We're used to seeing smartphone-makers copying the iPhone, but what isn't as common is seeing a new phone that's almost a direct copy of a slower-selling second-tier flagship. That may be the case with the HTC U Ultra and its apparent muse, the LG V20. Let's compare their features and specs.
Sizes are very similar (both are large phones), though the HTC U Ultra is a little bigger than the LG V20 in every dimension.
The Ultra, however, is 2-percent lighter.
One area where HTC doesn't appear to be taking cues from the LG V20 is build/design. In this case, the U Ultra looks more like a copy of Samsung's 2015-16 design language.
Each handset gives you three color options to choose from.
And now the similarities begin: Each has a large 5.7-in display.
Another identical spec, as each has an ultra-sharp QHD display.
Both also use IPS panels, though HTC is going with a Super LCD 5, which eliminates the typical air gap.
This is the biggest feature HTC apparently pinched from the V20. Already one of the more niche features in mobile, LG's second screen shows info like shortcuts and notifications – without intruding on the main display. HTC's version practically clones it.
The LG V20's killer feature is its built in "Quad DAC" for Hi-Fi wired-headphone listening (provided you have headphones to do it justice). While last year's HTC 10 was also audiophile-friendly, HTC appears to have dropped this focus for the Ultra.
Part of HTC's lost status as an audiophile favorite is its missing headphone jack.
Another thing both phones have in common is that they both launched (or launch) with a half-generation-old processor. The late-2016 LG V20 shipped with Qualcomm's early-2016 silicon, while HTC's early-2017 flagship will include Qualcomm's late-2016 chip. (There's a new Snapdragon that should be in at least some of the early-2017 Android flagships.)
RAM is also even, at 4 GB a pop.
In another unusual – but identical – move, both handsets ship in one (64 GB) storage tier. At least it's a generous tier.
Both also include microSD slots, so you can complement that internal storage.
Neither is breaking any records with battery size, but HTC's is the more concerning of the two. (In our battery benchmark, the V20 got a middle-of-the-road score, so we aren't optimistic about the Ultra faring well.)
The V20's less-than-stellar battery life is helped, though, by the fact that you can swap its battery out for a fresh one.
You can't always glean much from megapixel counts, but the Ultra should provide much-sharper selfies, with its significantly higher-resolution front shooter.
Camera aperture (rear)
Aperture, which can often determine quality of low-lit shots, is also tied.
Dual cameras (rear)
Similar to the iPhone 7 Plus, the LG V20 has a second rear camera. In LG's case, it lets you instantly jump between standard and wide-angle shots.
You get a home-button fingerprint-sensor placement on the Ultra; the V20's is on the back.
Neither flagship has any meaningful water resistance.
The HTC U Ultra will ship with the same Android Nougat that the V20 launched with, but each has its own respective manufacturer UI layered on top.
HTC announced the Ultra in mid-January, but it doesn't launch until mid-March. The big caveat is that, by the time it launches, we'll likely know about Samsung's and LG's early-2017 flagships (or will soon after). We'd recommend holding off on pre-ordering the U Ultra until we see its upcoming rivals.
Starting price (full retail)
The V20's price bounces around from carrier to carrier; this is a ballpark/median figure.
For more, you can check out New Atlas' full review of the LG V20.
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