Catch me if you can! The reports come true and Google does end up buying HTC’s mobile division the future is looking bright. When compared to Google Pixel’s camera with this HTC’s U11, the Taiwan follow-up to last year’s HTC 10, seem much better than all 2017 flagship phones.
The HTC U11 is pretty different from its predecessor. It’s got an all-glass back and no headphone jack. It’s a phone that supports not just its own Edge Sebse Companion AI but also Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Nowadays, HTC is in the niche category of true flagship smartphones and competes with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, Google Pixel, iPhone 7 and other that cost pretty penny.
Does the HTC U11 Live Up to its Claims?
It is already being a true flagship smartphone, the HTC U11 with a world-class rear camera. Specifications-wise, some care, most don’t.
Here’s a list of specs and quickly get that out of the way. HTC U11 comes with an aweful 5.5-inch Quad HD display (2560×1440) pixels resolution and encased by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Under the hood, there is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 3,000mAh battery.
The rear camera is a 12-megapixel (HTC UltraPixel 3 with 1.4μm pixel) shooter. Up front, the selfie camera is a basic 16MP shooter. It comes with Android Nougat 7.1 out of the box and has its own Sense UI layered on top.
HTC U11 Design & Display
One flashy, fingerprint magnet of a smartphone. The glossy back lens itself to smudges and the similarities is a nice replacement for a mirror. The SIM tray sits at the upper portion while the volume rockers and power button settles on the right. The fingerprint scanner on the bottom front doubles up as a Home button.
The device has a unibody design with eight pressure sensors hidden in the lower sides of the device. One of which will be able to “squeeze” to activate the Edge Sense features and apps. The design, compared to other 2017 flagships, feels dated. There are those fat bezels on the top and bottom.
The curved edges offer a great grip. It feels very comfortable in the hand and makes you want to squeeze the device constantly. The display of the screen is bright with good colors but as it is an LCD. It pales in comparison to the Galaxy S8 and others. Maybe the AMOLED on the next HTC U device will make all the difference.
HTC’s legendary build quality is also seen in the U11. It’s a rock solid phone that is hard to break. The phone is water resistant, and is at 9.1mm peak thickness, is quite chunky for a 2017 smartphone.
Like the iPhone 7, HTC U11 has no headphone jack. Ditch all your regular wired headphones as the Type-C headphones included with the device provided for a far superior audio experience. Plus those wireless headphones will work just swell with this device.
There is a USB Type-C charging port that is another good inclusion from the team at HTC.
Performance, Software & Battery Life
HTC U11 uses the fastest Snapdragon 835 processor, which ensures that there is a hardly any lag when multitasking, playing games, watching videos or taking HDR photos. Even 4K video recording is relatively smooth. Best of all, the U11 phone doesn’t actually heat up except while charging. So one doesn’t have to worry about any battery issues with this device.
While HTC U11 sits alongside few flagships now available with the top of the line Qualcomm SD835 chipset. From high-gaming to simple multitasking and 4K recording, this is a phone that can do it all. The phone stays cool with anything that you do and something Qualcomm processor has been able to nail this time. Impressively, the phone does not have serious batter issues.
The U11 uses Quick Charge 3.0 and charges in just about 75-80 minutes. At one point – two of which were FIFA Mobile and Need For Speed watching in HD. Many got above average battery life out of this device, which easily got 24 hours of battery life.
The software it runs a customized version of Android called Sense-based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Sense has a few refinements and tweaks. Sense Companion, HTC’s smart assistant performed well below what we’ve experienced with Google AI.
HTC U11 Camera
The non-dual-camera setup on the HTC U11 is better than all other Android smartphone cameras out there. The worst cameras ever HTC got on the first HTC One. Improved a lot to the HTC U11, having the best camera for 2017 (we haven’t tried LG V30 as yet). There is a serious DLSR quality photography.
The USB is the camera and that gives this U11 smartphone some serious edge over the competition. Change your mind straight awa and give the HTC U11 a final thought. At Rs 51,990 on Amazon India, the 6GB + 128GB variant is a tad bit expensive. Or wait for a discount – as the phone has been seen as cheap as Rs 45,000 – and pick it up instead of a DSLR.
The gimmicky “squeeze” features work relatively well and they are more a fun addition than being truly useful.