HTC U23 Pro review

GSMArena Team, 23 August 2023.

6.7-inch 120Hz OLED display

The 6.7-inch, 1080 x 2400 pixel display of the HTC U23 Pro looks pretty good on paper. It is an OLED panel and one with 120Hz refresh rate. Once we actually put the display through its paces and our standardized testing, we were left a lot less impressed.

HTC U23 Pro review

Let's start with brightness. We measure a maximum of 725 nits on the slider, which is decent-enough for most outdoor scenarios but fails to impress. The U23 Pro has auto brightness, which works pretty well, but does not appear to boos maximum brightness any further. Well, saying that, we did measure 727 nits of max brightness in auto mode, but two nits is hardly a difference and well within the margin of error.

Max display brightness test

White test pattern, 75% fill (nits)

  • Manual mode
  • Auto mode
HTC U23 Pro HTC U23 Pro
725
6.7" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Xiaomi Redmi 12 Xiaomi Redmi 12
541
6.79" IPS LCD 1080 x 2460 px
Redmi Note 12 Pro+ Redmi Note 12 Pro+
535
6.67" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Poco F5 Pro Poco F5 Pro
520
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 3200 px
OnePlus Nord 3 OnePlus Nord 3
516
6.74" Fluid AMOLED 1240 x 2772 px
Motorola Edge 40 Motorola Edge 40
516
6.55" P-OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Pixel 6a Pixel 6a
505
6.1" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Oppo Reno 10 Pro Oppo Reno 10 Pro
504
6.7" AMOLED 1080 x 2412 px
Oppo Reno10 Oppo Reno10
502
6.7" AMOLED 1080 x 2412 px
Pixel 7a Pixel 7a
498
6.1" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
vivo V27 vivo V27
497
6.78" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Poco X5 Pro Poco X5 Pro
491
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Redmi Note 12 Pro Redmi Note 12 Pro
490
6.67" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
vivo V27 Pro vivo V27 Pro
479
6.78" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Galaxy A34 Galaxy A34
476
6.6" AMOLED 1080 x 2340 px
Redmi Note 12 4G Redmi Note 12 4G
474
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Realme 11 Pro Realme 11 Pro
474
6.7" AMOLED 1080 x 2412 px
Poco F5 Poco F5
470
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Realme 11 Pro+ Realme 11 Pro+
470
6.7" AMOLED 1080 x 2412 px
Galaxy A54 Galaxy A54
457
6.4" Super AMOLED 1080 x 2340 px
Redmi Note 12 Redmi Note 12
447
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
 Galaxy S21 FE 5G Galaxy S21 FE 5G
385
6.4" Dynamic AMOLED 2X 1080 x 2400 px
OnePlus Nord 3 OnePlus Nord 3
1114
6.74" Fluid AMOLED 1240 x 2772 px
Pixel 7a Pixel 7a
1070
6.1" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Poco F5 Pro Poco F5 Pro
1059
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 3200 px
vivo V27 vivo V27
1055
6.78" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Motorola Edge 40 Motorola Edge 40
1043
6.55" P-OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Galaxy A34 Galaxy A34
1009
6.6" AMOLED 1080 x 2340 px
Redmi Note 12 Pro+ Redmi Note 12 Pro+
990
6.67" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Galaxy A54 Galaxy A54
980
6.4" Super AMOLED 1080 x 2340 px
vivo V27 Pro vivo V27 Pro
978
6.78" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Poco F5 Poco F5
963
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Poco X5 Pro Poco X5 Pro
912
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Redmi Note 12 Pro Redmi Note 12 Pro
890
6.67" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Pixel 6a Pixel 6a
876
6.1" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Oppo Reno10 Oppo Reno10
811
6.7" AMOLED 1080 x 2412 px
Oppo Reno 10 Pro Oppo Reno 10 Pro
793
6.7" AMOLED 1080 x 2412 px
Realme 11 Pro+ Realme 11 Pro+
793
6.7" AMOLED 1080 x 2412 px
 Galaxy S21 FE 5G Galaxy S21 FE 5G
792
6.4" Dynamic AMOLED 2X 1080 x 2400 px
Realme 11 Pro Realme 11 Pro
790
6.7" AMOLED 1080 x 2412 px
Redmi Note 12 4G Redmi Note 12 4G
744
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
HTC U23 Pro HTC U23 Pro
727
6.7" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Redmi Note 12 Redmi Note 12
706
6.67" AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px
Xiaomi Redmi 12 Xiaomi Redmi 12
541
6.79" IPS LCD 1080 x 2460 px

