Squeezable Smartphone, A Wonder To Behold – HTC U11

5

Once a king in the smartphone market, the HTC kicked off 2017 by bringing all new design with the U series; hoping for a promising future, to rejuvenate interest in its smartphones. Gone are the chamfered edges and all-metal design; glass is the new sexy.

The U Play and U Ultra didn’t take off earlier this year and neither of them are the true flagships of the U series. “To take the throne imperial U11 steps in” with a lot riding on its shoulders. It is the successor to the well-reviewed HTC 10.

Another big news is that like the iPhone 7, the HTC U11 is IP67-rated which means you can submerge it in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. It seems like HTC has decided to be a winner this year with its high-end specs.

HTC U11 Price, Specs and Everything

 

Availability:

htc u11The arrival date of the Highness has been set for 18 May in Asia, June for the UK and later this year for other territories. However, you will be able to pick up the phone from then but you will be trading off some of the key features from the start. So to enjoy it at its utmost level getting the full effect from the HTC U11, you will have to wait until July 2017.

Price:

While the price has remained same for HTC’s flagships, the HTC U11 is still rather expensive, testament to the hatful of top-notch specs tucked inside. HTC will provide the U11 unlocked on its website and Amazon for $650 and it will be compatible with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks. Sprint is the only carrier selling it directly and you can have it for a full price of $696, or $29 a month for 24 months.

Design:

Forget the last year’s HTC 10 as you will be spell-bound seeing the mesmerizing HTC U11. It uses the brand’s new ‘Liquid Surface’ design redefining feel of its phones and boasts off the Gorilla Glass 5 front and back creating a powerful, rolling structure in hand. Partly because it is so shiny, it is unique and makes the HTC U11 stands out.

“It wins the crown of the most beautiful smartphone.”

Under the coating of Gorilla Glass, the color shimmers and changes as you tilt it owed to the mirrored coating on the back, named by HTC as “optical spectrum hybrid deposition”. And with such a smooth, shiny backcomes the vulnerability to fingerprints, so keep a microfiber cloth handy. Don’t worry other glass devices, like the Galaxy S8, also have the same problem.

The HTC U11 feels incredibly smooth in hand. All the edges on the back have smooth curves and the transformation from glass to metal is seamless. The HTC did work well with the glass and smooth finishing but it doesn’t seem to focus much on minimizing bezels like the LG and Samsung.

There is a lot of space around the screen on the top and bottom of the display like the Google Pixel. The company claims that it is satisfied with the 5.5 inch frame and 16:9 aspect ratio rather than the 18:9 aspect ratio found on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6.

Like an iPhone, there is a fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the phone and doubles as a home button. You will find the selfie camera on the top. A volume rocker is located above the power button on the right and there is a USB Type-C charging port on the bottom edge of the HTC U11.

Next to the USB Type-C charging port, there is a single speaker port, the other is located at the top earpiece to provide hi-res stereo sound. The phone doesn’t feature headphone jack but it comes with USB-C headphones and the U11 offers active noise cancellation through them.

Display:

The HTC U11 features 5.5inch LCD screen which is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The screen packs a fantastic resolution of 2,560×1,440 pixels which is absolute standard for a high-end phone. It comes with bright and colorful QHD display.

It is a more traditional screen with 16:9 wide display which looks somewhat squat compared to other flagship phones around at the moment. But it display apps without the need for stretching or altering. The display of the HTC U11 is clear and vivid for a top-end phone.

Specs:

Talking about a flagship phone, it is not hard to guess about its specs list and same is the case with the HTC U11-it is the best of everything. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset and that will be available worldwide.

However, some regions will be getting 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and some will be able to purchase 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage space. This is a pretty common practice for most manufacturers these days, as they tend to impress the spec-hungry Asian markets while still making it affordable enough in regions where there is not such a clamor for power.

The HTC U11 comes with the Android 7.1 Nougat, with Google Assistant incorporated right into the mix and if you want to get all fancy and multi-carded, a microSD card slot can be repurposed to use a second SIM card.

