HTC U smartphone will be unveiled in New York, London and Taipei on May 16. While the smartphone is yet to be launched, HTC has already started giving a glimpse of the device via a short five second video clip posted on its Twitter feed.
The invite has the tagline,”Squeeze for the Brilliant U”. This pretty much confirms that the next-generation smartphone will be launched under the “U” series and it will have a pressure-sensitive edges that can be activated with a squeeze. The touch sensitive bezels are currently dubbed ‘Edge Sensors’.With the Edge Sensors, a user will be able to activate and scroll through apps and thus utilise the frame of the phone. It is unclear how the sides will interact with the phone’s user interface.
— HTC (@htc) April 20, 2017
It’s an interesting concept, but HTC isn’t the first company working on a smartphone with side-mounted pressure sensors. In fact, Japanese telecom NTT Docomo was one of the first companies to show off a new user interface dubbed Grip UI. The company reportedly showcased a phone with touch sensors embedded in the frame around the phone at CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) in 2012.
The Grip UI could allow launch of apps, perform voice searches, and unlock the device based on pressure input around the phone’s edges.
Previous reports have indicated that the HTC U will feature a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 display, a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, 16-megapixel front shooter, 64GB of 128GB of internal memory, microSD card slot, Android 7.1 Nougat and HTC’s won Sense 9.1 over the top.
HTC fans have been anxiously waiting for the arrival of the long rumored HTC U ‘Ocean’ , but we might have to wait for May 16 when the company finally announce the device. For HTC, which is now struggling to stay relevant in the premium smartphone segment, the U smartphone will come with a new set of expectations.