Over the past few years smartphone makers have opted for bigger, higher-resolution displays, faster processors, more memory and storage, and bigger batteries as ways to set their phones apart. But now most phones have those features, so we’re starting to see new differentiators such as cameras with optical zoom, ultra-wide displays, and physical keyboards.

Now it looks like HTC is thinking even further outside the box… or at least outside the touchscreen.

Reporting for VentureBeat, Evan Blass says HTC’s next high-end phone will support Edge Sense, a feature that lets you control the phone by interacting with sensors built into the metal frame that covers the sides of the phone.

The phone is said to be code-named “HTC Ocean,” and it’s expected to be sold as the HTC U when it hits the streets.

It features a 5.5 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display, a Qualcomm Snpapdragon 835 processor, up to 128GB of storage, a microSD card, and a 12MP rear camera and 16MP front camera.

But the most interesting thing is the Edge Sense feature that lets you squeeze, swipe, or tap the phone’s edges to launch apps, adjust volume, place phone calls, select content, or start a search, among other things.

While HTC hasn’t officially launched the phone yet, Blass has a better track record with smartphone leaks than just about anyone else… and over the past few months he’s posted two leaked promotional videos that look pretty legit.

Blass says HTC will likely make an official announcement sometime in mid-to-late April, with the HTC U smartphone hitting the streets in early May.

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4 replies on “Report: You’ll be able to control HTC U smartphone by squeezing, swiping its sides”

    1. Well, it’s a concept.
      It’s not even new, I proposed this years ago but none of the OEMs cared, as they preferred to focus on “thinness” and “bloat”.

      LG was the closest, by putting the Volume Rocker and Power button at the back.

      But Apple’s made the biggest innovation in navigation in the latest years with their Force/3D Touch.

  1. I hate it when you try to just zoom or scroll by touching the screen and you end up activating a link. So this is a good idea. It would be especially nice if you could customize the action depending upon the app open at the time.

    Or you could just bring back those things called “keys”. There must have been a key disease of some kind because they went away and you rarely see them now except sometimes on a Blackberry or a Lumia.

    1. The ravenous key beetle has wiped out small button manufacturing across Asia, but hasn’t spread down the peninsula to Malaysia, where Blackberries are manufactured.

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