HTC's new U Ultra and U Play flagship phones launching in end February and early March

The HTC U Ultra (left) will be released on Feb 25 at $898, while the U Play will be released in March and costs $548.
The HTC U Ultra (left) will be released on Feb 25 at $898, while the U Play will be released in March and costs $548.ST PHOTO: LESTER HIO
The HTC U Ultra (left) will be released on Feb 25 at $898, while the U Play will be released in March and costs $548.
The HTC U Ultra (left) will be released on Feb 25 at $898, while the U Play will be released in March and costs $548.ST PHOTO: LESTER HIO
The 5.7" U Ultra phablet, available from Feb 25, features a quad HD screen and comes with a dual-screen setup - an always on bar on the top right filled with customisable shortcuts or notification alerts.
The 5.7" U Ultra phablet, available from Feb 25, features a quad HD screen and comes with a dual-screen setup - an always on bar on the top right filled with customisable shortcuts or notification alerts.ST PHOTO: LESTER HIO

SINGAPORE - HTC's 2017 flagship phones - the U Ultra and U Play - will be launched here in February and March respectively.

The U Ultra will cost $898 while the U Play will retail at $548, without contract. Their availability at the telcos will be announced in due time.

The 5.7-inch U Ultra phablet, available from Feb 25, features a quad high-definition screen and comes with a dual-screen setup, in which the handset has an always-on bar above the main screen that is filled with customisable shortcuts or notification alerts.

The device's back camera is a 12MP lens with HTC's own UltraPixel technology for low-light situations. Its front camera is a 16MP lens also with an UltraPixel mode. 

Gone are the metal unibody of the previous HTC flagships - the U line features a curved glass body that contours round the entirety of the phone's back.

HTC's other phone, the U Play, is designed to be a smaller flagship and lacks the dual-screen setup of the U Ultra. It comes with a 5.2-inch full HD screen, as well as 16MP rear and front cameras.

The U Play will be launched in March.

Both phones will run on the Android 7.0 mobile operating system with HTC Sense user interface.

HTC also unveiled its own artificial intelligence software, dubbed HTC Companion. The software makes its debut on both U phones.

HTC Companion will learn from user habits and, over time, make suggestions, such as the best route to take to work or recommend restaurants nearby.

Both phones have also done away with the 3.5mm headphone jack, much like Apple's iPhone 7.  HTC's president of smartphones and connected devices Mr Chang Chia-Lin said it was a necessary move for one of the line's latest audio features, the USonic earphones.

The earphones, which come bundled with the phones, have a sonar feature that map out the inside of the user's ears and adjust audio frequencies to suit individual ears, which can only be done through the phone's USB-C port. Fitting a 3.5mm jack would also cause the phone to be thicker and less symmetrical, said Mr Chang.