HTC U Ultra
A woman views the new HTC U Ultra at the HTC stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain March 1, 2017. Reuters/Paul Hanna

HTC U, previously codenamed HTC Ocean, is the new flagship phone every fan is waiting for. It is one of the company’s concept phones that will come with a unique control method. Its standout feature is its touch-sensitive frame that has replaced the volume rockers and standard buttons, with contextual squeezing and sliding of the handset's sides.

Known leakster Evan Blass has revealed these features of the new concept phone. The smartphone will join HTC’s U-branded line-up, such as HTC U Ultra and U Play. This leak is in line Blass’s 2016 leaks, showing a video of the presumed HTC U and its innovative control scheme. According to Tech Radar, the leak also somewhat confirms HTC-branded un-coverings featuring the previously codenamed HTC Ocean and its Sense Touch capabilities. It will be interesting to see how the near button-less HTC U operates.

As per latest reports, the HTC U smartphone will have a 5.5-inch display and carry the Sense 9 UI. Other expected features include 12MP rear camera, 16MP front camera, 64GB and 128GB internal storage variants, microSD compatibility and the highly powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Blass believes that the handset could be released anytime between mid to late April, informs VentureBeat. Launch could be in early May. The device has reportedly showed up on benchmarking site AnTuTu. However, the name mentioned is HTC CBP.

The specs list mentioned there are in line with earlier leaks, though it adds an Adreno 540 GPU and Android 7.1.1 Nougat system. HTC is clearly planning to take on the heavy-hitters with impressive hardware in HTC U. It will have a metal and glass body that will make it easier to include a lot of extras, and that includes wireless charging. The company will provide a price tag that will place it right beside flagships such as LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8, writes Wccftech. The company is also said to be reducing the bezels by a fair amount.

It is unlikely that the HTC U will venture into OLED territory, and will in fact retain the QHD resolution. Fans are also hoping a decent-sized battery with capacity of about 3,500 mAh. Meanwhile, recent reports suggest that various manufacturers, including HTC, are fighting among each other to develop the Google Pixel 3, despite HTC having a two-year manufacturing deal for the Pixel phones. The Pixel 3 will be launched in 2018. The news has been reported by Digitimes, via Commercial Times.

The report even mentions that LG may finally get the rights and that orders are expected to reach five million units in 2018. However, the Pixel 2 family of devices will still be manufactured by HTC. Stay tuned on IBT AU for more updates on HTC U and other devices manufactured by the company.