HTC ‘U’ Android Flagship Lands May 16th With Snapdragon 835 And Squeezable Touch Sensitive Frame

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When HTC announced the U Ultra earlier this year with a Snapdragon 821 processor, many were disappointed that Qualcomm’s newfangled Snapdragon 835 wasn’t powering the device. However, the Taiwanese company was quick to point out that it would release a new flagship that would be powered by Qualcomm’s best smartphone SoC.

“We want to have a couple of months of leadership before the next flagship CPU comes. But that will be in another period of time- not at MWC,” said HTC President Chialin Chang. “Not for us or any other player. I can tell you that for sure. When the new CPU comes, HTC will have another flagship.”

Well, it looks as though we’ll get our official look at that new flagship on May 16th. That’s when HTC will unveil the HTC U. The smartphone has been developed under codename “Ocean” and will come with an innovative pressure-sensitive frame that you can squeeze. HTC provided us with a short teaser of the smartphone via Twitter:

Apparently, you can simply squeeze the sides of the device to invoke commands or perform various actions on the device. According to an earlier report, HTC is calling this Sense Touch, and in addition to squeezing, users will be able to swipe the sides of the frame as well. Just off the top of our heads, we could see the swipe gesture being useful for scrolling up/down a website or through a menu list using either you index finger or thumb without touching the screen.

Besides the Snapdragon 835 and Sense Touch, the HTC U is rumored to have up to 6GB of RAM, will be available in 64GB or 128GB storage configurations, and will come with a 5.5-inch QHD display (without the secondary ticker seen on the U Ultra). It’s also said that the smartphone will feature a microSD slot, 12MP rear camera, 16MP selfie camera, a 3000 mAh battery, and IP57 dust/water resistance. It will also lack a headphone jack, which is bad news for those that hate using dongles just to use your wired headphones.

Will Sense Touch be enough of a differentiator to combat the Galaxy S8 and S8+ that are just now finding their way into the hands of eager Android enthusiasts? As Dave pointed out in our HotHardware review, both of Samsung’s new flagships set the bar high for Android flagships with high levels of fit/finish, excellent performance, long battery life, and gorgeous Super AMOLED displays with minimal bezels.