HTC seeks to capitalise on Note7 opportunity with bizarre launch

The struggling smartphone maker is promoting the launch of its HTC U phablets, which could benefit from the absence of Samsung competition, by obsessing relentlessly about the letter ‘U’.

In a complete break with press release convention HTC started its announcement with the following bizarre passage:

U laugh, U cry

U love, U lose

U play, U fight

U work, work, work…

U question why

U want change

U dream big

U are bold

U are unstoppable

U are U

We hear U

We see U

We learn from U

It’s all about U

To the brilliant U

What the hell HTC expects journalists to do with this puerile poem, other than take the piss out of it, is unclear. But then again it got us writing about it so maybe that’s job done.

And it turned out HTC’s marketing department was just getting warmed up. Referring to the flagship, 5.7-inch HTC U Ultra, we are told: It reflects U – Beautiful with its sophisticated new liquid surface; It learns from U – Evolving as your companion, getting to know you better over time; It puts U on top – Convenient with a new Dual Display; It listens to U – Unique in adapting sound to your personal hearing; It captures the best U – Vivid light, color and detail with UltraPixel cameras front and back. The mantra was zealously repeated for the 5.2-inch HTC U Play, but with the Dual Display stuff omitted.

The screen is described as ‘liquid surface’, which seems to incorporate the kind of curved edges to the class that have become fashionable in smartphones and features a dedicated little notification panel at the top. HTC has developed its own AI-based, voice-driven personal assistant called Sense Companion that seems to specialise in the customary presumptuous suggestions based on what it thinks you’re up to. Lastly HTC has continued its drive to innovate on audio via a thing called USonic that claims map your inner ear and optimise accordingly. HTC somehow resisted the temptation to stress the devices won’t spontaneously combust.

There were no details on pricing or operator support, with only Dixons Carphone flagged up as a UK retail partner. There was also no word on pricing, but the Ultra will probably cost a similar amount to other flagship phablets and the Play should be £100 or so cheaper. There was no canned quote in the press release, which is probably just as well.


    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 12/01/2017 @ 1:52 pm


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