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HTC U Ultra Unboxing!

htc u ultra unboxing

The HTC U Ultra is supposed to arrive with the next week or so as an unlocked phone sold through HTC’s site. HTC hasn’t exactly shared the specific date with us, but has said that mid-March is the launch time frame. Since that could mean an arrival within a week, we decided it was time to start showing this device off to you, should you be one of the few interested.

To kick off our review period, we’re diving into an unboxing of the blue version of the HTC U Ultra (also comes in black, white, or pink). This is an international unlocked model, so just like the version sold through HTC’s site, it won’t work on anything in the US but AT&T and T-Mobile. 

As for specs, the U Ultra sports a 5.7-inch QHD display with secondary ticker, Snapdragon 821 processor, 64GB storage with SD support, 4GB RAM, 12MP UltraPixel 2 rear camera, 16MP front camera, 3000mAh battery, fingerprint reader, USB Type-C port, and Android 7.0 Nougat with HTC Sense on top.

The phone was originally announced in January and will arrive very soon for $749 on HTC’s store. No carriers have announced plans to carry the U Ultra. However, if you want to pick one up today, you can do so at places like eBay for substantial discounts. Seriously, the phone hasn’t officially launched in the US, yet here is a listing for $650, a $100 discount.

Anyways, onto the unboxing and then the review! Let us know if there is anything in particular you want us to dive into.

htc u ultra unboxing

  • ultimatewarrior

    This is a great device. Using it for a week, trust me its good. I am not a fan of phablet, but after using this phone everything else looks too small to me. It has a great display, good camera especially for low light photography, HTC Sense companion is good as well. The U sonic earphone, just used them all day while playing with the audio profile option on it…btw I was using the htc standard headphones which came with the M8 and now after using the new headphones all day its really hard to go back to the previous ones. the sound quality is superb and amazingly clear…better than the 3.5mm jack i would say… ps…tried it on another usb c device but it did not work (something to do with the new CDLA audio standards..)

  • Seriously though why so many disparaging comments? Personally I love the U Ultra, it ticks all the boxes that a top end device should and it looks great too. I don’t see the point in trashing something you’ve never tried (I’m assuming that applies to 90% of the “haters gonna hate” crew).

    It’s like saying a Ferarri is garbage because you can’t afford or you’ve never driven one. That kind of attitude/mentality really sucks.

  • Stylz Dream

    Just got mine and have been using it for about 24 hours now…the device is so fast…i am loving the secondary display…my homescreen is clutter-free..basically no icons at all.everything I want is right on top…and the camera is great too…i don’t know why so much negativity…HTC has done it right this tiime

  • Stylz Dream

    The phone looks awesome. it does stand out from its competitors. The Saphhire Blue color just caught my eye and from the launch video thats where my mind is.
    What if there is no headphone jack, the device comes with HTC USonic, I think this is the future. HTC U Ultra runs Android 7.0 Nougat. As a windows phone user for the past 5 years, I am kind of excited to try out Nougat. With all the latest technologies in the market, I think U Ultra is one of the best in market. Cant wait to get mine and I will share my unboxing story. All i can think is BLUE BLUE BLUE.

  • Ron Lunsford

    I was really excited to check out a real unboxing of the Ultra, but instead, just got the same specs that were published a while ago and someone’s opinions about a device that they used for an hour. Not quite what I was hoping for, but…Now the questions, being an import, is the AI onboard and installed on it? I heard early releases didn’t have it up and running yet, but it’d be interesting to know if Sense Companion is on there. Being a tech geek, we all know about the 835 coming in a month or two, but does the 821 provide a poor experience? I mean, I’ve never seen an 821 lagging by an stretch of the imagination. I’ve seen the Ultra in action, though it was only a demo, and it seemed pretty smooth over all, is that not the case with yours? Also, the camera is the same one that was heralded as the best smartphone camera ever just a few months ago. Has that changed?

    So moving on quickly since I don’t want to type a novel, though I may be too late already… Yes, there may be bigger, better, faster, stronger coming eventually, but after being burned by the Note 7 and disappointed by the Huawei devices at WMC, I’m pretty sure that the Ultra is going to find a home in my pocket this spring. Great camera (no I don’t really care about waterproofing) and a stellar experience is what I’m about and I think the Ultra will fill both of them nicely and replace my Note 5.

    Just my thoughts and if anyone wants to know more about why I’m going that route, just ask away in the replies…

  • rustybooty

    So would you say it’s a mix of LG V20 front with a S6 back?

