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HTC ‘Ocean Note’ Likely to Launch as HTC U Ultra, Headphone Jack Ditched

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Recently tweeted out by @OnLeaks, who has been known to post up reliable intel in the past, the upcoming smartphone launch from HTC will be for the U Ultra. Codenamed the Ocean Note, it is one of three potential devices from HTC for the first portion of 2017. 

Information said to be from an unverified source, the U Ultra will feature a 6″ display, but no 3.5mm headphone jack. Providing just a USB Type-C port, HTC is following in the footsteps of courageous companies such as Apple, Moto, and LeEco. Considering HTC used to be known for taking audio on smartphones quite seriously, the expulsion of the headphone jack is quite ironic.


We’ll likely hear everything we need to know on January 12 when HTC hosts their event. In the meantime, let’s hear your thoughts on this 3.5mm jack situation. Is HTC making a really bad move with its removal?

Via: @OnLeaks
  • Honestly, right now a headphone jack is a luxury rather than a necessity for me. 95% of the time I listen to music off my phone it’s in my truck or with bluetooth headphones. I only use my headphones at work when I want to watch or hear something off my phone and don’t want people around me to hear. But if ditching it is all for the sake of “thinness,” it is so stupid since I would rather have a thicker phone with a ginormous battery than the thinnest phone possible.

  • jshep23

    I hope that HTC KEEPS the Headphone Jack. They should not let what Apple and the FALSE future hinder their sound performance.

  • Marc Perrusquia

    Hopefully this is finally a 6″ flagship, was hoping with the name “ultra” they would make it a 6.44″ display but at those point even a 6″ screen will make me happy.

  • Mike Menlo

    I definitely think so. I use it all the time. HTC10, it has good sound – for a phone. High-end headphones, though, sound like a real stereo sounds. I know many ear bud makers are going Bluetooth, but I still prefer the plug.

  • Shadowstare

    I love HTC. I’m a HTC Defender and Supporter. But there is no way hell I want a 6 inch phone with or one without a headphone jack. Nope nope Nope. I hope there’s a market for it for HTC’s sake. But I ain’t it.

  • Odellpi

    For me the loss of the 3.5 jack is not a big deal for me. I do everything Bluetooth. To lose the jack means slimmer phone. Just my opinion.

  • The Dude

    The only way losing the headphone jack makes any sense is if it translates to a bigger battery and longer life on said battery.

  • TylerCameron

    Dammit, Apple!

  • Me

    If I could get a remake of the 1520 or N6 running Nougat, I’d be in heaven.

    • Marc Perrusquia

      I’ve gone through most of the Flagships since the Nexus 6 was released and the screens were just too small. So dug my Nexus 6 out, installed Pure Nexus, which is running 7.1.1 Nougat, the latest security build, and have ElementalX installed. So I have my super high brightness mod which forces the AMOLED display to overpower to 500 nitts, have the 805 overclocked to 3ghz, and have the speakers boosted a bit. It’s not quite as fast as my HTC 10, but it’s faster than my S7 Edge was stock, and almost as fast as my 6p on Pure Nexus with the same mods. Only problem is with all these mods the battery dies pretty fast, but the Nexus 6 is still a hell of a phone.

  • Sporttster

    Won’t be buying any phones without a headphone jack…..

  • Anoneyemou5e

    How will this work with NextRadio, where you have to use the headphones as an antenna? Or that little click button adaptor that gives your phone an extra button for custom actions? (Seriously, I thought it was cool at 1st, bought 2, used one for about an hour….) But the NextRadio app does seem to be gaining steam. So that part of the question I’m serious about

  • John

    They should strive to the most courageous and remove the phone itself.

  • atc-tech

    Yes, they are making a bad move. It can’t possibly save enough room inside the case and engineering effort to take it out. There does not appear to be any reason at all to do it. Apple did it so they can sell more AirPods and lighting to 3.5mm connectors. Anyone who doesn’t understand that is a fool. So, why are other manufacturers following this lame trend!?

    What is in it for HTC if we have to go choose from the 1,000 available adapters for USB-C to 3.5mm? Or if we buy 1 of 1000000 available bluetooth headphones (which we obviously don’t want, since we’re using 3.5mm jacks still). Apple people will buy Airpods because the guy at the Apple store told them that they work best with their iPhone. Android doesn’t work that.

    Android works like this: If you SOMEHOW manage to convince the guy at the Verizon or ATT store that you’re NOT going to get the iphone 7, then they’ll just toss your “piece of crap” android phone box at you and tell you good luck with it. They might show you the 2 different cases they have in stock for it… just because they get a cut of accessory sales (probably 10%).

    They probably won’t even KNOW if the phone has a 3.5mm jack or not. They’ve most likely never seen one out of the box longer than it takes to activate it and throw it out the door.

    So, what is the point? Why take away the 3.5mm jack when people are going to use it? Premium headphone manufacturers aren’t making all USB-C headphones with no 3.5mm jacks. So, when Grado, Sennheiser, and whoever else all start selling USB-C headphones in lieu of 3.5mm, then you can take it out of phones. Until then, why are you doing it? To be like Apple/iPhone? That’s just stupid. I just don’t get it.

  • Suicide_Note

    So long, headphone jack. Time for people to embrace wireless headphones.

    • Marc Perrusquia

      Wireless headphones will never match a good wired set.

  • YuCMi

    Does HTC want to remain irrelevant that badly?

  • VAVAMk_2

    Fu<k courage

  • DanG
  • Orion

    Thanks apple! Smh

  • Tyler Durden
    • TriguyRN

      It’s going to be unusable if they don’t shrink the bezels. Even the Nexus 6 is huge with its super small bezels.

