We’re dusting off the rumour mill and getting into position for 2017. The first to emerge in this year’s race is the HTC U Ultra. Typically, all you normally get this early would indeed be rumours. HTC made the unusual move of just saying “feck it” and announcing their latest flagship altogether.

What are the talking points of the HTC U Ultra?

Straight of the bat, most people will be talking about the earphone situation. Remember the furore Apple created by removing the 3.5mm jack? Well, HTC has wandered straight into the same battle. Now Apple received a lot of grief from the public over the 3.5mm jack. But HTC refused to learn from someone else’s mistakes. Behold.

Pink HTC U Ultra

We’ve opted for HTC’s stock images here for one very good reason. You can now search every inch of the phone yourself looking for that 3.5mm headphone jack. You won’t find one. HTC are instead shifting priority towards wireless audio. Don’t worry, HTC hasn’t gone as batshit crazy as Apple did with AirPods. For HTC U Ultra users, your future is full of USB-C and Bluetooth headphones.

Secondary screen

It’s not a completely new concept to have a secondary screen. Samsung has something similar with their Edge range, but HTC goes farther. The secondary screen is two inches wide. It’s handy to have, but ultimately, the secondary screen does nothing too exciting. The screen acts a shortcut for favourite contacts and shows you notifications. The best you can hope from here is Spotify controls, but that’s pretty cool.

htc-u-ultra-PDP-Dual-Screen…but it does come with an assistant

Perhaps Siri made assistants cool, but the Google Assistant that came with the Pixel made them cool. Known for their custom Sense software, the HTC U Ultra will launch with Sense Companion. There’s still not too much known about that, but it’s something we’ll be keeping an eye out for.

The HTC U Ultra in numbers

Now, for the more traditional numbers game that accompanies a new phone launch.

Display

The new HTC boasts a whopping 5.7-inch screen. That’s bigger than the already massive Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge screen. Add to that the secondary screen, and you have more than enough screen real estate to play with. Slightly worrying is the 3000 mAh battery that powers the whole thing.

Power

That’s not a huge battery and that is a huge screen. This is usually a terrible combination. One the plus side, you do have Fast Charge 3.0 for when you do get stuck. There’s no wireless charging option which is now a genuine problem. When you charge wirelessly, you can use the USB-C port for headphones – a benefit should Samsung go down the same route.

Cameras

The HTC U Ultra be capable of shooting glorious shots through the primary 12 MP camera. As has been the case for a few years now, HTC opted for Ultra-pixel technology again. In an unusual move, the front-facing “selfie” camera is actually even better. This camera boasts 16 MP, again using Ultra-pixel technology.

Memory

HTC will be shipping their 2017 flagship in both 64GB and 128GB units. Expandable memory will allow you to add up to 2TB of memory by Micro-SD.

Price, as is the norm, will be dictated by the model you choose. If you were to pick out a 64GB HTC U Ultra, you’d be shelling out about €700. By no means a cheap handset, but the real question remains – is it a great handset? Unfortunately, while it’s just been announced, you’ll have to wait until March at the earlier to get your hands on one.