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Informr score
The HTC U Play currently has an Informr score of 6.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 8 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Sharp and vivid display
  • Unique pearlescent lustre on glass back
  • Good all-round camera

What's bad

  • Poor battery life
  • No headphone jack
  • Some random freezes and stuttering

HTC has struggled to make a name for itself in the smartphone market. Their flagship phones have caught people’s eyes due to their sleek design, but for the mid-tier market, their devices have slipped into the background. With the U Play, HTC hopes to stand out from the crowd with its design and aesthetics.

But is it enough?

The U Play offers a fairly standard smartphone look with a glass front and metal frame. What sets it apart, however, is the “Liquid Surface” glass rear that gives the back a pearlescent appearance. While reviewers compliment the overall look of the phone, calling it “stunning”, they also note that the coating makes it difficult to keep clean and hold one-handed due to its slipperiness. Luckily, the screen comes coated with Gorilla Glass 5 to help prevent shattering.

While many smartphone manufacturers are opting for larger screens, HTC has kept the U Play at a usable 5.2 inches. The LCD display offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 for a pixel density of 428ppi. As expected, critics found the screen to be incredibly sharp. They add it also offers excellent brightness, good viewing angles and vivid colors. Trusted Reviews was one of the few that noticed a light texture of diagonal lines on it, but they add that “It’s one of those niggles you’ll notice only when looking for problems;”

While the screen is good enough for watching HD videos, the biggest drawback is its lack of a headphone jack. Although the phone comes bundled with a headset, it plugs into the USB-C port. That means you cannot listen to music with the bundled headset and charge the phone at the same time. The only solutions to this problem? Wireless headphones or a charging/3.5mm adapter.

To stay within the mid-tier price range, HTC opted for a MediaTek octa-core processor instead of Qualcomm and 4GB of RAM. Thanks to the large amount of RAM, experts found the phone fast enough for day-to-day activities. While the specs should be good enough to run almost every program smoothly, some experienced random freezes, reboots and long app load times.

The smaller 2500mAh battery provided mixed results. Some reviewers were able to get through a full day of use while others had to top it off mid-way through the day. To rub salt into the wound, it also does not come with quick charge, though the small size means it reaches full charge fairly quickly.

For shutterbugs, the 16MP rear camera offered critics good all-round performance thanks to built-in optical image stabilization. Thanks to the f/2.0 aperture, they could get good detail even in low light situations and excellent depth of field for pleasing background bokeh. In terms of video recording, it offers decent performance though it lacks 4K capture.

While a solid Android smartphone, many reviewers have a difficult time recommending the U Play due to its price tag, disappointing battery life and lack of headphone jack. Tech Radar states, “...the U Play doesn’t have that knockout punch in its locker to make people sit up and take notice.” adds, “This a phone that looks and feels expensive...but the closer you get, more and more of the little things you notice chip away its appeal.”

Operating system
2 GHz
Screen Size
16+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


For an average consumer, the HTC U Play is a decent choice worth considering, especially if you don’t need a lightning-quick phone, and you favour a good design and snappy camera above all else. However, if you crave more speed and an enduring battery life, you might be better off looking at o...

- Zayne Seah, VR-Zone
The Inquirer

Overall, the HTC U Play is fine. On the plus side, it looks stylish and takes good photos that look particularly bright on its HD display. However, its performance is on the slower side of average, the battery doesn't last the day, it's slippery as heck and it doesn't have a headphone port. For just...

- Holly Brockwell, The Inquirer

A solid mid-range phone that seems intended to be a good-looking all-rounder without reaching flagship price tags.

- Holly Brockwell, V3

HTC's U Play is a solid mid-range smartphone, but the competition now offers more. Users who find a high-tech headset, personal assistant, and high-resolution front camera convincing arguments will get a stylish smartphone. However, they will also have to accept the mediocre battery life and slightl...

- Florian Wimmer, Notebookcheck

The HTC U Play is a neat little device with striking looks and smooth all-round performance. It has a good display, the cameras are very capable, and battery life is not too shabby for such a small body. The phone will be going on sale in the second week of April, according to HTC. We weren't able t...

- Roydon Cerejo, NDTV

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

HTC released the U Play on February 22, 2017.

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the HTC U Play user manual here.

HTC backs up the U Play with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your U Play has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact HTC support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find HTC's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Quick view

Screen Size

The HTC U Play's screen size is 5.2 inches with x pixels resolution.

2 GHz

There is a MediaTek Helio P10 Octa core 2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

16+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 16+ megapixels resolution.

32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2500 mAh battery. HTC's performance ratings are 17 days standby time, 913 minutes, 473 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

U Play Specs

Release date February 22, 2017
Regions available United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
700/2100/800/850 /900/1800/2600/2300 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System No

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor MediaTek Helio P10 Octa core 2 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Manual, USB Power Adapter
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2500 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 514 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 473 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 913 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 17 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Brilliant Black, Cosmetic Pink, Ice White, Sapphire Blue
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.6 x 7.3 x 0.8 cm (5.8 x 2.9 x 0.3 in)
Weight 145 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology S-LCD 5
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 428 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
ƒ/ 2
16+ megapixels
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR, Voice activation, Scene mode, Exposure value
Video Recording Formats
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
16+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection, Panorama, Self-timer, Voice activation, HDR
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, AAC, WAV, M4A, OGG
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4, MKV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable ()
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments 64 GB storage version has 4 GB RAM.
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
HTC U Play Reviews
Where to buy HTC U Play
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