The HTC U Ultra Sapphire Edition is nearing its market debut and according to WinFuture, the smartphone will launch in Germany on April 18, priced at €849, which translates to approximately $900. As the moniker reveals, the HTC U Ultra Sapphire Edition carries a sapphire front panel as opposed to a Gorilla Glass 5 protective screen, but its internal hardware is unchanged compared to the standard variant of the device. Nevertheless, this is HTC's first smartphone equipped with a sapphire display, and one of the very few such devices to enter mass production.
The HTC U Ultra Sapphire Edition will reportedly hit the German market in less than two weeks and will only be available in Brilliant Black. In contrast, the model equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is also available in Cosmetic Pink, Sapphire Blue, and Ice White. The Sapphire Edition will only be available with 128GB of internal memory, whereas the standard model can be acquired with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. Otherwise, the HTC U Ultra Sapphire Edition is identical to the standard model and carries a microSD card slot, the same 5.7-inch Super LCD 5 display with a resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels, as well as a secondary 2.05-inch display with a resolution of 1040 by 160 pixels. The smartphone relies on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 system-on-chip housing a total of four Kryo cores, along with the Adreno 530 graphics chip and 4GB of RAM. A 12-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) resides on the back panel of the phone along with a two-tone dual-LED flash, and a 16-megapixel front-facing unit with Auto-HDR is present on the front of the handset. The smartphone runs Android 7.0 Nougat with HTC Sense UI and is powered by a non-removable 3,000mAh battery.
The HTC U Ultra features a unique exterior design wrapped in shiny glass, though it's reportedly rather susceptible to scratches and bending. Thankfully, the HTC U Ultra Sapphire Edition should boast extra resilience against scratches, though Corning's Gorilla Glass is arguably more flexible than Sapphire glass, and flexibility is a key characteristic in the context of a smartphone surviving drops. It remains to be seen whether the Sapphire Edition of the device will launch in more territories in the future.