HTC U Ultra
Chang Chia-Lin, President of Global Sales of HTC speaks holding a new smartphone "U Ultra" during its launch event in Taipei, Taiwan, January 12, 2017. Reuters/Tyrone Siu

HTC U Ultra and Google Pixel XL are top-end smartphones that are evenly matched in terms of hardware specs. This can be pure coincidence or simply because HTC has assisted Google in designing the Pixel XL. Thus, choosing between the two will depend on software as well as personal preferences. Price will also be a deciding factor as the Google Pixel XL is an expensive smartphone costing $1269 for the 32GB option and $1419 for the 128GB version. HTC U Ultra’s price is not yet disclosed but will definitely be cheaper than the Pixels.

According to Stuff, a big advantage of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones is their unlimited storage space for photos and videos. This option is not available in any other Android handset. It’s totally free of charge and stores all photos and videos at original size and quality. In terms of battery capacity, the Pixel XL has a 3,450 mAh battery but with all the premium specs and apps to run, this may not seem like a big deal. Wireless charging is also absent. On the other hand, the 64GB and 128GB HTC U Ultra packs a 3,000 mAh battery that still needs to be tested.

It seems that Pixel XL will beat the HTC handset on the battery front. The HTC U Ultra does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. It is expected to provide a wonderfully light experience, bloat-free and zippy, when running on Android 7.0 Nougat OS. The Pixel XL delivers super-fast performance with the Nougat system. It will perhaps beat the HTC smartphone via its Google Assistant as HTC’s Sense Companion may not be as smart as Assistant. Both devices pack 4GB of RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processors.

In terms of camera specs and performance, the Google Pixel Xl may beat the HTC U Ultra though there may be a shocker in store. But on paper, the Google phone has an impressive 12.3MP sensor with large, 1.55μm pixels and a quick f/2.0 aperture lens. Both outdoor and indoor and daylight and night time photos are stunning. The HDR+ mode has been praised by experts. There’s no optical stabilisation but the phase detect and laser autofocus combination delivers in-focus snaps.

The HTC U Ultra comes with a 12MP sensor, laser autofocus, OIS and maximum aperture of f/1.8. There are four high-sensitivity mics, capable of capturing “positional sound.” In terms of design, the HTC U Ultra beats Google Pixel XL hands down with an all-glass get-up that is simply gorgeous. Stay tuned on IBT AU for more smartphone comparisons.