HTC released what is most probably their main flagship for 2017 to go against the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6 and the upcoming iPhone 8. The HTC U 11 whose code name as ‘Ocean’ in the rumor mill comes with some exclusive features that will give it an upper hand over the competitors.
First off, HTC U 11 has a squeezable body feature called Edge Sense, the rear casing is made of pressure sensitive glass that can register a normal squeeze, short squeeze as well as a squeeze and hold. These gestures can be set to do various actions such as opening the camera or acting as an app shortcut.
The phone comes with 5.5 inch Quad HD screen , a glass body on the front and back sandwiched between a metal frame. The glass comes in shiny colors which include Amazing Silver, Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Ice White, Solar Red that reflect light to give a premium jewellery kind of look akin to the Galaxy S series. The fingerprint is mounted at the front. Under the hood, you will find the latest and most powerful Qualcomm chipset – the Snapdragon 835. HTC boosts that this will be the first phone to offer this chipset worldwide. Samsung Galaxy S8 only has this CPU available in some regions such as the US, the other phone with it is the Sony Xperia XZ Premium but it is not in the stores yet.
The processor is bundled with 4GB RAM but some Asian regions will get 6GB. Storage is set at 64GB for the 4GB RAM version while the other one gets 128GB; both are expandable. The phone runs on Android 7.1 Nougat and Sense UI on top accompanied by 3 voice assistants which include Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and one from HTC. The U 11 is water and dust resistant thanks to the IP68 rating. The whole setup is powered by the a 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
HTC is known for its audio prowess, no other android phone even comes close. The phone maintains this lead with BoomSound HIFI speakers whereby the earpiece acts as tweeter and the main loud speaker at the bottom becomes the woofer. No head phone jack is present, however, there is a USB Type –C to 3.5mm jack adapter in the retail box for your convenience. You also get U-Sonic earphones which use the USB-Type C port and active noise cancellation built into the phone which is a very rare feature. Still on the sound, there are 4 mics present, they intelligently work together to deliver excellent sound recording in videos, HTC calls this feature Acoustic Focus.
Finally, the 12 UltraPixel 3 (not megapixel) camera is feature packed to the brim. It has a very wide f/1.7 aperture size that will bring in lots of light in night and indoor photos. It also comes with 1.4 micron size pixels, optical image stabilization and the new trendy Auto HDR boost. Moreover, it has dual pixel auto focus which uses all the pixels in the sensor to focus on object in light speed just like the human eye, in fact HTC calls this feature the Ultra Speed Focus. Up front we have a 16MP selfie camera which also has the new Auto HDR feature. The phone got a rating of 90 at DxOMark which a metric given by photography gurus. This puts the HTC U 11 at the highest rating with the Google Pixel coming in at number 2 with a rating of 89 followed by the new Galaxy S8, the HTC 10 and the Glaxy S7 Edge which tie at number 3 with a rating of 88. The iPhone 7 isn’t even in the top 10.
HTC U 11 is being priced at $696 which is cheaper than both the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8. Right now it is already available on pre order in the US with other markets getting it soon.