TECH

HTC U Ultra And U Play Will Use 'AI' To Organise Your Life

Meet your very own PA.

12/01/2017 16:39

HTC has unveiled two visually stunning smartphones called the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play.

With a polished back and big colourful 5.7 and 5.2-inch displays on the front these are not subtle pieces of technology.

The Huffington Post UK

Those polished glass backs come courtesy of something HTC calls Liquid Glass. It’s a process that has apparently taken the company two years to develop and we’ll be honest the effects are impressive.

What sets them apart from their rivals though isn’t just the way they look but the way in which they operate.

Rather than create its own personal assistant like Google Assistant or Siri, HTC decided to implement the technology in a totally different way.

Instead it would place it silently inside each of its core apps: Phone, Contacts, and Notifications.

The phone apparently uses you behaviours to adjust these apps so they felt more in tune with what you.

The Huffington Post UK

The second screen on the HTC U Ultra for example can show you contacts you’re most likely to speak to.

You can pick these manually, but the U Ultra will also be able to help change it over time as it learns the people you speak to the most, whether it’s over the phone or over text.

It also uses its awareness of the outside to help you plan your day. If you’ve set a weekly work alarm and there’s a bank holiday coming up, the U Ultra/Play will ask if you want to disable it.

If the weather is terrible for that day it will remind you to take an umbrella. These aren’t particularly groundbreaking features but all combined it creates a seamless babysitting experience, for good or for bad.

The Huffington Post UK

The U Ultra and U Play are not without their controversies as well. HTC has sided with Apple and ditched the headphone jack, instead opting for a single USB-C port on the bottom.

We’ll be honest we find this decision more than a little baffling, as while Apple’s decision was controversial, there were some legitimate hardware decisions that helped back it up.

After having spent some time with the U Ultra we’re still wondering why, there certainly aren’t an over-abundance of USB-C headphones yet and Apple has its W1 chip to help ease its customers into the world of wireless headphones. 

Also, and this will annoy some, a standard headphone adaptor will not come for free with either phone, so you’ll have to pay if you want one.

The headphones you do get with both do admittedly sound impressive. Called HTC USonic, these USB-C headphones apparently intelligently create a sound map of your inner ear, adjusting the audio to be tailored specifically for you.

The Huffington Post UK

If the idea of a smartphone that will help run your life for you appeals then the smartphones will be available from early February with pricing still to be confirmed.

Best Smartphones You Can Buy Right Now

  • Apple iPhone 7
    Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
    This is Apple’s best iPhone ever, and if we’re honest it’s one of their most innovative devices yet. It has an incredible camera, is water-resistant and boasts a stunning bright new display. Of course it can’t escape the rumours surrounding next year’s device but if you’re looking to buy a smartphone right now, and Apple are on your radar, this is the phone for you.
  • Google Pixel
    The Huffington Post UK
    This is Google’s iPhone. It’s that simple. As such there are achievements and compromises. If you’re after an incredibly well-built, powerful Android flagship, Google have given you a truly five-star smartphone. If you’re a photographer, the Pixel’s camera and cloud storage option make this a no brainer. It's not cheap though, with the XL costing over £800.
  • OnePlus 3T
    The Huffington Post UK
    The OnePlus 3T is simply a continuation of the ethos that makes OnePlus phones so good. It’s exceptionally well-built, powerful and offers you everything you could want in an affordable and meaningful package. No smartphone will give you more value for money.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    Bloomberg via Getty Images
    With a new curved back and larger 5.5-inch display the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is more about evolution than revolution. The S7 edge now sports a water-resistant body, embedded camera and a MicroSD card slot. The S7 edge is also Samsung's most powerful smartphone yet, so powerful in fact that Samsung have actually had to equip a tiny water-cooling system inside the phone. The good news though is that means you'll never have to worry about getting a warm hand.
  • Apple iPhone SE
    The Huffington Post UK
    Incredibly, Apple's familiar-looking iPhone SE manages to boast the same performance as its top-of-the-range iPhone 6s making it the most powerful 4-inch smartphone available. If you're keen to return to the days of one-handed texting then Apple's bite-sized iPhone is the smartphone for you.
  • LG G5
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The LG G5 sets itself apart from rivals like the S7, Xperia XA and the iPhone 6s by being something utterly unique. The G5 is the first commercial 'modular' phone, allowing you to swap out the bottom for new accessories. So far there's an audio one made in partnership with Bang & Olufsen and a camera-focused attachment which gives you extra camera controls.
  • Huawei P9
    JACK TAYLOR via Getty Images
    The Huawei P9 is a smartphone designed for capturing life. Thanks to a partnership with photography legends Leica this dual-lens camera can take pictures that'll put your dedicated camera to shame. Of course it helps that the P9 is also a pretty great Android smartphone as well.
  • Google Nexus 5X
    The Nexus 5X strikes the ultimate balance between power and affordability. Taking over the responsibility from the frankly excellent Nexus 5, Google's new smartphone boast an ultra-light body but still crams in a fingerprint sensor, the latest version of Android marshmallow and a Full-HD display.
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS