HTC U launch confirmed for May

HTC has confirmed the unveiling of its new flagship phone to the world – the HTC U – on May 16.

The new flagship phone has also been shown off briefly in a five-second teaser on Twitter, showing off some innovative features.

The main image clearly confirms that some features of the new handset will be controlled by pressing on different parts of its edges, or 'squeezing' as HTC calls it, a feature that's been heavily rumored for months now.

The design is also on show, with the HTC U looking like a sleek and slim device, and one would expect that it will feature the same pearlescent rear as the HTC U Ultra which was recently launched by the brand.

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Are U ready?

'U' is HTC's new branding for its top-range phone – although confusingly there are already two U phones on the market, the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, before the launch of this new handset.

The HTC U launch time is very much geared to the Taiwanese brand's home locale – it's happening at 2pm in Taipei, which is a less viewer-friendly 7am in London and 2am in New York; while the phone will certainly make it to Europe and North America, there's clearly not going to be a launch event in these territories, unlike in years gone by.

Will the HTC U be a success? While most eyes will be on the squeezable sides and the question of whether this will be a gimmick or genuine innovation, the HTC 10 was one of the most underrated phones of 2017, offering a good camera, audio experience and build quality.

If the HTC U doesn't dazzle, it's hard to see a way back for the brand in the high-end handset space... so let's see what happens come May 16.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.