HTC is one company that has quite the story as a device manufacturer for Android phones. They made the first Android phone (HTC Dream) and had phones that were revered for their design like the 2013’s HTC One.
HTC has fumbled over the years after the release of the M8 (highly criticized camera) and the M9 (highly criticized camera and the Snapdragon 810 was prone to overheating). They however came back to the game with the HTC 10 last year and we have been waiting for its successor and they have announced it today.
Today the company has announced the HTC U11, their new flagship phone that replaces the HTC 10 from last year.
It has the same “liquid glass” body we saw with their earlier release (HTC U Ultra). The coolest thing about it is how they demoed a new way of interacting with the phone by squeezing it which they call it Edge Sense. You can squeeze it to launch the camera, long squeeze to change the cameras, squeeze to take a selfie and so on.
The HTC U11 will also be able to integrate with both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa but only in the US, Germany and UK.
The phone is also not short of power. It runs on Qualcomm’s latest and greatest processor, the Snapdragon 835. This makes it effectively compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the Xiaomi Mi6.
The HTC U11 has a formidable camera on paper. It still retains the 12MP sensor we saw on the HTC 10 but it has been updated with a wider f 1.7 aperture like the one in the Galaxy S7 and S8. They also went ahead to give it a 5 axis optical image stabilization plus electronic image stabilization so that in theory, it will allow you to have really stable videos.
It also has an ultra speed auto focus which they said uses dual pixel AF tech we saw in the Galaxy S7 and S8 (and it is featured in Canon DSLRs) which is blazingly fast. The primary camera is so good, apparently DxoMark gave it a score of 90, which firmly sets it at the top of the smartphone camera rankings ahead of the highly rated Google Pixel or the Samsung Galaxy S8.
The selfie camera was also updated to a 16MP sensor with an f 2.0 lens that is pretty wide (150 degrees) so that you can take a selfie with an entire crowd.
HTC is known for their audio prowess and they didn’t skimp on it with the U11. Their new flagship has 4 microphones for “multi-directional” sound which is great for your videos to have a fuller experience. They also displayed their acoustic focus feature where you can zoom to a subject so that you can hear what they are playing better. HTC Boomsound is still present in the HTC U11 where one of the speakers will have more space on the inside as a resonance chamber so expect better sound from this phone thanks to this.
HTC also decided to remove the 3.5 mm jack from their phone which was kind of expected since they did that already with the HTC U Ultra. They also added USonic headphones in the box which are USB-C headphones that are “sonar based” and create a sound profile that is based for you when you set it up. However if you still want to use 3.5mm jacks, there is a USB-type C to 3.5mm jack in the box to as consolation.
Another highly overlooked feature is that the HTC U11 has UFS 2.1 memory which is faster than the old eMMC memory that came with the HTC 10. Sony also updated their XZ Premium with this faster storage memory so expect better app load times or gallery refresh rates thanks to it.
According to HTC, the HTC U11 will be available from next week in select regions, but they didn’t specify where. This is an exciting product from the company and sure enough, they are back! However, that omission of the 3.5mm headphone jack will sure ruffle some feathers with reviewers and people alike.
Here is the list of specs:
|Snapdragon 835 with the Adreno 540 GPU
|2560 x 1440p Super LCD 5 with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
|64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 + MicroSD
|12MP Ultrapixel with 1.4μm pixel size, UltraSpeed AF, OIS, f/1.7 aperture, dual LED flash, RAW, HDR boost, Slow mo video upto 120fps at 1080p, 4K video
|16MP f/2.0, HDR Boost, upto 1080p video recording
|3000mAH, Quick Charge 3.0
|USB-Type C, HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation, BoomSound, 4 mics, HiRes audio recording
|CAT 15 LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, DLNA, AirPlay, Miracast, Chromecast, Bluetooth 4.2, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type -C
|Ambient light, Proximity, Gyroscope, Compass, Motion G, Fingerprint, Edge Sensor, Sensor Hub
|Dual nano SIM
|IP67 certified, Android 7.1.1 Nougat