Google Pixel made it VERY clear that you can release a mid-range device that does the basics well, and still charge flagship prices and people will buy it. I almost bought the pixel, and i'm not saying it's not an incredible device, just that it's not worth the price. That is what the U Ultra reminds me of. Probably the best value currently on the market if it's in the correct price range, but greedy company executives convincing themselves that they can ask top dollar.
  • But other than waterproofing, the Pixel did everything it needed to. The U Ultra does not. It has a puzzlingly small battery, lack of headphone jack, and the lack of said waterproofing stands out even more now than it did half a year ago at the Pixel unveil.
  • Correction. The pixel did everything YOU needed it to. Doesn't mean it did for the majority of consumers. Make sure you keep that important difference in mind.
  • The majority of customers need decent performance, a great camera (even in low light), quality display and long battery life. Pixel only lacks water resistance and expandable storage, everything else is ideal for the average customer.
  • I didn't realize the Pixel had wireless charging. Again, you're not listening to what i'm saying. You hear someone say something slightly critical about a phone you love, and you fail to debate them from the point they're actually making. The pixel is a great device, and I wanted one myself. However, at that price point, it has to have water resistance, wireless charging, and expandable storage is a plus, but not as important as the first two things. If you want to charge a premium price, you shouldn't only be meeting the hurdles that the "average consumer" wants. You just said in your comment that everything else is ideal for the average consumer. You are correct, and that means that it should be priced at the mid to high end. Not the ultra high end.
  • Of all the things people can complain about, I'm sure wireless charging is pretty low on the list for most people. That's if it's​ even on the list... Haha The average user probably doesn't even know what that is.
  • Have you been to a Best Buy? They make sure you know what it is.
  • Right. But it's still a feature that most premium priced phones have.
  • This. How ridiculous.
  • This site is bad about Android nerds thinking what they want from a phone is the same thing Joe consumer wants. The highest selling smartphone has never had wireless charging, but because rando internet commentor thinks it's important it is a phone defining feature.
  • Yes and it looks utterly mediocre.
  • You are the one picking arbitrary features YOU want and calling a phone that doesn't have those features mid range. Not every high end phone will have all the features you need, doesn't mean it isn't a high end phone.
  • 2016 camera performance? What the hell do you want? Yeah, it was a bad year for wine and cameras.
  • For this money, released in March, I'd hope that it would challenge the likes of the LG G6. It doesn't quite get there.
  • Fair enough. I guess my point was , there aren't a lot of flagship phones out right now to compare too.
  • Very true. And in typical HTC fashion, they refuse to be the ones to set the bar when it comes to cameras. Maybe for once THEY can be the camera that others are compared to. But they seem to refuse.
  • Agree, I use to be a HTC guy, but they have lost their way the past few years.
  • The term "lost" implies they can find the right path again with a little know how and a compass. But since the One M7, they've crashed and burned.
  • 2017 camera performance.
  • Well, maybe we can put it up there if we can use a camera app that uses a different method of post-processing.
  • Yeah I don't really get that either. Is the G6 even better than the Pixel?
  • Camera-wise? I think the G6 matches the Pixel, and even outdoes it in some situations. Plus the wide-angle camera is there.
  • A waste of space as MKBHD said it in his review and I totally agree with him. HTC really lost their way after M8. 10 was OK but this u ultra is just plain bad HTC.
  • I stopped reading after the price point...
  • Just don't buy this thing, at least at its full price. Just, why? It's slightly larger than the Huawei Mate 9 in every aspect and makes almost no use of whatever extra space it has. Battery? Same capacity as the one on the much smaller HTC 10 and significantly less than the Mate 9. Headphone jack? None, in favor of some silly proprietary solution over an open-standard port even though there's plenty of space inside for one. Water-resistance? Dust-proofing? Wireless charging? Nope, nah, nada. Look, the battery life may be considered "fine" and maybe you won't mind the lack of a jack or IP68 certification, but this is a $749 phone. Jack-wise, at least Apple can claim that they need space and Motorola can claim that the Z is just too thin for one. But the U Ultra? No. There's just no single excuse for why HTC omitted stuff that they could easily put in such a humongous chassis. I would forgive all of that if it was cheaper. BUT IT ISN'T. When I heard that this was actually conceived to be a stopgap between the HTC 10 and the upcoming HTC 11 due to the Note 7 debacle, it sorta made sense as it felt a lot like a repackaged HTC 10 in a larger chassis with the processor and camera sensor from the Google Pixel, which it probably is given the short development time. Still, it came way too late to even attract Note 7 customers. HTC, what are you even up to these days? From a great phone like the HTC 10 to this damn thing. I just hope the HTC 11 doesn't fall in the same trap but the U Ultra is just a big, expensive pile of compromises. At least it's a pretty one, I'll give it that.