Let's talk colors next. The U23 Pro has a total of three display color modes - Natural, Boosted and Adaptive. All three aim for DCI-P3 and offer quite a wide color space. In terms of color accuracy, all three modes are pretty similar in their rendition, and none is particularly color-accurate. The U23 Pro tends to oversaturate all the primary color channels, presumably done to get that distinctive OLED "pop". The U23 Pro mostly gets that job done well.

The HTC U23 Pro has no HDR support on its display. However, some HDR decoding capabilities are onboard, namely for HDR10 and HLG. There is no HDR10+ or Dolby Vision, though.

HDR support - HTC U23 Pro review Netflix playback capabilities - HTC U23 Pro review DRM - HTC U23 Pro review
HDR support • Netflix playback capabilities • DRM

The U23 Pro has the highest possible L1 Widevine DRM certification, allowing streaming services like Netflix to offer up FullHD streams and saturate the display's native resolution.

High refresh rate handling

As previously mentioned, the U23 Pro has a 120Hz refresh rate on its AMOLED display. The phone actually has support for three distinct refresh rates - 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz. In terms of settings, there are a total of three refresh rate modes as well - 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz.

HTC U23 Pro review

Most modern phones tend to have at least some form of automatic refresh rate switching in order to balance refresh rate and the smoothness higher values provide with battery endurance. This, unfortunately, is not the case with the HTC U23 Pro.

There seems to be absolutely no automatic refresh rate switching behavior in place. If you set the phone to 120Hz, it just locks at a 120Hz refresh rate. It is the same with 90Hz and 60Hz. The only real exception are certain apps that request 60Hz operation implicitly, like Google Maps. You can really end up wasting power by doing something like video playback at 120Hz.

HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review
HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review
HTC U23 Pro operating at 120Hz

At least this means that high refresh rate gaming is straight forward and easy, right? Well, surprisingly, that is not the case. Out of the four games we tried, that can push frame rates beyond 60fps, two played nicely with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the other two lowered the refresh rate to 60Hz for some reason.

HTC U23 Pro gaming at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro gaming at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro gaming at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review HTC U23 Pro gaming at 120Hz - HTC U23 Pro review
HTC U23 Pro gaming at 120Hz

All things considered, the HTC U23 Pro has some of the worst high refresh rate handling we've seen in a while on a modern phone. There is plenty of room for improvement.

Battery life

The U23 Pro is based on a pretty modern Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset. It uses a 4nm Samsung 4LPE manufacturing process. The on-board battery pack is a decent 4,600 mAh in size - not too large, but not overly small either.

We can't say that the battery endurance of the U23 Pro impressed us in any way. In our testing, it only managed 83 hours of total endurance. The phone didn't impress in any particular part of the test, but generally did alright in the video playback and 3G talk time portions. However, its poor standby time and Wi-Fi browsing tests really held it back.

HTC U23 Pro review

As a reminder, the web browsing portion of our testing was conducted at the phone's top 120Hz refresh rate mode, while the video test part was done at 60Hz.

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSerDevice app. The endurance rating denotes how long the battery charge will last you if you use the device for an hour of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. More details can be found here.

Video test carried out in 60Hz refresh rate mode. Web browsing test done at the display's highest refresh rate whenever possible. Refer to the respective reviews for specifics. To adjust the endurance rating formula to match your own usage patterns check out our all-time battery test results chart where you can also find all phones we've tested.