    • Ian Fong

      I would say it’s HTC Ultra (Ultra big screen) on the front and HTC U on the back (literally, you look at the back and you see a reflection of you) =)

  • M3D1T8R

    You did a pretty good job of hiding the fact that you have some understandable dislike toward this device.

    Hey HTC, any idea on how many people would prefer a larger battery and no camera hump, vs an otherwise thinner device with huge camera hump and tiny battery?
    Answer: Almost everyone.

    No wireless charging but no headphone jack, so no way to charge while using annoying usb-c headphones. Again, if they’d included a 5Ah battery this would be a little less inexcusable. As is, it’s a nightmare.

    Everyone hates on the bezels, so HTC comes up with this brilliant engineering solution: Include a small secondary display where some of the big top bezel is! See, now it’s not just bezel, it’s functional space! Never mind that it still appears as having huge bezels. Never mind that that this is a feature almost no one is asking for. Hmm, big bezels but a nearly useless feature.. Maybe instead use some of that bezel to include a feature that people actually want, but what on earth could that be?? Dual front facing speakers, maybe? I know, it’s crazy revolutionary idea! Certainly not something a company like HTC would go out on a limb to try, right?? slash sarcasm.

    Okay, that’s enough. It’s been fun.

    • ultimatewarrior

      The battery life on the Ultra is pretty good. I have been using it on Battery for two days. I guess with battery saver it will last more. Would you prefer crappy audio than a headphone jack to listen to music when you charging the phone. The world’s first Type C dual adaptive audio, wasn’t possible over the decades-old 3.5mm headphone standard. This is a great innovation. Try those earphones, you will change your mind.

      • M3D1T8R

        I’m glad battery life has been good for you. How many hours screen on time?

        I’ll stick with my AT-50’s with their perfectly good “decades old” 3.5mm jack, thanks.

  • Bane✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I don’t know that the V10/V20 sells well enough to justify anyone copying the concept (footprint and secondary display). HTC just seems lost these days. Who’s steering the ship?

    I wanted a bigger HTC 10 LAST YEAR. This would have been a “go” for me then. In 2017, it just feels out of place.

    • David Martrano

      Who’s steering the ship? That would be Cher Wang-er and what a job she has done. She has taken a once great company and turned it into a bucket of crap! The Bolt and U are prime examples! How do you expect too compete with these offerings? Just sell it off to Google & get it over with!

  • The Doctor

    Why does this phone exist?

  • atc-tech

    You think THOSE bezels are bad? You should see the bezels on this Google Pixel phone thing that I keep seeing on Android Blogs… It has HUUUUGE Bezels, but doesn’t even have that little ticker screen thing to make it worth it or anything like that… (/s)

    • David Martrano

      I really don’t think consumers would have minded the bezals if there were 2 stereo speakers sitting there! But the bezals are useless! That’s why people call it the bezal XL!

  • atc-tech

    palm hit face… WTF HTC? I mean, we all knew like a year ago when this thing was announced that it would be bad… Now DL has one in hand and guess what, IT’S BAD!

    • David Martrano

      How many of these phones will sell at 750.00? They won’t be knocking any doors down with this offering. The S8 will be a hundred dollar more! Which do you prefer?

      • atc-tech

        Yeah. I prefer neither! LOL. But the general consumer is going to buy the S8, obviously. Becasue on their phone payment plan the cost is going to be like 26 a month vs. 30 a month or something like that…. so people are going to say “for $4 a month I’ll take the S8 with it’s better everything”

  • dabug91

    Ah, now I see why this phone is so expensive! Because a TPU case is included!

  • DanG

    OMG, S7 and V20 had an one-nightstand, and this was the result.

  • Orion

    And people are going to buy this because?

    • DanG

      Their ignorance.

    • Stylz Dream

      Its Awesome 😀

  • Michael Bassett

    Came here to say what everyone else is, the color is really nice. I would get a car in that color, very sexy. That said, a nice big BOOOORRING for the phone.

    • ultimatewarrior

      Have you tried the phone? Maybe you should. It has the fastest processor in the market, crystal clear audio (you have to try out the headphones, its pretty good), stunning design, excellent camera and also great battery life. What else are you looking for? People go for other phones and call it “amazing invention” when they change a screen size.

  • jak_341

    Let’s play a little game. You’ve just been appointed the head of HTC R&D and you are creating the next design. You know what you are up against: limited R&D resources and budget, little to no interest in your product, and an uncertain future overall.

