What are the best HTC phones I can buy in the UK in 2017, from budget mobiles to the latest premium handsets? Here’s our pick of the best HTC smartphones to suit all budgets.
HTC used to release roughly a gazillion new smartphones every year, back in the day. From the Mozart to the Legend, the ChaCha to the Salsa (all real names), HTC’s mobiles all featured distinctive personalities and some fun features, although working out which one was best for you was an absolute nightmare. Walk into any UK store and you’d be confronted with dozens of choices to pore over.
These days HTC has thankfully calmed its production, releasing just a small handful of phones each year. So far in 2017 we’ve only seen a couple of new handsets launched, including the shiny new flagship device, the HTC U11. This is undoubtedly the best HTC Android mobile in ages, although some of the company’s phones from last year (including the HTC 10) still stand up well, especially if you find them at a good price.
- Android 7.0
- 12-megapixel f/1.7
- Snapdragon 835
- 64GB + microSD
- Fingerprint sensor, USonic, Edge Sensor, Edge Companion
The HTC U11 is one of our favourite Android phones of 2017 so far, which of course means it’s one of the best smartphones to launch in recent times, full stop.
This new flagship device is a great evolution of the HTC 10 from last year. Not only is it a true pleasure to use in every department, from the dependable performance and battery life to the snazzy design; the U11 also feels fresh enough to stand out against rival premium mobiles.
Of course there’s no HDR-ready display or bezel-free design work here, which arguably trumps the funky Edge Sense shortcut feature and the (eventual arrival of the) Companion assistant. However, the U11 is still a media beast, throwing out crisp, colourful visuals. Plus, that ridiculously good rear camera is one of the best smartphone snappers around right now.
- Android Marshmallow
- Snapdragon 820
- 32GB + microSD
- Freestyle desktops
The HTC 10 is still a solid all-round package, even a full year after its launch. A phone that has very few weaknesses, even if it doesn’t particularly stand out against some of the competition with any unique or innovative features. Media fans will love the sharp and accurate screen, as well as the powerful BoomSound speakers and support for Hi-res audio. And the camera tech is strong too, even if it isn’t quite as good as the Samsung Galaxy S7’s snapper.
If you’re more about rugged metal than gorgeous glass, the HTC 10 is reassuringly solid and still quite a good-looking mobile. Best of all, you can pick it up now for between £400/$520 and £500/$650, making it decent value for money to boot.
HTC 10 Evo
- WQHD (2560×1440)
- 175 grams
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- 1.5GHz/2.0GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB. Expandable via microSD up to 256GB
- Fingerprint sensor, Hi-Res Audio support, BoomSound Adaptive Audio, IP57 certification, Gorilla Glass 5
The HTC 10 Evo is a bit of a strange handset. On the surface it looks and feels just like a flagship-class device, similar to the standard HTC 10. You get a killer screen, solid camera tech, USB Type-C support and even full water resistance, something not found on the original flagship.
Sadly the HTC 10 Evo is also very difficult to find at times, with no carrier availability here in the UK. Meanwhile that dated processor (which was already a bit old at the time of launch) will only serve to age this otherwise competent smartphone faster than the competition.
However, if you look at some online retailers, you can actually pick up the Evo from as little as £299/$389 these days, with a spot of luck. That’s pretty good value, considering the other specs on offer.
HTC U Ultra
- 5.7-inches + 2.05-inches
- WQHD (2560×1440) + 160×1040
- 170 grams
- Android 7.0 Nougat w/ HTC Sense
- 2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB, Expandable via microSD up to 2TB
- HTC Sense Companion*, fingerprint sensor, 3D audio recording, Hi-Res audio support, HTC USonic headphones, case
This mighty 5.7-inch phone is quite unique in the HTC fold. Not only does it boast a massive main display; you also have a second, smaller screen just above, which is designed to present notifications, essential info and dynamic shortcuts to your favourite apps.
You can expect great performance, plenty of storage, attractive visuals, standout design elements and full Companion assistant support. Yet despite all of this, the U Ultra does feel like it’s missing a certain special something. That second screen doesn’t add any real value to the experience and the phone can be rather cumbersome to use without any one-handed or assistive tools.
That said, the price has since dropped to under £500/$650 since the U Ultra’s launch, making it worth hunting out for anyone who desires a massive main screen.
HTC U Play
- Android 6.0
- MediaTek P10
- 32GB + microSD
- Fingerprint sensor, Sense Companion (coming soon?)
The HTC U Play is sadly a mixed bag, lurking in the shadows of rivals such as the Moto G5 Plus and Honor 9. Don’t get us wrong, that design is lovely (if easily scuffed) and there’s plenty to like here, from the solid 16-megapixel camera to the super-responsive fingerprint sensor. We’re also enjoying the Sense Companion, who pops up with solid everyday advice.
However, performance and battery life aren’t as strong as some of the competition, making this an HTC handset only for those on a tight budget.