Camera:

The HTC U11 doesn’t have dual camera on the back; instead it offers a 12MP sensor on the rear and 16MP for the front. The camera comes with the HDR Boost which resembles a lot with the HDR+ mode on the Google Pixel phone last year which coincidentally, HTC also manufactured.

The rear camera has an f/1.7 aperture for decent low-light performance and enables you shoot in RAW to take a more professional snap if you want to manipulate the images.

Similar to some of the best smartphones cameras around, the autofocus speed has been dropped to 0.3 seconds, so chances of taking a sharp photo have been luckily upgraded. The front-facing camera lets you pull in more pals to the picture if you want as the camera offers the chance to take a panorama selfie and has a 150-degree wide lens to bring in more of the scene.

Audio:

Most fully featured part of the HTC U11 is audio, starting with what’s on the box. HTC U11 bestows you the upgraded HTC U Sonic headphones which are capable of working out your perfect sound profile by beaming sound into ear and mapping the ear canal.

This time around, the upgrade of the U Sonic headphones include active noise cancelling which means they are going to be the very best buds you would like to tote around with any phone anywhere.

You might be upset with the lack of headphone jack on HTC U11, but you will get a DAC in the box to plug in your current cans that will as a result give you an easy connection and improved sound.

You will be delighted to find out the HTC U11 is Hi-Res Audio certified, so be ready to get great sound pumping out of the high-end files. There is Boomsound on board firing the sound out of the earpiece.

And if you don’t want to plug in headphones, there is a single speaker in the bottom of the phone. All is up to you; if you want a headset with arguably the strongest audio line up, HTC seems to be providing it with the HTC U11.

Color:

The HTC U11’s reflectiveness and coloring is mesmerizing. At launch, phone will be available in five colors; Amazing Silver, Solar Red, Ice White, Brilliant Black and Sapphire Blue making up the range.

Each color has a two-tone pearlescent effect that shimmer in a way depending on the angle you will hold the phone at; particularly the Solar Red is striking the way it alters as you tilt it.

Battery Life:

Pumping the power beneath the surface of the HTC U11 is a 3000mAh battery which is same as the Samsung Galaxy S8 but lower than the LG G6. The battery combined with the Snapdragon 835 chipset should be able to juice up the device for a day but as this has never been a strong point for HTC, but considering other high-end specs, it deserves leeway in this regard.

The HTC Boost+ app does a decent job at keeping things checked in terms of power management and along with Android Nougat OS on board; the phone might actually surprise in terms of battery but expect great things at your own risk.

HTC U11 Squeezes itself:


In the form of HTC U11, HTC has launched one of the most unusual smartphones ever. The HTC U11 is a rival to Samsung Galaxy S8 but is very different to anything that came before it. Here, “the Star of the show is Edge Sense”.

Around the aluminum body build on the frame, HTC embedded a number of mechanical sensors capable of sensing pressure. This allows you squeeze the phone to trigger specific actions. It is sort of same to Convenience Key on the BlackBerry KeyOne. But the goal here is to experiment with a buttonless design. And if people get used to the simple short-and-long press feature of the HTC U11, then we might be able to see it greatly expand to future devices.

This amazing feature called Edge sense is genuinely useful. It offers you a wide variety of actions you can trigger such as launching an app, turning off Wi-Fi or turning on the camera. In specific apps such as HTC messaging app, in case you don’t want to type you can squeeze the phone to trigger voice input and similarly in the camera, you can capture a photo by just squeezing the phone, thus eliminating the need to press any buttons.

The squeezable parts of the frame provide tactile feedback to reassure you that you are pressing the right pieces of frame. And for added peace of mind, you can enable on-screen visual effects. You can also alter the squeeze pressure and HTC claims that algorithm will detect and ignore any sort of “false squeezes”, for instance, triggered by pockets.

If you feel that saying “Okay Google” to your phone to launch Google assistant in public is a bit showy or embarrassing then you would be delighted knowing that you can use Edge Sense to launch Google Assistant from the lock screen.

Every new thing takes some of your time to get used to it but the Edge sense is not a gimmicky feature and is surely a good stepping stone for a future device devoid of buttons. It works reliably and feels surprisingly natural and also makes you wonder why you haven’t used such a thing before.