  • Let's say HTC added wireless charging, waterproofing, a camera that could zoom far enough to see a golf ball in a crater on the moon, added a 10,000 mAh battery, and priced it at $250 outright. What good would that do? Their market share will continue to tank and they'd still get slaughtered in the flagship, midrange, and budget smartphone markets sales-wise. Sure it might make people hate their products a little less, but in the big picture, they're wasting time and resources in the smartphone market. So this phone along with any other phone they come out with will be DOA regardless.
  • Well if they made that and actually marketed the damn thing, they'd see some progress. I'm astounded at how the folks running HTC still think that they're alright when the U Ultra isn't even worth its price tag. At this rate, I'm guessing the HTC 11 will be $799.
  • Whatever progress they make would be insignificant. They'd still lose money and would still remain unprofitable. They'll just be dumping more money into marketing that they'll never recoup in sales. I'm surprised that the people at HTC still think they have a chance in the smartphone market. No matter how low they price it, they won't sell many at all. That's kinda why I'm at a loss as to why people think their high pricing is why they fail, knowing damn well that lower pricing won't help much either.
  • Well, a phone like the U Ultra will only exasperate that. I can't see why ANYONE at HTC thought it was a good idea.
  • Exactly, folks on this forum thinks they can solve all those suffering android oem's problems (they can't btw). If it were that easy, none of those vendors would be struggling the way they have been. At one point HTC was the only android oem that shipped premium devices with what many in the press and forums considered premium finished, where did that get them? It got them nowhere. The smartphone market is saturated and a commodity, in such a market you will get an oem or two that will compete on the high end and most everyone else will compete on price for the middle and low end. Strong brand and lots of marketing dollars will be what will allow anyone to compete on the high end (Samsung, Google) and everyone else will fight for scraps on the low end while also trying to move some products in the mid tier. The pc industry is a perfect copy of what to expect from the smartphone world the next decade (unless something or tech drastically change that). As much as I hate to say it, Google and Apple holds all the keys to make it happened. Something drastic like that will certainly not be coming from those android oem's, that's not what they do, that's not their strength, which is why Google holds all of them by the balls.
  • It boils down to one basic thing: People who can afford $700+ phones don't really tend to give a crap about phones.
  • I'd buy one of those for that price. And I know at least two others who'd give it a shot too.
  • Not only was the pricing a fail, the battery is too. Seriously? For a phone of that size? Makes no sense. I can see this being a niche phone for the ones who really want it. Aside from that, it might not move the needle much.
  • Everybody is panning this phone. They better drop the price right quick.
  • They did already, I had an email from HTC 12 days ago with $250.00 off.
  • Every once in while HTC must remind us who they really are. 1 step forward, 2 steps back.
  • Make sure you check out Android Police's review of this phone. It's truly awful, according to that review.
  • My Sprint HTC One M9 has not been updated to nougat yet so no more HTC phones for me
  • Blame Sprint not HTC.
  • I really, really want HTC to succeed. If I were in the market, there's a chance that I would get one of these in blue, I can overlook some of the issues because it really is a gorgeous phone, but I suspect I'm in the minority here. Something needs to change with this company, they cannot compete with the giants in the premium space. Give up on the high end market and go after the OP3, Axon 7, Honor8 or the world but with better hardware/aesthetics and a slightly higher price? I'd be down with that.
  • Well they can't compete in the lower markets either. They can't afford to offer class leading products (high end specs, features, and design) at competitive prices and even come close to being profitable. Their sales volume would still remain woefully low. They have nowhere to go and can't survive in any smartphone segment.
  • Definitely a waste of space. I really have no idea what they could be thinking half the time..
  • Does it have any kind of hifi DAC amp and dual SIM plus memory card? How is the audio output quality? Edit: never mind , not even headphone jack, lol
  • I'd buy one at $350 but anything more is way too much.
  • That's a bit much.
  • People have no concept of what these things should be priced. It's astonishing how cheap some people are.
  • So the people at OnePlus are HORRIBLE cheapskates for releasing the 3T for 3/5 the price of this POS, then?
  • Maybe $450.00-$500.00 but I get your point. Anyone who spends more on a glass phone than you could on a very good laptop computer is a rube, and doubly so with all the outstanding $300.00-$400.00 phones out there today.
