HTC waited until a few days after CES this year to announce the enormous, shiny U Ultra, but since that January day we haven't heard much about it. Now, the device is finally shipping to Americans who pre-ordered the 5.7-inch flagship for $749 when it first went up for pre-order.

Now, we know that this likely isn't HTC's only flagship for 2017 — we're expecting a true successor to the HTC 10 sometime in April or May — but the U Ultra's existence feels like it needs to be justified. It's a big, shiny combination of metal and glass, and though it cranks the specs to 11, it lacks mainstay features like waterproofing, wireless charging, a big battery, and a headphone jack. Our friend MrMobile said it best:

If you're going to spend that much money in 2017, you may as well drop an extra Jackson and get a Pixel XL.

What you get in its place is capital P phablet with what appears to be a great camera, a beautiful SuperLCD display, sufficient power to appease most hardware enthusiasts, and that love-it-or-hate-it shiny exterior. Oh, and a second screen lifted straight from LG's V series.

At $749, with compatibility in the U.S. for just AT&T and T-Mobile, the U Ultra is going up against some serious competition, and even though it's shipping over a month before the LG G6 and Galaxy S8, we wonder how much impact it's going to have overall. We'll have our full review in the coming days, though, so stay tuned for Andrew's thoughts on the phone.

See at HTC