At launch, you will be able to set these squeezes to perform certain tasks such as firing up the camera, opening specific apps, activating voice recorder, torch or Google Assistant. However, HTC touts an app that will let you map squeezes to anything you fancy which will render this phone pretty interesting. But the bad news is that you are not going to get this feature with the phone at launch and you will have to wait till July to utilize the beta version of this functionality.

Sense Companion:

HTC is contributing towards a hands-free future. The HTC U11 offers Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant and describes them as an “equal-class citizen” on the phone. Both assistants are always listening and you can choose to use one of the, both of them or neither of them.

HTC believes Alexia is superior in home and Google assistant is the better option when you are put and about. However, Google Assistant will come pre-loaded on HTC U11 and Alexa will arrive via Google Play in July.

The Huawei Mate 9 also provides both assistants but the HTC U11 being a “wonder” goes a step further.
HTC also incorporated its own artificial intelligence voice assistant, Sense Companion. It is similar to Google Assistant and will handle stuff like notifications and your daily schedule. HTC also decided to introduce yet another voice-based virtual assistant in China, the BaiduDuerOS.

The HTC U11 has four microphones just as the U Ultra. One is always-on and depending on where you are situated it determines which microphone to switch on or off. According to HTC, this is great for voice interactions like with Google Assistant.

While it is nice to have so much choice but this scatter-gun approach also leads to confusion. HTC might want to rebuild its once-excellent reputation by going extra mile.

HTC U11 vs. Google Pixel:


HTC has finally taken the wraps off of highly powerful and long-awaited HTC U11. HTC U11 is the company’s flagship smartphone for the year and possibly the best smartphone to date. It is not, however, without competition.

Last year, one of the biggest surprises perhaps was the Google Pixel, Google’s debut into the self designed smartphone world. The phone generated a ton of brouhaha and praise when it was launched back in October. The Google Pixel is one of the best Android phones available. And while it is also manufactured by HTC, will the new HTC U11 beats the Google Pixel? Let’s see.

Specs and Performance:

Newer flagship phones almost always lead in power the old ones and HTC U11 is no exception. On account of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, it is clear that the HTC U11 is a powerful device but that’s not to say that the Snapdragon 821 in the Google Pixel is not a good chip. Or simply you can say it is just a little outdated. The Snapdragon 821 scores very decently but the Snapdragon 835 goes above and beyond hitting hefty scores.

Comparing the storage and RAM, the HTC U11 wins outright. If you reside in U.S., then you will get access to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for HTC U11. However, the international version allows for a choice of 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, or 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. On the other hand, the Google Pixel offers 4GB RAM with either 32GB or 128GB storage.

But it is not finished yet. The HTC U11 may not have as much storage if you are living in U.S., but it comes equipped with a MicroSD card slot which allows you expand it if you need, and this makes the HTC U11 a winner in this area.

Design and Display:

Both the phones offer unique and interesting design. The Google Pixel has a half glass rear that is unique certainly, though it didn’t have mass appeal. The HTC U11 vaunts a shiny glass back design with a spectacular range of colors. It features sleek, rounded corners and edges with HTC’s new Edge Sense, which enables you to control the phone by squeezing it. But there is something missing from the HTC U11, which the Google Pixel offers, a headphone jack.

There are few things to consider in terms of display; the type of display, size and resolution. The Google Pixel features a 5 inch display with a resolution of 1,080×1,920 with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. On the other hand, the HTC U11 has a 5.5 inch display with a resolution of 1,440×2,560 with a pixel density of 534 pixels per inch.

To be fair, Google does provide the 5.5 inch Pixel XL having the same resolution and pixels per inch, though it is pricey than the regular pixel and also we are talking about Google Pixel. Another thing to consider is the type of display. The HTC U11 features LCD display, while the Google Pixel sticks with AMOLED display. Many consider AMOLED to be somewhat better because it offers deeper blacks and brighter colors and is more energy efficient. It also means that HTC U11 is not attuned with the Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform.

While design is largely subjective, still the HTC U11 certainly turns heads.

