X

HTC U Ultra and Play shine on in glass

Two phones. Four colors. Lots of ooh la la.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Jessica Dolcourt
htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-02.jpg
1 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

HTC knows how to make a good-looking phone, and the HTC U Ultra and U Play are gorgeous in glass.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-18.jpg
2 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Inspired by water, HTC wanted to make phones that felt liquid and deep.

htc-u-ultra-product-16.jpg
3 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The U Ultra, left, is larger than the U Play.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-21.jpg
4 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The reflective phones capture and scatter light in four colors: white, pink, blue and black.

htc-u-ultra-product-19.jpg
5 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Here's another look.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-16.jpg
6 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The quality of light changes the phones' color.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-01.jpg
7 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

But it's the phones' second screen at the top and AI software inside that sets the U Ultra and U Play apart.

htc-u-ultra-product-13.jpg
8 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You can see subtle reminders, like to get the milk.

htc-u-ultra-product-7.jpg
9 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

And you swipe among screens as a shortcut to your top apps.

htc-u-ultra-product-12.jpg
10 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The weather alert.

htc-u-ultra-product-8.jpg
11 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Here's what a calendar notification looks like.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-27.jpg
12 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

You'll do some settings setup to get started.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-25.jpg
13 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

You can choose everything from the music player to the weather, but I have a feeling that less is more.

htc-u-ultra-product-11.jpg
14 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The phones run on Android 7.0.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-24.jpg
15 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The Play has stepped down specs -- for example, its 16-megapixel camera isn't going to be as sharp as the Ultra's 12-"Ultrapixel" shooter, HTC said.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-03-2.jpg
16 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

You'll be able to see the U Ultra and U Play from even more angles in the next slides, including how reflective and smudgy the phone gets.

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-03.jpg
17 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-04.jpg
18 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-05.jpg
19 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-06.jpg
20 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-07.jpg
21 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-08.jpg
22 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-09.jpg
23 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-10.jpg
24 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-11.jpg
25 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-12.jpg
26 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-13.jpg
27 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-14.jpg
28 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-15.jpg
29 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-17.jpg
30 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-20.jpg
31 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-22.jpg
32 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-23.jpg
33 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-and-htc-u-play-19.jpg
34 of 48 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-2.jpg
35 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-3.jpg
36 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-4.jpg
37 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-5.jpg
38 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-6.jpg
39 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-9.jpg
40 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-14.jpg
41 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-15.jpg
42 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-18.jpg
43 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-17.jpg
44 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-20.jpg
45 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-21.jpg
46 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product.jpg
47 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

htc-u-ultra-product-10.jpg
48 of 48 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There's no headphone jack and no water-resistant coating on either phone, but there is that gorgeous body and all that AI. Read our hands-on impressions of the HTC U Ultra and U Play.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
Do You Know About These 17 Hidden iOS 17 Features?
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

Do You Know About These 17 Hidden iOS 17 Features?

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos