You might control HTC's next phone by squeezing it

It looks like HTC is promoting one of its concept phones to the big time, as reports claim the phone maker will release a new flagship phone, called the HTC U, with a unique control method this spring.

Previously codenamed 'HTC Ocean,' the HTC U's standout feature is a touch-sensitive frame, replacing standard buttons and volume rockers with contextual squeezing and sliding of the handset's sides, according to trusted leaker Evan Blass, via VentureBeat.

The phone is intended to join HTC's recent lineup of other U-branded phones, such as the HTC U Play and HTC U Ultra.

This report lines up with another one of Blass' leaks from earlier this year, showing a video of the presumed HTC U and its innovative control scheme.

The leak also matches with another batch of HTC-branded uncoverings from last year (also supplied by Blass) featuring then-named HTC Ocean and its "Sense Touch" capabilities, giving us a little more insight into how the just-about-buttonless phone operates.

From a technical standpoint, the 5.5-inch HTC U is said to carry HTC's Sense 9 user interface, a Snapdragon 835 processor, microSD compatibility, internal storage of up to 64GB or 128GB, a 12-megapixel back camera and a 16-megapixel front-facing camera.

Like all leaks without official wording, it's best to take this news with healthy skepticism, but given Blass' record and specificity, we wouldn't be surprised if we see more of the HTC U in mid- to late April, when the phone is expected to be unveiled.