HTC Announces Exit From Entry-Level Smartphone Segment; Launches U Play & U Ultra Starting Rs. 40,000!
Taiwanese consumer electronics company, HTC, failed to make a buzz in the Indian market with its innovation and high-end smartphones. The company couldn’t price the phones attractively and the consumers had much better options at cheaper prices.
With such stiff competition from Chinese smartphone players, and even Korean phone makers, LG and Sony decided to exit from the entry-level segment. Now, HTC is also joining the bandwagon, as this will lead to more focus on high-end and mid-range smartphones.
HTC has also launched two new premium segment smartphones – U Play and U Ultra. The phones have been launched to take on the likes of Apple iPhone 7, Google Pixel and Samsung S7 series.
Take a look at the specifications below –
HTC U Play Specifications
- 5.2-inch qHD super LCD display with Gorilla Glass
- Octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 SoC, 4GB of RAM coupled with 64GB ROM(expandable using microSD card of upto 2TB)
- 16MP primary camera with BSI sensor and phase detection autofocus, 16MP front camera with ultra pixel mode and BSI sensor
- 2,500mAh battery, Android Nougat 7.0
- 4G LTE ready, Bluetooth v4.2, USB 2.0 Type-C port, fingerprint sensor
HTC U Ultra Specifications
- 5.7-inch full HD super LCD display with Gorilla Glass 5, Secondary 2-inch display
- Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, 4GB of RAM coupled with 64GB ROM(expandable using microSD card of up to 2TB)
- 12MP ultra-pixel primary camera with BSI sensor, OIS and phase detection autofocus, 16MP front camera with ultra pixel mode and BSI sensor
- 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, Android Nougat 7.0
- HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi stereo speakers, Hi-Res audio support
- 4G LTE ready, Bluetooth v4.2, USB 3.1 Type-C port, fingerprint sensor
HTC U Play has been priced at Rs. 39,990 and HTC U Ultra has been priced at Rs. 59,990. The former will be available from mid-March while the latter will be available in the Indian market from March 6, in Black, White, Pink and Blue colours.
The secondary display on U Ultra is a nice addition, but similar to LG V20. However, no one has been able to use it for the intended purposes, and it tends to become an extra on the front panel.
Can this change HTC’s fortune in India?
HTC U Ultra seems to have pretty good features, but at around Rs. 60,000, it sounds like a decent deal. The features are pretty similar to a Pixel smartphone, except there is no AMOLED display and the battery is small.
However, the smartphone does have excellent cameras, a good internal spec sheet and overall a good design. HTC should have priced it at least Rs. 5,000 lower to make a splash in the market, but at this price range it might be a miss. People will either go for the Pixel of the iPhone.
HTC U Play looks and feels like a dud at this price point. There are so many smartphones with similar features under Rs. 30,000. This kind of phone could have been good for 2016, but 2017 smartphones are going to get cheaper and more loaded.
Again, HTC is not able to price its smartphones well, and considering competitors have reached a steady stage of sales, it will be difficult to make a comeback if the company continues to focus on just the premium segment.