    What’s your plan?

    • Make sure my hiring bonus is boatloads of company stock, convince Cher Wang to sell to Samsung.

      • illregal

        Gross.. If anything sell to google. No reason to have two sub par manufacturers with garbage disposable devices like samsung.

        • El_Big_CHRIS

          I agree to sell to Google, but not because it’s ‘gross’ but because Samsung doesn’t need it. But if Google bought them there’ll be no guarantee they’d keep them either

    • David Martrano

      My plan would be sell it off to Google! Then Google could bring back the Nexus line! Makes sense to me!

  • Steven

    I love the color. Too bad it is a fingerprint magnet… oh and all of the other problems the phone has that you described.

  • steadymobb

    Color is great but basically a hodgepodge of other company’s phones and not in a great way. Should be $500

    • David Martrano

      Would you rather have a phone that’s pretty and sexy or one that performs? As most men they would take pretty & sexy! I kinda like the performance end of it. And for 750.00 it better perform! I doubt this will be the case!!

  • sinfoman

    I don’t get this phone for all the reasons listed below, but that blue is pretty sexy. Similar to the sapphire black on my wife’s S6, but more blue. It’s pretty. Now if only it had a motor in it….

  • Daistaar

    Damn that S7 looks nice!

    • Hah!

    • DanG

      You meant the refresh of S7

    • Some might say it’s inspired by the HD2 from 2009.. Yeah i went there.

  • Brian Himes

    To Valhalla! All Shiny and Chrome!

    Literally all I think of when I see this damn thing.

  • needa

    Pretty phone.

  • T4rd
  • Jeff Springer

    Curious if you guys notice any light bleed from the area where the secondary display meets the primary display? I also bought the international model, unboxed it over on my Youtube channel and found some substantial issues with light bleed in that area and bottom left corner. Wondering if it is just my unit. Here’s my video so you can see what I mean: https://youtu.be/fclOYUyfxnE

    • We’ll certainly take a look!

    • MadMartigan

      If it’s anything like the V10/20, it’s because it’s all one screen and not AMOLED.

      • Jeff Springer

        My V20 has the issue too, but to a much lesser extent than the U Ultra. I think most people will be pretty upset with this level of light bleed if they pay a bunch of money for this phone.

        • MadMartigan

          Out of curiosity, why’d you get the U?

          • Jeff Springer

            I review Android phones on Youtube…so pretty much the same reason Droid Life did. Trust me, it was a tough decision to actually pay $800 for this phone.

          • MadMartigan

            I can imagine. 😀

        • Me

          Tha professor

  • MadMartigan

    So it’s an LG G6 with the fingerprint sensor on the front. *shrug*

    Been going between HTC and LG the past several years and they’ve actual;ly got me looking seriously at the S8.

    • I’d say more V20.

      • MadMartigan

        Using the v20 right now, so neither of these would be an upgrade.

        Haven’t had a Samsung since the S2. Looks like that might change this year.

        • hkklife

          V20 has a phenomenal DAC, a 3.5mm jack, a removable battery, and at least has solid carrier support behind it.

          • MadMartigan

            I’m with ya, though I really don’t care about bezels at all. I am definitely not part of the “no bezel” craze.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    No IP rating is madness in 2017. Gigantic phone with puny battery is madness in 2017. No headphone jack with no good reason other than copying Apple is madness in 2017 especially when no one else is doing it #youplayedyourself … In 2017.

    • But hey, Cher Wang expects users to see the value the U Ultra has.

      • David Martrano

        Doesn’t anyone have balls to stand up to CEO Cher Wang-er! Just look at what she has done to this one time great company! You are definitely the laughing stock of the Android world! One step forward 10 steps backwards!

    • Been using the phone for all of an hour and I’m struggling to see, to no one’s surprise, who is going to buy this phone. HTC already told us a Snapdragon 835 phone is coming, so that could mean in 4 or 5 months. Why buy this knowing that? The bezels are enormous. The phone is enormous. The ticker display is the same bad setup as the V10 and V20. There are zero carrier partners. The capacitive buttons are meh. It came with a cleaning cloth because the fingerprints are that bad. And yeah, no headphone jack. Oh, it’s only on 7.0 too.

      • Not to mention, I am positive that HTC stock apps haven’t seen a visual upgrade since the 2013 HTC One M7.