Software:

Both the flagship phones use the latest and greatest Android Nougat, which provides excellent features such as useful notification bundling, improved multi-tasking and more. However, the HTC U11 has some special built-in features, making it a bit different for those who are interested.

For instance, the phone offers HTC Sense which is the company’s Android overlay. Sense is now a lot less intrusive as it was few years ago. It has evolved quite a lot. The phone will come with a few HTC-specific apps. Apart from that, HTC phone are now quite similar to stock Android.

Talking about the bundled features, the HTC U11 features HTC’s digital assistant, HTC Sense Companion. Unlike Google Assistant, Sense Companion is not a voice assistant but it anticipates your needs using your calendar, location and your phone use habits. Along with that, the HTC U11 also offers Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Above all, HTC U11 features new HTC Edge Sense.

A serious advantage of getting a Google-built phone with Google-built software is Updates. Google offers regular security updates to Pixel, and while manufacturers are known for being a bit more lax in pushing those update-leaving your device open to hacks.

HTC U11 also offers some HTC-specific features but many argue that less is more when it comes to Android. Many opt to stick with one digital assistant, while other feels that manufacturer-specific apps serve only to take up storage space. As it really depends on personal preference, you can consider it a tie.

Camera:

While the Google Pixel was hailed as having one of the best camera when first launched, the HTC U11 beats Google Pixel to become DxOMark’s top smartphone camera. The rear-facing camera of both phones is 12 megapixels; however, the Pixels camera has an f/2.0 aperture, while that of the HTC U11 has an f/1.7 aperture. This means that the HTC U11 should be slightly better in low-light situations. Both phones offer dual-LED flashes. The HTC U11 offers optical image stabilization, which the Google Pixel doesn’t.

In terms of front-facing camera, things are a little less competitive. The Google Pixel has an 8MP front-facing camera with an f/2.4 aperture, whereas the HTC U11’s front-facing camera has a whopping 16MP, making the U11 to be a biggest pick for selfie lovers.

DxO announced the news of giving the HTC U11 a top score of 90, bringing it one point higher than the Google Pixel and four points higher than the iPhone 7.

Battery and Charging:

The Google Pixel offers a battery capacity of 2,770mAh. The HTC U11 goes a step further with a capacity of 3,000mAh. But capacity is not the only thing here, because of the bigger screen with a higher resolution; the Google Pixel will last longer than HTC U11.

That is direct from HTC and Google. Google says that Pixel will offer up to 26 hours of talk time, while HTC lists that the U11 will last 24.5 hours. That alone the Pixel the winner.

In terms of charging, the HTC U11 offers Quick Charge 3.0, while the Pixel offers “Fast Charging”. And yet we don’t know exactly how quickly Quick Charge 3.0 will charge the U11, Pixel will provide 7 hours of use with 15 minutes of charging.

 So, the Google Pixel wins the category because of the longer life with single charge. 

Durability:

All that glorious shine look of the HTC U11 comes at a cost. The entire back is coated with glass and also the front because of the screen. The only metal part is the aluminum frame of the phone, which is found only on the edges of the device. The Google Pixel with a half-glass back and other half being metal also features a lot of glass but a little less. So, if you accidently drop your Pixel, you are much less likely to shatter glass than HTC U11.

Still, the HTC U11 is IP67-certified which means that it can manage being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. The Google Pixel would win a drop test but the U11 can take a dip in the pool. This one is a tie.

Price and Availability:

For the 32GB version of the phone, the Google Pixel starts at $650, however, the 128GB will set you back $749. The phone has been available for some time now, but Google has stock issues, such as you might have trouble snagging one with your preferred color and size.

HTC will provide the U11 unlocked on its website and Amazon for $650 and it will be compatible with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks. Sprint is the only carrier selling it directly and you can have it for a full price of $696, or $29 a month for 24 months. The HTC U11 is available for pre-order now and it will start shipping in June.

 So that you get more storage for the same price as standard Pixel, HTC gets the win here. 

Surprise, everyone! And also condolence to the Pixel lovers…The newer is better. While the Google Pixel is a superb device and even beats out the U11 in battery life, the HTC U11 is more powerful, easier on the eyes and is waterproof. If you are looking for a flagship phone and you like the included software and the design, then the HTC U11 is a great option.