      • Marc Perrusquia

        You must have tiny hands. The Nexus 6 is too small, my Z Ultra with a 6.44″ and bezels way bigger than HTC’s was the perfect size. I’ve been using all these tiny 5-5.7″ flagships ever since. The Z Ultra ruined me.

  • sc0rch3d

    will this be a preview of the pixel 2? if G is really serious about hardware, i don’t think it would jump mfg every year. on top of that, could HTC develop 2 separate flagship phones?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      I doubt this is a flagship – It’s too early in the year. I think it’s a new line altogether probably replacing the Desire line…but I don’t really know anything.

  • BobButtons

    To me, I’m still not understanding the benefits of ditching the headphone jack. I see it as placing a huge object in the middle of the road without explanation. When people question the person on it, they say “Well, it’s no big deal. There are multiple ways to drive around it.” All I think is, so? That doesn’t help at all explain the benefits of it happening in the first place. I’m not saying there aren’t any and I’d probably adapt and deal without it, but so far all explanations for dropping it are describing ways to overcome the obstacle, not explain why the obstacle needs to exist.

    • sc0rch3d

      there’s got to be an accessory agenda. we would be ignorant to think (at least once) there’s a back room conversation between OEM’s and accessory makers like “ok dude, you should totally ditch the headphone jack and push my wireless headphones. I’ll give you 10% of my profits.”

      • ChrisI

        wouldn’t doubt it for a second.

      • T4rd

        That makes sense for Apple since they use a proprietary Lightning cable/jack that every accessory OEM has to pay license fees for. It doesn’t make sense for USB-C devices where OEMs see no such benefit other than the exponentially smaller subset of people who buy their specific overpriced USB-C headphones/adapters. Because it makes no sense to buy their branded headphones/adapters, when there are other comparable ones out there that offer a much better value.

        • sc0rch3d

          I agree, but it can be marketed. If HTC puts Steph Curry or Lebron holding the phone wearing Bose or Beats headphones….

    • RIP_HTC_Moto_LG_SONY

      HTC should just go bankrupt and stop its Apple-mocking struggles.

      • Xappleuser

        Sorry that you feel that way. I currently have an Moto x pure. Great phone. Everybody has their own opinions I guess. Never did like the OS software. But that’s just me. Glad you like iPhones.

      • Mike Menlo

        I’ve had the three latest top HTC phones, and loved them. Solid, reliable, flexible … Had a couple two years and battery had no noticeable decrease in performance … Good speakers, straight-forward interface, awesome (large print-worthy) cameras – and I’m very hard to please, there. Still offering steel-bodied phones, water resistant – and they don’t “own” you, make you buy your apps from them, limit your control over phone features/services …

    • Sarachall

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  • Guest

    headphone jack doing the floppy disc in the trash heap of history

    • Collin James

      The floppy disk was replaced with something better, though. This is just taking away something that is still relevant.

  • tnt

    In a year or two having a headphone jack will be a marketing point. Whoever keeps it will advertise themselves as having the courage to keep it. Then maybe the trend will shift back… That’s my hope anyway!

    That, or there will be some revolution in wireless / bluetooth technology that truly makes having the jack obsolete; as opposed to now, when dropping the jack is change just for the sake of change.

    • Armaced

      I don’t think so, unfortunately. I suspect headphone jacks will be similar to removable batteries, expandable SD card slots, and physical keyboards.
      Most people don’t care, some people don’t want them, and some people insist on them. Slowly, the people that insist on them will tire of denying themselves the best phones based on one or two litmus features, which will slowly remove the demand until everyone just accepts the feature as no-longer obtainable.

      Personally, I would give up all of those features for a physical hang-up (End) button. Luckily, my Galaxy S7 does pretty well with the accessibility feature that makes the power button an End button, since it also has a physical home button to wake up the phone when I am on a call. I suspect that will be gone in the S8 and my dream will be dead again.

    • hkklife

      Agreed, just like how the trend was in 2015 and 2014 to remove microSD slots. LG did away with microSD AND removable battery for the G2 and brought them both back with a flourish with the G3. Samsung ditched microSD for the GS6 and Note 5 and brought it back for the GS7. Moto dropped microSD for the Moto X 2013 and 2014 then brought it back, first on the low-end devices and then for good in 2015 across the lineup.

      I wouldn’t sweat HTC removing the headphone jack because HTC themselves will be removed from the marketplace in a year or so! I am glad to see them finally releasing a phone with a man-sized sceen. They’ve been totally quiet in that realm since the One Max several years ago.

      Dumping removable batteries is nothing more than forced obsolescence, just like dumping microSD slots is pushing cloud storage agendas and tiered data plans. Dumping 3.5mm jacks is a ploy to sell new accessories and, more importantly, lock down all of the content and remove the last vestige of the analog ecosystem that cannot be DRM’d.

      • Me

        Ironic enough, the G2 is still considered their best phone. Maybe they should remove both for the G6.

        • Marc Perrusquia


      • Marc Perrusquia

        They didn’t really get rid of them with the G2 the Optimus G before it didn’t have them, and the South Korean version of the G2 had a removable 2600 mAh battery, micro SD, and a TV antenna.

    • Daistaar

      What is this, MicroSD Cards? lol

  • But on another note: I hope they have a good marketing this year. It was sad to see the HTC 10 being forgotten by almost everyone. I think it was a great phone.

  • With companies ditching the headphone jack, I have a bad feeling about the next Pixel.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Part of the rumor was that there would be 2 other phones launched at this event? Or maybe I misread. I don’t keep up with Rumors as much as I used to. But I’m intrigued if this is something brand new like the “leaked” video showed.

  • Cael

    “In the meantime, let’s hear your thoughts on this 3.5mm jack situation. Is HTC making a really bad move with its removal?”

    The Bolt didn’t have a headphone jack so not really a surprise.