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HTC U Ultra review

6.8/10 AVG.

  • HTC U Ultra
  • HTC U Ultra
  • HTC U Ultra
  • HTC U Ultra

Informr score
The HTC U Ultra currently has an Informr score of 6.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 33 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Great looks
  • Blazing performance
  • Plenty of storage
  • Large, bright display
  • Powerful audio
  • Bloat-free Android experience
  • QuickCharge 3.0

What's bad

  • Poor low-light camera performance
  • No headphone jack or adapter
  • Overall value versus the competition

The new line of HTC devices are turning heads. In their usual style, the HTC Ultra U offers a look you won’t find anywhere else paired with a respectable set of specs. But this doesn’t always mean success for HTC.

Is their glossy new phablet worth the investment? Reviews are in and we’ve read them all to bring you this summary!

Reviews on the looks of the U Ultra’s all-glass back and slim design are overwhelmingly positive. They particularly loved the sapphire color. While many worried about fingerprints on the gloss finish, most found the phone exceptionally easy to wipe clean. Phone Scoop called the phone “absolutely gorgeous.” After a week of regular use, PC Magazine noted, “the phone didn't pick up any scratches despite sharing a pocket with keys and loose change.”

One issue that is still dividing reviewers is the lack of headphone jack. HTC also doesn’t include a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, so you’ll need to use the headphones included or buy an adapter separately. Fortunately, the included USonic earbuds received great reviews.

Heading around front, you’re greeted with a 5.7-inch 1440-by-2560 display. There’s also a secondary display tucked next to the camera to show notifications. Reviewers found that the feature worked well, but they often forgot to use it. Recombu summed up opinions of the display well, calling it “nothing short of stunning at any angle.”

The only complaint found was from Pocket Lint. They noted, “When scrolling through text when in night mode, there's obvious red ghosting which we find distracting - especially if you're flicking through a website or menu.”

Using the same processor as most early-2017 flagships--the 2.15Ghz Snapdragon 821--the U Ultra received no complaints for performance either. Good Gear Guide said, “Everything flies along as fast as you’d hope and responsiveness is almost instant.”

That said, the 2K display and powerful processor appeared to take their toll on battery life. While many flagships can last a day plus on a single charge, reviewers found their phones only lasted a full day. Though it did so with a little room to spare even under heavy use. The 3,000mAh battery is also QuickCharge 3.0 compatible, offering a full charge in just over an hour with the included charger.

HTC is known for their subtle hand at skinning Android. Their latest Sense UI running on top of Android 7.0 Nougat is no exception. Reviewers were pleased with the clean look and lack of bloatware.

The phone is available with either 64 or 128GB of storage. Should you need more, the microSD slot makes it easy to add up to 2TB of storage space in seconds.

HTC is touting their UltraPixel cameras with their newest line of phones. The U Ultra comes with a 12MP rear camera and a 16MP front-facing selfie lens. Indian Express summed up the general opinion on camera quality, saying, “While the HTC UltraPixel branding doesn’t mean much for the ordinary consumer, as far as smartphone cameras go this does an excellent job when you have great lighting.”

Unfortunately, in low light, many reviewers felt the camera couldn’t keep up with similarly priced competitors.

One of the features that always stands out on HTC phones is the audio experience. Their new phablet doesn’t disappoint here either. While the mono speaker received so-so reviews, reviewers loved the included earbuds and the audio quality offered by their HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi processing.

In the end, the biggest concern for most reviewers was the price. Tom’s Guide summed up the overall opinion in their verdict, saying, “But with a starting price of $749, subpar battery life and a digital assistant that’s not yet ready for its debut, the U Ultra is an alluring phone I wish HTC had spent a little more time polishing.” However, if you can find a good deal, reviews indicate the phone holds its weight against the best of best in early 2017.

Operating system
2.15 GHz
Screen Size
12+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

Gadgets Now

We’ll say that we were very happy with the phone’s performance and the flagship device didn’t leave us disappointed in any way. We’d recommend it, despite the high price tag.

- Avani Bagga, Gadgets Now

I always enjoy new HTC products; I think they make a fine device that offers an excellent experience. The U Ultra is no different, although you should probably be careful when handling it. While I'll recommend HTC products any day of the week, I just don't see why you would pick this one over the tw...

- Rich Woods, Neowin
Talk Android

All in all, the U Ultra is an excellent phone. The biggest thing it has against it at this point is HTC’s unwillingness to market its devices properly. The smartphone market is full of fierce competition, and year after year, HTC just seemingly cannot keep up. The U Ultra is a phenomenal phone...

- Brad Ward, Talk Android
Tech Advisor

HTC has confused me with this phone. The HTC 10 fixed the problems of the One M9 but the U Ultra is a Frankenstein device. When a phone gives a better impression powered off than on, you know you’re in trouble. It’s not a bad phone full stop, but it does a lot to an unacceptably middling...

- Henry Burrell, Tech Advisor

There are too many problems with the HTC U Ultra for me to recommend it. It has a larger-than-average screen that will appeal to those who prefer big phones, but I see no reason to purchase this handset over alternatives like the LG V20 and Huawei Mate 9. The U Ultra is a massive handset, far b...

- Tim Schiesser, TechSpot

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

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

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

If your U Ultra 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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Screen Size

The HTC U Ultra's screen size is 5.7 inches with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution.

2.15 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Quad core 2.15 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 7.0 Nougat (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo) operating system (OS).

12+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

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

64/128 GB

Internal memory is 64/128 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), 3000 mAh battery. HTC's performance ratings are 1560 minutes, 519 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

U Ultra Specs

Release date February 22, 2017
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Quad core 2.15 GHz
Internal Storage 64/128 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.03 W/kg
Body: 0.68 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 464 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 519 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1560 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 13 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] 16.2 x 8 x 0.8 cm (6.4 x 3.2 x 0.3 in)
Weight 170 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology S-LCD 5
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels
Pixel density 513 pixels
Size 5.7 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, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, Curved edge 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) Unknown
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
DLNA Support Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
ƒ/ 1.8
12+ megapixels
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Panorama, Self-timer, White balance, HDR, Slow motion recording, Scene mode, Exposure value
Video Recording Formats
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 0 fps, up to 0 minutes
Front Camera
16+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Panorama, Self-timer, HDR, Voice activation
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, OGG, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MKV, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
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
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments

Sapphire glass available on the front glass panel with the 128 GB Sapphire Glass Edition HTC U Ultra.
Also available in Dual SIM version.

Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
HTC U Ultra Reviews
Where to buy HTC U Ultra
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