        • The skin definitely looks like it hasn’t changed in 3 years, yep.

        • MadMartigan

          Mail, gallery, browser are all “stock” google. It’s been that way for a while. Not sure when HTC dropped their replacement apps, but I’m pretty sure it was prior to the M9, if I am not mistaken.

          • Their phone, messages, weather app suck big time.
            1. The phone app doesn’t peek, it goes full screen no matter what. When I used to have HTC, I would accidentally answer (unwanted calls) or decline calls.
            2. They should just use Android Messages and ditch their stock offering. It’s horrible, looks dated.
            3. Weather always gave me “Weather Unavailable”. I tried sending numerous emails to the right department, and no fix would ever come.

            Sure, you might think these are small issues, but they annoy(ed) me.

          • MJ

            I used to own the unlocked HTC 10 (replaced my Nexus 5) and while the phone itself was great and it had minimal bloat but the stock apps did suck. I ended up installing numerous Google apps to replace what I could but it was obvious I needed to go back to stock Android so sold it when the Pixel XL came out.

          • I agree about messages, that’s what I have done on my 10. The weather issue may be due to your location settings. I have no problem with the weather app, but currently I’m running Nova which uses the Google weather app/info.

          • It was at the release of the the A9.

        • Several HTC stock apps no longer exist. HTC has made an effort to reduce bloat by getting rid of duplicate apps. Google provides a solid app in Google Photos, so the HTC gallery is gone. That’s just one example but the music player is gone as well. Sense has been improved, since the M7 no doubt, but I’m sure you were just exaggerating.

          • I detailed in another comment which apps are the one that are still dated, yet used by HTC.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Just bad decision after bad decision…After bad decision. I did see the 835 rumors but by that time People are going to be buying the G6, S8 and the rest are waiting for Pixel, iPhone and Note 8…. HTC is going to get slaughtered this year.

      • MadMartigan

        “the same bad setup as the V10 and V20.”

        You’re…using it wrong? 😉

        I’ve gotten some good use out of the second-display in the car (I know, niche use case) for switching tracks or initiating calls from it while GPS had the main screen. Far less button-mashing, which is good when driving. (But probably still too much to be really safe…I know, I’m a bad person)

      • MichaelFranz

        That blue though is nice. That’s about all i have to say. ……………..NEXT

      • Rashad

        Thanks for the review. That has to be a record for Droid-Life lol.

        • Always here to help hah.

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      • Bane✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        “…Same bad setup as the V10 and V20”. How so? I rather like the secondary display on my V20. Aside from the always on notifications, it gives me full time access to quick toggles (which I actually use). It also comes in incredibly handy when I’m using the phone, offloading notifications so they don’t distract me from what I’m doing (banners) and the extra options when you’re in a phone call. I find it to be an incredibly useful feature, not a gimmick. Sure, the G6 has an always on display without the second screen, but it doesn’t handle the on-screen notifications as well.

        That said, I’m sure HTC’s implementation is nowhere near as functional.

      • Stylz Dream

        Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor is the latest available and HTC U Ultra is the fastest currently on the market. Technologies change fast these days. New things come out every month and that doesn’t mean you are going to stay phoneless.

      • Ian Fong

        From my opinion, the phone is not for everyone and it doesn’t need to be. With so many phones on the market, there doesn’t need to be a phone that fits everyone (unless you are like Apple though they are starting to move away from that). This phone offers compelling features to those that love a larger display (something that I think is one of the top features), stunning design, quality audio, and eventually AI. These are all the features that I can’t find in other premium android phones. The design is better than the Pixel, audio is the best out of any phone I’ve tried, and the display is crisp and vibrant.

        Some of the concerns that you’ve mentioned are for those who are power users, tech savy, and spec focused. The processor runs smoothly (which is the same processor as the Pixel) and performs well even for a power user like me. The bezel-less design is nice to have but it doesn’t add any more functionality. The capacitive buttons are response and super fast so not sure what you are referring too. Carrier partnerships are no longer really needed. The headphone jack is something that people like or don’t like. Technology is moving forward to wireless products and I think this phone only follows that advancement in technology.

    • David Martrano

      HTC, what’s a matter you! 750.00 you say. I say a little overpriced! Which is better this or maybe the Bolt for 600.00 with the fabulous 810 processor! You should be ashamed, embarrassing yourself & the Android community with these offerings! Yikesssss!!

  • tnt

    It sure looks like you’re sticking your tongue out at us in that main device photo… 😛