But that doesn’t to say you should not consider Google Pixel. If you are into stock Android and like the thought of consistent and regular updates, the Google Pixel may be a better choice.

HTC U11 vs. Samsung Galaxy 8


The HTC U11 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 are the best way to tell that phones made of glass are the new “in” thing right now. Both Android Nougat smartphones with glass-bodies are just launched, and there is a lot to like about them both. But speaking the truth, both are very different everywhere else.

The HTC U11 is a compelling smartphone. It touts the company’s UltraPixel camera, which is the highest scored smartphone camera on DxOMark. It is powered by Qualcomm new Snapdragon 835 processor and an AL-powered assistant for good measure.

But its prime competition, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is no less a powerhouse. It features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, plus a water-resistant design, wireless charging and Bixby which is Samsung’s own Al-powered assistant.

We pit the HTC U11 against the Samsung Galaxy S8 to help you decide on the better phone.

Design:

The HTC U11 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 set aside their aluminum and plastic forerunners for an all-glass design on the front and back with the metal frames in between. Both the best looking and shiniest phones from each company, but of course, you can easily tell them apart. Their fonts are very different.

The ‘Infinity Display’ by Samsung gives you a massive 5.8 inch screen without making the device dimensions too much bigger. And gone are the fingerprint sensor home button and needless bezels.
HTC U11 not following the all-screen trend sticks with the tried-and-true front fingerprint sensing home button. Though, it does have its own tricks. It has got a squeezable frame. In a future upgrade, HTC is going to launch any app you map to this gesture.

It is also nice to know that HTC U11 has more dynamic colors available. At launch, phone will be available in five colors; Amazing Silver, Solar Red, Ice White, Brilliant Black and Sapphire Blue making up the range.

You can’t stop staring at the front of the S8 but the back is not as pretty. Its fingerprint sensor is in the awkward position next to camera. The HTC U11 doesn’t have this problem as its oval-shaped fingerprint sensor is on the front. The U11’s edges curve gradually and its back is the one you can’t stop looking at because it is simply gorgeous.

Both the phones are water resistant. With an IP68, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a slight improvement in depth. Both the HTC U11 and the Galaxy S8 pack USB Type-C charging ports. Unlike S8, the U11 doesn’t have the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. But HTC justifies it with its USB-C USonic headphones that come with the device. The HTC U11 can power active noise cancelling tech to the ear buds and this feat is made possible with the USB Type-C port.

 The HTC U11 also packs four microphones that S8 doesn’t. 

Battery Life and Charging:

The HTC U11 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 share the same 3,000mAh battery capacity. HTC claims the battery life at 24.5 hours on 3G/4G and up to 14 days on standby. The battery life of Samsung Galaxy S8 lasts just about as long.

Both devices charge quickly. Now that we know, the HTC U11 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard, which offers roughly 1 hour of battery power for every 1 minute of charge. The Samsung Galaxy S8, on the other hand, uses Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charge and also supports wireless charging (QI/PMA).

Display:

HTC and Samsung both introduced bigger displays to their flagships. Samsung fit a 5.8 inch Quad HD+ display into a phone of roughly the same size as last year’s Galaxy S7. That is great engineering. It also features HDR. But it lacks the front physical home button with a fingerprint sensor. The sensor is now positioned on the back and off-set from the centered rear camera.

HTC U11 comes with a 5.5 inch Quad HD screen larger than last year’s 5.2 inch but doesn’t stretch it out enough to be an all-screen phone. The trade-off is thatthe phone still keeps the fingerprint scanner on the front, where it belongs.

You may notice some differences between HTC’s Super LCD panel and Samsung’s best-in-class Super AMOLED display. And perhaps you know AMOLED has a history of being the best choice for VR gaming, in case that matters to you.

Camera:

The HTC U11 features a rear 12 MP camera with an f/1.7 aperture, a dual-tone LED flash module and an optical image stabilization system that mitigates bumpy car rides and shaky hands.The S8 features a 12MP camera with an excellent low-light performance and holds all the extras you expect.

