The problem with HTC is that they are not looking at the market trend and behaving as if they are going to create a trend. And this is a dangerous thought to have for a company that is struggling to sell phones. HTC U Ultra is an example that shows that HTC is not in a mood to learn from their past mistakes. HTC U Ultra is everything wrong with HTC. The phone is mostly dead on arrival, thanks to realy bad design decisions and ridiculous pricing.
First of all, HTC says that the phone is made for ‘U’, for everyone. Let us take a look at the dimensions of popular phones that were massive hit last year.
iphone 7 plus : 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
LG V20 : 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm
s7 edge : 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
s7 : 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm
Moto Z : 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2 mm
Huawei P9 : 145 x 70.9 x 7 mm
pixel xl : 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5 mm
nexus 6p 5.7″ : 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm
Mi Mix 6.4″: 158.8 x 81.9 x 7.9
zenfone 3 5.5″ : 152.6 x 77.4 x 7.7
Can you guess the dimensions of the HTC U Ultra? It is 162.4 x 79.8 x 8 mm, bigger than any other phone, it is bigger than the Nexus 6 which had a 6″ display and was released back in 2014. There is no doubt that the design looks fresh. When you create something like this, you have to make sure that it ends up in as many hands as possible. HTC, as expected, has managed to do the exact opposite. When a phone is so big that it takes an effort to keep it in pocket or hold, the company is going to lose 99% of its potential buyers. Some may say that the HTC U Play is perfect fit but the problem with U Play is that it has a MediaTek Helio P10 chip. This chip was released in the year 2015 and HTC is using this on a phone that is coming in 2017. Moreover, MediaTek chips are not the preferred choice in phones other than budget phones.
Processor that will be outperformed soon
It is well known that the flagship phones coming in 2017 will be powered by the SnapDragon 835. This chip has been setting benchmarks on fire. SnapDragon 821 is like version 2 of SnapDragon 820. SD 82x chips were meant for phones that were released in 2016, not in 2017. The moment LG/Samsung/Huawei/Xiaomi etc release phones powered by SD835, HTC U Ultra will look like a lost cause. When the phone it not going to be available till March, whats the point in going with SD821?
When a company makes a phone that has a massive power hungry LCD display, a processor that is also power hungry, the company adds big enough battery. HTC U Ultra comes with puny 3000 mAh battery. Some may say that iPhone 7 plus has smaller battery. Apple has a heavily optimized OS and they make their own chips that consume less power when compared to Qualcomm’s or MediaTek’s. Also iPhone 7 plus has a FullHD display that consumes less battery than the QuadHD display on U Ultra. The Samsung S7 Edge has a 3600 mAh battery even though the phone has Super AMOLED display and power efficient chip. Quick Charging will help those who need to charge their battery frequently but every battery degrades. The more you charge, the faster the battery will degrade. So, by end of first year, you may be looking a phone with battery life so bad that you have to charge it more than once every day.
Water/dust resistance has been one of the most requested features in ‘top of the line’ phones last year. Samsung and Apple made phones that come with these options and it helped them increase their sales. HTC U Ultra does not have any kind of resistance to water or dust. Even a budget Motorola smartphone has water resistance but somehow HTC thought that it is not at all necessary. Add to this the brittle rear glass and you have a Goliath of a phone that needs extreme care.
Price. HTC has been one of the worst when it came to pricing their phones. And they did it again. HTC U Ultra is priced at $749 (Rs.51085). That is total absurd pricing for a phone with old specs, for a phone that will struggle to match OnePlus 3T, Galaxy S7/Edge, Huawei P9 etc. If HTC releases this phone in India, expect it to be priced at Pixel XL level. The worst part is that the phone will not be available till March. So, if you are planning to pre-order, do note that other Android makers are going to announce their 2017 flagships by March.