The launch of the HTC U Ultra has allowed us to meet the first high-end terminal of this 2017, but HTC’s efforts have been heavily criticized in various media, including ours. Someone at HTC is obsessed with bringing this company to absolute disaster.
Many are the arguments that can defend against a terminal that seems to be late and bad, with decisions very questionable in their hardware configuration and also confusing in their bet software. Not like that, HTC. Not so.
Damn jack: Is HTC one more lamb?
The first and most alarming signal of HTC’s lack of personality is that decision to eradicate the earphone port of its new HTC U Ultra. Why did he do it? Why deny users the ability to use hundreds, thousands of headphones of all kinds that they already used and enjoyed on their computers? Why do they force me to change the way I listen to music?
This is especially painful for a company that took special care of this section in its previous devices. We may no longer have that iconic design with the speakers on the front, but the HTC 10 was great in this area and provided a 3.5 mm connector that simply worked. No more. According to HTC …
We removed the headphone jack because we believe that the sound experience on the phone can go beyond mere transmission of sound. The sonic capabilities of the USonic headset would not be feasible with a 3.5mm headphone jack. We have microphones built into both headphones that “listen” to the sound pulses, which can adjust your audio to fit the unique architecture of your ears. We believe the market is poised to drive audio into new innovations that benefit the consumer listening experience.
Now we find a decision that makes HTC into a lamb that seems to follow the trend imposed by Apple. The future may be wireless, but until it is wireless, why eradicate an option that works great? Apple has done it to sell their Airpods, of course.
The thing is not so clear for HTC, which provides its USonic headphones – an iteration of those already used in the HTC Bolt, for example – but we did not explain why that paragraph so beautiful at the marketing level could not have become reality With headphones that used the traditional connector. By the way: those USonic headsets with USB-C connector only work with HTC devices. Let the closed ecosystems live, guys.
The double screen will have to prove its validity
Another section in which HTC has been carried away by the trends that have imposed other manufacturers is the second screen of the front that mimics the LG V20 but will try to differentiate itself with software.
The fundamental difference lies in the way in which that second screen of 160 x 1040 pixels is used, since it will allow to show “discrete” notifications that will prevent that alerts appear in the main screen while we are watching a video or playing in the mobile.
Although a priori the option is an improved version of the integrated one in LG, this device will have to demonstrate that said second screen offers more advantages than disadvantages.
The management of this component will make the processor work more, and although the impact should not be very high at the end all sum. That will have its relevance in the autonomy of a battery that as we discussed later and already has enough with what it has.
You may also like to read another article on iMindSoft: OnePlus 3T, a renewal for the most demanding
Hardware over 2016 to compete in 2017
The specifications of this terminal does not leave in very good place to HTC, which is selling us a terminal with many problems to convince users. Firstly, because the device will not be in stores until the month of March: by then there will have appeared a fair number of rivals that will surely steal it. HTC loses freshness factor.
To begin with, we have a Snapdragon 821, the terminal that today sets the standard on Android devices. The problem is that this 2017 will not be dominated by this processor, but by its successor, that Snapdragon 835 that will be protagonist in good part of the high range that appear in the next months.
Fortunately on HTC they do not forget to integrate a microSD slot to extend the 64 or 128 GB native capacity, and for the moment the 12 Mpi camera and f / 1.8 aperture is a mystery, although it seems that it is the same sensor as the HTC 10, but with PDAF focus. It is curious that the manufacturer has aimed at arguable trends such as the absence of the mini-jack and the second screen in its device, but not to that new fever by the double camera that seems to be also protagonist in the terminals this year.
The truth is that HTC finally hit last year with the HTC 10 after the failure of its UltraPixel technology, and we hope that at least the quality of the shots with the HTC U Ultra are as good as those device or better. It is surprising that the resolution of the sensor of the front camera is greater (16 Mpíxeles) than that of the rear camera.
Where we do find a potential problem is in the battery, which remains at 3000 mAh, a figure that seems very short for a device of 5.7 inches and 8 mm in thickness. That figure is more typical of 5-inch devices, and even 5.5-inch models like the OnePlus 3t (3400 mAh) Galaxy S7 Edge (3600 mAh) or Google Pixel XL (3450) far exceed that figure.
It will be necessary to see if the greater efficiency of the Snapdragon 821 can save a section that will be harmed by those two screens and by the resolution 1440p of the main screen, that doubtless will pose a greater consumption of resources than if the manufacturer had gone to a resolution 1080p, maybe something fair on this diagonal but that would have helped to compensate for that low capacity battery.
Crystal … why yes?
Another of the bets that HTC has also wanted to differentiate is the design of this terminal. The crystal is absolute protagonist, and although externally the “wow” effect can be remarkable, the glass can be more a condemnation than a blessing.
The main problem is how slippery it becomes; something that added to the fragility of this material could cause more scares and material tragedies of the usual if the phone falls to the ground. You’d better get a good case if you buy a HTC U Ultra.
The decision contrasts with the good work that HTC had done in the past in the use of metal in their housings, and it seems that once again they wanted to take advantage of the success of the famous piano black finish of the iPhone 7 that nevertheless was developed with aluminum.
The AI as a sales argument for an exorbitant price
If you cannot conquer them with the hardware, do it with the software, they will have said on HTC. Like others in the field of telephony, it seems that the next big bet to conquer users is by integrating artificial intelligence systems that make our phone more suited to how we use it in person.
That theoretically will translate into things like better energy efficiency or better launch speeds for applications we use frequently, but will these techniques have a real impact on our experience of use? Neither HTC nor others that have taken this step have given specific data on time gains or resource consumption, so this ability makes us rather skeptical.
We’ll see if that Sense Companion that will enhance these options gives enough of itself to show that the second screen is not just fireworks.
Added to this is a decisive factor: that of price. The basic model of the HTC U Ultra costs $749 – the 128GB with sapphire crystal will probably be much more expensive. Rather, it will cost $749 when it appears in Mid-March. Here the terminal of HTC has problems on both sides : there are devices based on the Snapdragon 821 much cheaper, but is that the high-end terminals that appear in the coming weeks shorten to a proposal that has very, very difficult.
Let’s hope for the good of HTC that this device is your blank for 2017, and that rumored HTC Ocean comes with a more consistent bet. By God, HTC, stop messing up already. Everything has a limit.