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HTC announces the mid-range HTCU Play

In addition to its new HTCU Ultra flagship, the company also unveiled a new mid-ranger, dubbed the HTCU Play. Here's what you need to know.

Published onJanuary 12, 2017

Editor’s note: HTC did not allow us to record any footage of the HTCU Ultra and U Play due to the non-final software.

While the new HTC U Ultra is certainly the star of the new U line-up, the U Play is the perfect mid-range device for HTCfans that want something a bit smaller and don’t mind less aggressive specs as as result.

Not only is the HTCU Play smaller than its more powerful brother, it also offers a somewhat different take on design. While both phones swap metal for glass this time around, different camera shapes and other refinements make it pretty easy to tell the two models apart, in addition to the obvious size difference.

On the spec side of things, the HTCU Play is powered by a MediaTek Helio processor and offers a more modest 5.2-inch 1080p display. Other specs include 32 or 64GB storage with microSD for expansion, a 16MP rear camera, a 16MP front cam with UltraPixel switching tech, and a 2,500 mAh battery.

The specs here obviously aren’t as premium as the U Ultra, but they are still pretty solid, including little extras like high-quality sound and USonic adaptive sound that figures out the optimal sound conditions for your ear based on the noise around it.

For a full look at what is under the hood, check out the spec sheet below:

Display5.2-inch Super LCD display with 1920x1080 resolution
Octa-core 64-bit MediaTek Helio P10 processor
3/4 GB
32/64 GB
expandable via microSD card up to 2 TB
16 MP rear camera, OIS, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture, dual tone LED flash
16 MP front-facing camera
Wi-Fi®: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2
USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
2,500 mAh
Android 7.0 Nougat
145.99 x 72.9 x 3.5-7.99 mm
145 grams

On the software front, the HTCU Play offers Android 7.0 Nougat with Sense on top. That also means you get the brand new Sense Companion, just like the HTCU Ultra.

What is this companion feature exactly? Basically it is a personal assistant that HTCis always learning from your habits and can remind you of all sorts of things like if you need to give your phone a little extra charge to make it through the day depending on your schedule, recommending restaurants, warning you to leave for work early based on weather and road conditions, and more.

Not much is known about the pricing or release details for the HTCU Play just yet, other than we can expect it in “select global markets” in early 2017. What do you think of the mid-range U Play, would you consider picking one up if the price is right? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.

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