Charging speed

Unfortunately, HTC does not ship the U23 Pro with a charger. The company isn't super clear on what charging protocols the phone supports, either. All we know from the specs is that it should be able to charge at a rate of up to 30W.

After testing known good and versatile chargers, we discovered that the U23 Pro negotiates a Power Delivery (PD) charging session with a charger when available, with a possible fallback to Quick Charge. The phone does not seem to require PPS or anything fancy of the sort, so you should be good with a decent 30W or better PD 3.0 charger and cable combo.

HTC U23 Pro review

In terms of charging speed, we managed to get the phone from dead to 33% in 15 minutes and then 60% in 30 minutes. A full charge took an hour and eighteen minutes. That's not particularly fast, but it's still alright in the grand scheme of things.

Charging speed

  • in 15 min
  • in 30 min
  • Time to full charge (from 0%)
Redmi Note 12 Pro+ Redmi Note 12 Pro+
81%
5000 mAh 120W HyperCharge
Realme 11 Pro+ Realme 11 Pro+
63%
5000 mAh 100W SuperVOOC
OnePlus Nord 3 OnePlus Nord 3
61%
5000 mAh 80W SuperVOOC
Oppo Reno 10 Pro Oppo Reno 10 Pro
58%
4600 mAh 80W SUPERVOOC
Motorola Edge 40 Motorola Edge 40
58%
4400 mAh 68W TurboPower
Poco F5 Pro Poco F5 Pro
50%
5160 mAh 67W
vivo V27 vivo V27
49%
4600 mAh 66W FlashCharge
Poco F5 Poco F5
48%
5000 mAh 67W
Poco X5 Pro Poco X5 Pro
47%
5000 mAh 67W
Redmi Note 12 Pro Redmi Note 12 Pro
44%
5000 mAh Xiaomi 67W
Realme 11 Pro Realme 11 Pro
42%
5000 mAh 67W SuperVOOC
vivo V27 Pro vivo V27 Pro
42%
4600 mAh 66W FlashCharge
Oppo Reno10 Oppo Reno10
39%
5000 mAh 67W SuperVOOC
HTC U23 Pro HTC U23 Pro
33%
4600 mAh 30W PD3.0
Redmi Note 12 4G Redmi Note 12 4G
32%
5000 mAh 33W
Redmi Note 12 Redmi Note 12
31%
5000 mAh 33W
Galaxy A54 Galaxy A54
30%
5000 mAh 25W Samsung PD + PPS
Galaxy A34 Galaxy A34
27%
5000 mAh 25W Samsung PD + PPS
Google Pixel 7a Google Pixel 7a
20%
4385 mAh 30W PD
Xiaomi Redmi 12 Xiaomi Redmi 12
16%
5000 mAh 18W PD
Redmi Note 12 Pro+ Redmi Note 12 Pro+
100%
5000 mAh 120W HyperCharge
Realme 11 Pro+ Realme 11 Pro+
100%
5000 mAh 100W SuperVOOC
Oppo Reno 10 Pro Oppo Reno 10 Pro
100%
4600 mAh 80W SUPERVOOC
OnePlus Nord 3 OnePlus Nord 3
98%
5000 mAh 80W SuperVOOC
Motorola Edge 40 Motorola Edge 40
92%
4400 mAh 68W TurboPower
Poco F5 Pro Poco F5 Pro
86%
5160 mAh 67W
Poco F5 Poco F5
83%
5000 mAh 67W
Poco X5 Pro Poco X5 Pro
82%
5000 mAh 67W
vivo V27 vivo V27
82%
4600 mAh 66W FlashCharge
Redmi Note 12 Pro Redmi Note 12 Pro
78%
5000 mAh Xiaomi 67W
Oppo Reno10 Oppo Reno10
74%
5000 mAh 67W SuperVOOC
Realme 11 Pro Realme 11 Pro
72%
5000 mAh 67W SuperVOOC
vivo V27 Pro vivo V27 Pro
71%
4600 mAh 66W FlashCharge
HTC U23 Pro HTC U23 Pro
60%
4600 mAh 30W PD3.0
Galaxy A54 Galaxy A54
56%
5000 mAh 25W Samsung PD + PPS
Redmi Note 12 Redmi Note 12