  • Agreed. The Honor 5X and 8 really opened my eyes. Two phones that perform very well at their price levels. And eventually you have to ask yourself if it's worth working X number of hours/days/weeks for a PHONE. Isn't a GOOD phone good enough?
  • I could handle no 3.5mm jack if USB-C headphones where a standard and available.
    But the way things are now, this is a solid "I can't buy this".
    For a company that is struggling, this is insane. You aren't Apple or Samsung. You can't set the standards. You need to open your arms to every buyer you can.
  • My $0.02 is they should:
    1. Drop the 2nd screen and just make a real 6" screen within the same design.
    2. Add the 3.5mm headphone jack
    3. Give it a 3500mAh battery
    4. Make one phone that works on all providers especially here in the U.S. Since they are selling direct this would cut their inventory and production cost and would help consumers who may want to change carriers but keep their phone.
    5. Bring back the HT Browser. It was the only Browser that re-flowed the text within the frame when zooming or contracting the type size so you would not have to scroll left and right to read the text. i can live with the other perceived deficiencies at the price point with the above items. Maybe the HTC 11 be better.
  • Used to think the lack of a headphone jack was a deal breaker until I realized I virtually never use it on either my daily S7 Edge or back/now MP3 player LG G3. Bluetooth in the car and at the gym. Casting to multiple speakers at home. All adds up to I never plug headphones into my phone. No waterproofing might be a deal breaker. Love being slightly less careful around all things wetness with my S7.
  • I just can't understand the contempt, not just from HTC, but from most of the cellphone manufacturers concerning the 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Questionable decisions probably isn't the right word. In terms of design they are wrong decisions. The decisions that HTC need to make are really simple. Great camera, great battery life, great sound quality, internal and external, great screen, great design, great performance and right price. Forget wireless charging and waterproofing. I know they are useful to have but ultimately if HTC got those few factors right they would have a winner. Andrew is right, they have 80% there with the other 20% within easy reach. That's why i have given up on HTC. Not because of this phone but because they have done this now 3 or 4 times in a row.
  • Don't understand those people design such phones and think they can get 700- 800$ for it. Look what LG has to offer for 400 with the V20 , blows this HTC away it's not even funny anymore. Recycled US Airplane Metal and Military Specd , drops no problem :P Glass phones , don't know have to try and drop one from 1 Meter on concrete floor first.
  • The lg g6 got 2 reviews already before knowing the exact price but this one got criticed just for it! Though you arr right this phone seems overpriced!
  • Jesus! What's going on with the Taiwanese? It's just been a slow death by a thousand cuts (a sizeable bulk of which have come from cheap Chinese phones). They've made one misstep after another - failing to capitalize on a growing segment while it was hot, going in after things have cooled and now underwhelming when it matters.
  • It seems like every year HTC gets close to being really good, but there's always something that screws it all up.
  • Awful phone by all means, overpriced and way out of it's league, wtf HTC? HTC10 was ok phone they need to step it up, cause others doing much better job...
    Axon 7 for example, a true Hi Fi eargasm audio phone with great features as well and only 400$,.
  • How did they make headphones that only work with their phone? It seems like a lot of trouble to go through just to annoy their customers
  • They messed with the USB-C standard..... again
  • This has got to be one of the best looking phones I've seen, but also the least likely ones I'd buy.
  • Ignore this phone. HTC have got their real flagship coming in July ;>
  • Htc needs to price this at $599 the same pricing as the mate 9. $749 is ridiculous for a flagship phone that doesn't have features to justify a high price!
  • Overpriced
  • This phone is representative of why HTC is dying as a company.
  • I love the balls on HTC.. http://i.imgur.com/PochNuk.png
  • Apparently, HTC hasn't looked at security updates since Jan. My HTC 10 has the same build as the U. 7.0, Jan 1 security patch. Not a big deal, but they had some good momentum from Oct-Jan. Now they've kind of slacked off on security updates.
  • It's a much better phone than what little credit it's been given. This is a device you won't and can't appreciate unless you own it. That said, the Ultra has drawbacks but they're not nearly as bad as what the "experts" write.
  • I completely agree, though at $750 HTC really could have added a lot more. I’ve narrowed down the list of phones I’m going to purchase soon to Sony’s new flagship Xperia XZ Premium, which is probably the most advanced, featured packed phone on the market today. Lastly the new BlackBerry KeyOne for work in which I still very much like having a mechanical keyboard, I use my current BB Priv to log into Unix/Linux servers. Trust me, as an IT admin, there is nothing better than having a real keyboard at your disposal, it’s an almost must have. So I’m extremely excited that there is still a phone manufacturer out there that caters to my needs.