Last month, HTC announced the the HTC U Ultra, which is shaping up to be one of the star handsets of early 2017.

And as well as the 5.7-inch U Ultra, there’s also a 5.2-inch version called HTC U Play.

HTC U Ultra and U Play pre-order prices are beginning to emerge for the UK.

The 5.7-inch, 170g HTC U Ultra is most interesting due to a second screen at the top of the phone. The idea is that this can deliver notifications without interrupting what else you’re doing.

It also – apparently thanks to bespoke AI tech called Sense Companion. This “delivers the right messages when you need them”. So your priority contacts and favourite apps will get their info onto this screen while other, less important, stuff may not. It can also help you to receive more power from your phone by learning from your usage.

March 1 is the HTC U Ultra UK release date, while those in Australia are going to have to wait until March 8.

The US is only getting the HTC U Ultra, and that will come at some point in the middle of March.

Best HTC U Ultra deals

The HTC U Ultra is up for pre-order in the US directly from HTC at $749 but there’s no word on other places to buy the phone at the moment.

In the UK, you have a few choices of places to buy – it costs £649 directly from HTC, but there are better deals out there.

The HTC U Ultra is also available SIM-free from Carphone Warehouse at £649.99, but there’s also a number of monthly deals including 24GB of data for £42 a month and an upfront cost of £99.99.

You can also grab the HTC U Ultra for £614.98 at Unlocked Mobiles or it’s slightly more at Clove for £620.

Australia will get the HTC U Ultra on March 8, but so far there’s no word on how much it will cost there.

 Best HTC U Play deals

The cheaper phone of the HTC U range is also up for pre-order in the UK for £399 directly from HTC.

It’s expensive at Carphone Warehouse for £469.99, but the monthly deals look a lot more attractive. You can get a free phone and 24GB of data for only £32 a month.

Clove has it for £394.99, while it’s a penny cheaper at Unlocked Mobiles.

HTC has confirmed it won’t be launching U Play in the US, but it will be coming to Australia on March 8. The price for those in Australia is unclear, but if it’s anything like the UK cost it’ll be around AU$650.

 More HTC U Play and U Ultra specifications

Both devices feature a front-facing camera that switches from 16MP high resolution images to a 4MP ultra pixel mode – meaning you get the best shots whatever the light. There’s also a panorama mode.

What else? It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 from the middle of last year and is available in 64GB and 128GB versions. HTC reckons its ‘durable liquid surface coloured glass design’ looks good from every angle and is a result of two years of development.

There are  four microphones for better voice recognition. The 128GB edition of the HTC U Ultra comes with sapphire Front Glass for even better durability. Android 7.0 Nougat is the OS, with HTC Sense UI overlay on top.

And the best named thing in the whole tech world – HTC Boomsound – is back and provides “pulse-pounding audio” – we’ll reserve judgement on that until we review it!