But as mentioned earlier,  DxOMark has rated the U11’s camera as the best smartphone camera  beating out Google Pixel and the Galaxy S8.

Software:

The HTC U11 ships with Android 7.1.1 which is slightly more recent than the Android 7.0 on the Galaxy S8. It is layered over with the company’s Android skin HTC Sense, not too far from stock Android. The Samsung Galaxy ships with TouchWiz which is, though, greatly improved in design but is not as power intensive as previous version.

HTC U11 desires to be the better long-term smartphone by providing a choice of 4GB of RAM or 6GB or RAM. This increases the multitasking and having more apps open at once.

Price and Availability:

HTC will provide the U11 unlocked on its website and Amazon for $650 and it will be compatible with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks. Sprint is the only carrier selling it directly and you can have it for a full price of $696, or $29 a month for 24 months. The HTC U11 is available for pre-order now and it will start shipping in June.

By comparison, the Galaxy S8 starts at $725 unlocked. Alternatively, it is available from Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, t-Mobile, B&H, Amazon and other retailers for between $720 and $750.
The HTC U11 may not be available from as many retailers as S8, but it is quite cheaper.

HTC U11 Cases and Covers

As the phone is made up of glass, you might be wondering to get a case for it to be protected for a while or so. Many different cases are available at Amazon at decent prices. Some of them are given below:

Dretal Slim Fit Anti-Scratch Clear PC Back TPU Air Bumper Protective Case Cover:

htc u11 caseThis case is made of environment friendly plastic and as the name suggests anti-stretch TPU rubber. It’s a refined design with air cushion technology, reinforced corner protection bumper raised bezels protective, anti-slip side grip and shockproof that disperses impact force.

It is slim, light-weight and stylish with Smart design that allows you total access to all functionality and buttons. Its high transparency back makes you enjoy the beauty of your phone and its colorful bumper gives your phone a stylish look.

It is applicable to HTC U, HTC U11 and HTC Ocean.

MicroP Hybrid Dual Layer Silicone Plastic Armor Defender Phone Case Cover (Armor Green Owl):

htc u11 caseIf you are a color lover and want to add a vibrant and colorful touch to your phone’s case, this would be great. It is a ‘More grip, Less Slip’ case. Its soft bumpers and anti-slip finish helps secure your phone from drops and bumps and also to absorb shock.

It is made of high quality hard and durable plastic as well as silicone with synthetic leather print pattern design that adds to its beauty. It is precisely cut to preserve full use of volume buttons, camera, charger, headphone, microphone and all other ports. It is also very easy to install. Just attach the first layer then the second one.

It is available in an Armor Green Owl color and can be used for HTC U11 and HTC Ocean.

MicroP Slim Folio / Flip Pu Leather With Stand TPU Bumper Back Phone Case Cover For HTC U 11 /HTC Ocean(Black Leather Case Z):

htc u11 caseIf you like an elegant, leathery case, this one could be the one. It is perfectly designed for HTC U11, HTC U and HTC Ocean. It is capable of holding a card (credit card, IDs), plus cash. It is a foldable stand case for watching media or video chat.

It is precisely cut to preserve full use of volume buttons, camera, charger, headphone, microphone and all other ports. The flip cover design gives your phone all side protection. It can slightly protect your phone from shocking and bumping.

The front cover is made of PU leather with iron sheet inside. It provides premium protection and protects your phone from any sharp object. This ultra slim folio type case minimizes bulk and weight.

Cases are not limited to given above. There are many more and you can select depending on our preference.

Verdict:

HTC is veering off in a new direction. HTC U11 is a flagship phone with dazzling design and high-end features.

Pros:

  • Eye-catching design and waterproof
  • Edge Sense seems useful
  • Powerful processor
  • Alexa and Google Assistant support
Cons:

  • Brittle glass design and fingerprint magnet
  • Thick edges around the front screen
  • No headphone jack

You might also like More from author

1 Comment

  1. Allen degree says

    what no headphone jack so how are things going in their favor may be trying to follow the new trend of phones let see what kind of display they provide … good content in post thanks dear for the info

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.