In September 2016, leaked footage showed a device with customizable features accessed through sensors in the metal around it. This was rumored to be the HTC Ocean. Later, at the end of March 2017, VentureBeat reported that the device was real and not just a concept and that it will be revealed the following month as the HTC U Phone.

Now, in April 2017, it is revealed that HTC has an announcement to make come 16th May. It did so through a flyer it sent out with a tagline that read “Squeeze for the brilliant U“. The rumors still persist that the new phone will have the ability to understand the touch and pressure on the side of the phone, through touch sensors embedded into the side frame of the phone.

HTC might reveal the squeezable U Phone on May 16th
HTC might reveal the squeezable U Phone on May 16th

This is being called the “Edge Sense” and this can be used to access certain features of the phone. This sort of sensing metal casing may introduce a new input interface for smartphones, one where buttons may be replaced by sleek and single cut cases. However, this is not a completely new concept. In 20, Japanese carrier “NTT Docomo” came up with a prototype known as the Grip UI.

This was similar to the new rumored HTC U Phone, it had a touch sensitive case that could be used to launch apps and unlock the device based on the pressure of the touch input on the side of its casing. Still, the HTC U, if more than just rumor, could be the first mass production intended example of such an idea.

The HTC U is also rumored to have 12 Megapixel rear and 16 Megapixel front cameras, run on the Android 7.1 Nougat, be powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor and boast a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution display.