Mobile Technology

HTC U Ultra vs. iPhone 7 Plus

HTC U Ultra vs. iPhone 7 Plus
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the HTC U Ultra and Apple iPhone 7 Plus
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the HTC U Ultra and Apple iPhone 7 Plus
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3D Touch
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3D Touch
Camera aperture (rear)
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Camera aperture (rear)
Battery
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Battery
Build
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Build
Camera megapixels
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Camera megapixels
Color options
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Color options
Processor
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Processor
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Display resolution
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Display resolution
Display size
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Display size
Display type
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Display type
Dual camera (rear)
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Dual camera (rear)
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Headphone jack
14/25
Headphone jack
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the HTC U Ultra and Apple iPhone 7 Plus
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New Atlas compares the features and specs of the HTC U Ultra and Apple iPhone 7 Plus
MicroSD
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MicroSD
Optical Image Stabilization
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Optical Image Stabilization
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
RAM
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RAM
Release
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Release
Second screen
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Second screen
Software
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Software
Storage
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Storage
Water resistance
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Water resistance
Weight
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Weight

Being offered online only (and incompatible with Verizon's or Sprint's networks) HTC's new U Ultra isn't likely to see even a small fraction of Apple's iPhone sales numbers. But is the Ultra worth considering, despite its expected niche status? Let's see how it stacks up next to Apple's 7 Plus.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

Both phones are large, even relative to their respective screen sizes. The HTC U Ultra comes out 3-percent taller and wider, and 10-percent thicker than the iPhone 7 Plus.

Weight

Weight
Weight

The iPhone, however, is 11-percent heavier.

Build

Build
Build

HTC's design team appears to have had a recent Samsung Galaxy flagship sitting on its drafting table while imagining the U Ultra. Its glass and aluminum design is nearly a spitting image of Samsung's 2015-16 design language.

Colors

Color options
Color options

Apple gives you two extra color options to choose from.

Display size

Display size
Display size

The U Ultra has a 7-percent bigger display.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

The Ultra also has a 28-percent higher pixel density. But rather than engaging in pixel arms races, Apple is known for getting PPI to a "sharp-enough" mark and then refining subtler details like white balance, colors, brightness and contrast.

Display type

Display type
Display type

HTC is using a Super LCD 5 IPS display, which eliminates an air gap between display and glass.

Second screen

Second screen
Second screen

HTC took a page from LG's book (in fact, that page looks nearly photocopied), with a second strip of screen sitting above the main display. It shows notifications and shortcuts.

Pressure-sensitive display

3D Touch
3D Touch

Apple's screen has the company's 3D Touch, which lets you pop up shortcuts and previews by pressing harder on the glass.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

The iPhone 7 Plus has one of the better cameras of 2016 (though not on par with Google's Pixels), while we've yet to sample the Ultra's photography.

Camera aperture (rear)

Camera aperture (rear)
Camera aperture (rear)

Aperture, which often determines the quality of low-lit shots, is even.

OIS

Optical Image Stabilization
Optical Image Stabilization

Both handsets have Optical Image Stabilization.

Dual camera

Dual camera (rear)
Dual camera (rear)

Apple's second camera on the 7 Plus lets you jump straight into telephoto-zoom mode, as well as create bokeh (blurred-background) portrait shots.

Battery

Battery
Battery

Apple's battery has a slightly-smaller capacity, but it's also driving a less pixel-rich display. Consider this a yellow flag for HTC, until we run battery benchmarks on the U Ultra.

Processor

Processor
Processor

Both phones have late-2016 processors, but in HTC's case that may be concerning: It's an early-2017 phone, but the company opted not to use Qualcomm's latest high-end silicon.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The Ultra gives you an extra GB of RAM.

Storage

Storage
Storage

HTC only gives you one storage tier, but it's a generous 64 GB.

MicroSD

MicroSD
MicroSD

You also get a microSD slot with the Ultra, something Apple has never shown any interest in providing.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

Apple's 2016 iPhones have IP67 water protection; HTC didn't add any meaningful water resistance to its flagship.

Headphone jack

Headphone jack
Headphone jack

Neither phone has a traditional 3.5-mm headphone port.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Both phones put their fingerprint sensors in their home buttons.

Software

Software
Software

The HTC U Ultra will launch with Android Nougat (with HTC's custom UI on top), while the iPhone runs iOS 10.

Release

Release
Release

HTC took the unusual step of announcing the U Ultra two months before it starts shipping. You can pre-order it now, but it's likely to have some stiffer competition by the time it ships.

Starting price (full retail)

Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (full retail)

The U Ultra is US$20 cheaper, and gives you double the storage of the entry-level iPhone 7 Plus (along with expandable storage). But with no Verizon or Sprint support, no more hi-fi audio focus like we saw in last year's HTC 10 and a relatively small battery, it sounds like one you'd be better off holding off on. Especially with the Galaxy S8 and LG G6 likely waiting around the corner.

For more, you can read New Atlas' initial coverage of the HTC U Ultra and our review of the iPhone 7 Plus.

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