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: Hand-on with new mid-range phone featuring Sense Companion AI

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Chris Martin | 55 mins ago
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HTC’s first smartphones of 2017 introduce a new U range to the firm’s portfolio where it’s ‘all about U’. The U Ultra has an interesting dual screen setup but here we look at the smaller model with more basic specs. Here’s our HTC U Play hands-on review. Also see: Best phones 2017.
The new U phones will get release date around ‘mid-February’ in Europe, according to HTC but they will be available in Asia first.
As per usual, there are no details on price but you can pre-register at Carphone Warehouse if you’re interested. We expect the HTC U Play price to be around the £350-400 mark based on devices like the One A9.
In essence, the U Play is a smaller version of the U Ultra so has the same glossy glass design which is a break from the norm for HTC.
The polished glass back is far more glamorous than previous HTC devices with ostentatious colours such as Cosmetic Pink and Ice White which has a pearlescent finish containing many colours. We prefer the Sapphire Blue and Brilliant Black options, the latter of which has an underlying green hue.
The sculpted glass means the phone sits snugly in the hand and the U Play is a far more manageable size compared to the slightly unwieldy Ultra. Glass may scratch less than metal but we found both phones slippery and susceptible to fingerprints and smudges.
HTC still uses a metal frame but you’ll find no headphone jack drilled into it here. Instead, the U Play just offers a USB-C port and the firm doesn’t include an adapter in the box. You do get a pair of USonic headphones though which use the reversible port.
While the U Ultra has an impressive dual screen setup, the U Play has a much more standard array of smartphone specs starting with a 5.2in Full HD display. There’s nothing wrong with that as such and the device is much more manageable to use, but the U Ultra is more interesting in this area.

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