HTC's 'unexpected surprise' is a U Ultra with a sapphire panel and 128GB storage

HTC Taiwan said last week that it would share an "unexpected surprise" on March 20, and like the company's recent launches, the reveal itself was rather underwhelming. Instead of a successor to the HTC 10, we're being treated to a limited edition variant of the HTC U Ultra with 128GB internal memory and a sapphire screen, a product HTC referenced back in January (opens in new tab).

HTC U Ultra limited edition

The limited edition model is now up for pre-order in Taiwan (opens in new tab) in all four color options for the equivalent of $945 (NT$28,900), a $150 premium over the standard 64GB variant. Customers pre-ordering the 128GB U Ultra will also receive a $100 bundle that includes a leather flip case, a key ring, and a Quick Charge 3.0 power bank.

HTC hasn't shared additional details, but it is likely the limited edition variant of the U Ultra is exclusive to Taiwan.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • HTC did another eff up. Take that pretty glass away and you have a 2016 HTC phone. I don't know why or how they keep serving us **** on a platter year after year.
  • Agree, cero interest on that phone but the glass sounds interesting. What I'm wondering is what king of glass did they put under the coat and what's the real benefit of that Sapphire Glass coating over a regular Gorila Glass 4? I guess it makes it harder to scratch buy also easier to shatter? Not sure...
  • The real surprise here will be if anyone bought it.
  • Or even cared.
  • It's one thing to know you are hurting. We've known this for years. I can even forgive them for having last year's soc. The rest of this cluster F is all on them. Bad enough the U is an utter dud. You'd think they'd change gears and push the 11 out quicker to stem the losses. No not these idiots, they're big surprise is hey look a new glass and more memory for an even more ridiculous price. This whole thing would be laughable if it wasn't soo pathetic. Please someone put a bullet in this company and put it out of both theirs and ours misery.
  • Stay classy HTC, copy the basic framework for a cruddy Galaxy S6.
  • The U stands for "Unreal". Because no one can figure out what HTC is doing.
  • You can't make this up
  • What...why? What's the justification for their phones being so expensive?
  • I don't​ think there is one. Lol maybe trying to make up for lost sales by upping the price, and not cost, of their phones?
  • I mean...I like HTC; they are what got me seriously into Android phones. But this? For me, this is a bit much.
  • HTC has no idea what they are doing anymore.
  • HTC is a ******* joke and those who actually buy either version of this smartphone are fools
  • Man I love my HTC 10, probably more than any other phone I've had. But I don't I'll get another HTC because I just can't see them being around for much longer. Also I can't afford a second mortgage for their phones.
  • I wonder what htc is thinking when they release **** like this
  • A more expensive sapphire version of an already expensive phone that nobody wants. Yikes.
  • Yep, this is boring. Lol
  • The chief complaint about the U Ultra is the ridiculous price for what compromises it has. What's HTC's response? Release a version that's even more expensive. Ugh
  • Nobody balks at Pixel, gs7, and iPhones for their ridiculously​ over priced phones, but HTC ... There's no reason other pure greed that those phones are at those prices.
  • Well, each of those phones has a unique selling point that justifies the MSRP. The Pixel has fast Android updates, the Galaxy S7 packs in every bell-and-whistle and the iPhone prides itself on long software support and customer service. The U Ultra has none of those.
  • Yes, exactly.
  • Nailed it!
  • What are you talking about, people have been complaining about iPhone prices for years. The reason people haven't really complained about Samsung's prices is because they do come out with the most upgrades of any smartphones year after year. The reason HTC is getting so much hate right now is because they aren't providing anything that warrants a $750-950 price tag. Snapdragon 821? No waterproof? 3000mah battery on one of the largest phones ever manufactured? No headphone jack, no real unique design, etc. Basically, HTC wants to sell their phones at flagship prices without providing flagship parts.
  • True story.
  • "People haven't really complained about Samsung prices" Are you serious??? Maybe you've enjoyed being raped with their ridiculous pricing but don't assume that everyone is happily paying it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Being happy with paying it, and not hearing tons of people complain is two different things. I guarantee plenty of people choose to pay it without being happy while doing so. That doesn't mean they enjoy being raped by Samsung.
  • I have had many a phone I haven't been happy paying for.
  • How about focusing on making more Pixel phones. A phone that is currently still out of stock six months after it's release. A phone that people actually want to buy.
  • Good point.
  • ha ha ha ha ha. I like HTC overall, but it's getting to the point where they are starting to amuse me with how completely out of touch they are with the market. They release a phone that's an absolute rip off, and then their big surprise is the same phone, for a lot more money, and "upgrades" that no one really cared much about. At least not compared to the actual weaknesses of this device. HTC is like the Michael Scott from the Office tv show of the smartphone world.
  • Bought two
  • Wow. This is insanely retarded. This should have been the $749 model. Not sure what anyone at HTC was thinking with the U Ultra, period.
  • I thought for sure the surprise would be the HTC 10 successor... Not an upgraded version of the U Ultra. Sigh... And SMH.
  • HTC is a complete joke.
  • My HTC Evo sitting in my drawer says otherwise. Man, those were the good old days.
  • HTC is clueless.
  • Lame... Easy pass... Dont forget taxes (at least in the US) this things going to top 1 grand out the door... Thats insanely stupid.
  • R.I.P HTC. I've tried sticking with them since the HD2 but I finally give up.
  • HTC releasing a variant of a so-so, overpriced phone, at an even higher cost? How is this a surprise?
  • remember the HTC Evo? i switched to sprints crappy service for that phone. What happened HTC?
  • HTC is just trying to sell the phone to people who like beautiful things and do not pay attention to the tech specs because there not technical people. You know the Apple iPhone buyer! It IS beautiful, and it DOES have good Audio, but even though I am a HTC fan I will not buy it. My Pixel XL has a a killer camera, and is very fast and has excellent battery life, but the audio is crap and the screen is to small. This phone has good audio and a bigger screen just crap battery life and so so camera. Its a good compliment for my Pixel XL. The problem is I want a BIGGER screen like the new 6.2 inch S8 so I can enjoy my movies more. So far it seem to e impossible to have both, a daily driver and a multimedia beast in the same phone.
  • ...
  • I'm going to make my university research project about HTC. "The sad prison of Corporate incompetence"