56%
5000 mAh 33W
Redmi Note 12 4G Redmi Note 12 4G
55%
5000 mAh 33W
Galaxy A34 Galaxy A34
51%
5000 mAh 25W Samsung PD + PPS
Galaxy S21 FE 5G Galaxy S21 FE 5G
51%
4500 mAh 25W PD
Google Pixel 6a Google Pixel 6a
42%
4410 mAh 18W PD
Google Pixel 7a Google Pixel 7a
36%
4385 mAh 30W PD
Xiaomi Redmi 12 Xiaomi Redmi 12
29%
5000 mAh 18W PD
Redmi Note 12 Pro+ Redmi Note 12 Pro+
0:23h
5000 mAh 120W HyperCharge
Realme 11 Pro+ Realme 11 Pro+
0:28h
5000 mAh 100W SuperVOOC
Oppo Reno 10 Pro Oppo Reno 10 Pro
0:30h
4600 mAh 80W SUPERVOOC
OnePlus Nord 3 OnePlus Nord 3
0:32h
5000 mAh 80W SuperVOOC
Motorola Edge 40 Motorola Edge 40
0:40h
4400 mAh 68W TurboPower
Oppo Reno10 Oppo Reno10
0:43h
5000 mAh 67W SuperVOOC
Poco F5 Poco F5
0:47h
5000 mAh 67W
Realme 11 Pro Realme 11 Pro
0:47h
5000 mAh 67W SuperVOOC
Poco F5 Pro Poco F5 Pro
0:48h
5160 mAh 67W
Poco X5 Pro Poco X5 Pro
0:50h
5000 mAh 67W
vivo V27 Pro vivo V27 Pro
0:51h
4600 mAh 66W FlashCharge
vivo V27 vivo V27
0:53h
4600 mAh 66W FlashCharge
Redmi Note 12 Pro Redmi Note 12 Pro
0:55h
5000 mAh Xiaomi 67W
Galaxy A54 Galaxy A54
1:03h
5000 mAh 25W Samsung PD + PPS
Redmi Note 12 Redmi Note 12
1:08h
5000 mAh 33W
Redmi Note 12 4G Redmi Note 12 4G
1:11h
5000 mAh 33W
Galaxy S21 FE 5G Galaxy S21 FE 5G
1:15h
4500 mAh 25W PD
HTC U23 Pro HTC U23 Pro
1:18h
4600 mAh 30W PD3.0
Galaxy A34 Galaxy A34
1:24h
5000 mAh 25W Samsung PD + PPS
Google Pixel 6a Google Pixel 6a
1:51h
4410 mAh 18W PD
Google Pixel 7a Google Pixel 7a
1:57h
4385 mAh 30W PD
Xiaomi Redmi 12 Xiaomi Redmi 12
2:07h
5000 mAh 18W PD

Speaker

As already mentioned, the U23 Pro only has a single bottom-firing speaker at its disposal. There is no stereo setup, not even a hybrid one. That's quite a bummer since a stereo setup can be attained in this price bracket.

HTC U23 Pro review

On the plus side, the U23 Pro did manage to score a "VERY GOOD" loudness score in our testing, even if just barely so. In terms of frequency response, the output of the U23 Pro is actually quite clean. Mids, in particular, like voices sound good and clear.

There are no additional audio settings to tweak or experiment with. No equalizer or anything like that. You are stuck with what HTC offers out of the box.

Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal "0db" flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.

Reader comments

From what I can see, the HTC U23 Pro's camera is way better than the competition.

  • Anonymous
  • 03 Mar 2024
  • GTp

Actually, it half true. Soc in a54 kind of suck. But samsung got good software updates

  • Anonymous
  • 22 Feb 2024
  • Hk{

Well, far from perfect but my u23 pro(From Taiwan) Little bit better because charger included. While camera quite suck(Sorry htc you did great in u12+ but this time you suck) other thing are reasonable good. The real problem is where is "...