HTC U Ultra vs Google Pixel XL Comparison

Jan 23rd 2017

When you're comparing two smartphones from top tech companies with proven track records, it's hard to go wrong. However, there are some important differences between the HTC U Ultra and Google Pixel XL that you should know about before making a purchase.


While both phones boast a 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution, the HTC U Ultra's 5.7-inch display is slightly larger than the Pixel XL's 5.5-inch display. The Ultra also has a secondary 2-inch screen with a 160 x 1040 resolution that's used to display notifications. The other key difference in the display lies in the technology used: the HTC U Ultra uses an S-LCD5 screen while the Pixel XL utilizes AMOLED technology.


  • Google Pixel XL: 154.72 x 75.74 x 8.58 mm, 168g (5.92oz)
  • HTC U Ultra: 162.41 x 79.79 x 7.99 mm, 170g (5.99oz)

Processor and Memory

Both phones are powered by the same powerful Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of RAM. These specs are featured in many phones and will ensure smooth performance with both daily tasks and games.

Operating System

While both phones feature an Android Nougat operating system, HTC phones aren't equipped with the same version as the Pixel phone. In particular, the 7.1 Nougat system (which the Pixel phone has) brought Google Assistant functionality to the phone. Google Assistant is similar to Google Now and Siri, but it's intended to be a functional personal assistant that can also speak similarly to humans. If a better mobile phone assistant is an important feature for you, the Google Pixel XL definitely wins in that category.

Storage and Expandability

The HTC U Ultra boasts 64GB of flash storage that can be added to by inserting a microSD card. The Pixel, on the other hand, comes in two options: 32GB and 128GB. The drawback to the Pixel's storage capabilities is the fact that it has no microSD slot, meaning its storage can't be upgraded. This probably isn't an issue if you're buying the 128GB model, but those purchasing the 32GB model may find a shortage of storage space in comparison to the Ultra.


When it comes to battery capacity, the Pixel XL's 3,450 mAh battery barely beats the Ultra's 3,000 mAh battery. It's also worth noting that, due to manufacturing differences, a difference this small doesn't necessarily mean the Pixel XL will have a noticeable advantage over the Ultra when it comes to battery life.


Both of these phones actually perform quite well as far as the cameras are concerned. The HTC U Ultra is equipped with a 12MP rear cam and a 16MP UltraPixel front camera, which means it's the perfect phone for anyone who loves taking selfies. Phase detection auto focus and laser auto focus on the rear-facing camera help you get a clean shot effortlessly.

The Pixel XL's 12.3MP rear-facing camera may perform slightly better than the HTC U Ultra's rear camera, but its front-facing camera comes in at a disappointing 8MP. While this is still plenty good enough to take a standard-quality selfie, you won't see nearly the same results as the Ultra's 16MP camera provides.


Both the Pixel XL and the HTC U Ultra can capture 4K video, but the real difference lies in the stabilization systems used in the two phones. The HTC U Ultra uses OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), a technology that's found in many high-end phones today. The Pixel XL, on the other hand, uses EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) to provide smooth video.

Normally, OIS is the preferred method of video stabilization, but Google has optimized their EIS system to provide incredibly smooth videos at both lower qualities and 4K resolution.

Extra Features

Below are lists of additional features for each phone.

HTC U Ultra:

  • Fingerprint sensor: The HTC U Ultra features the familiar fingerprint scanner that many previous HTC phones have used.
  • Screen material: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Audio: 4 mics provide 3D recording capabilities. Comes with HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi speakers and HTC USonic headphones.
  • NFC: Yes.
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)

Google Pixel XL:

  • Fingerprint sensor: The Google Pixel XL features a fingerprint scanner on the back for easy access.
  • Screen material: Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Audio: Bottom speakers and 3 microphones.
  • NFC: Yes.
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 ^ 5 GHz)


While both phones certainly have their advantages, one thing's for certain: you can't go wrong with either of these phones. If you're in the market for a new cell phone, check out the links below to purchase the HTC U Ultra or Google Pixel XL.

HTC U Ultra: $899.99 — Buy here

Google Pixel XL: $899.99 — Buy here