HTC U11 Flagship Smartphone Unveiled Squeezable Edges, 3 AI Assistants (Dated 16-May-2017) – HTC has launched the flagship smartphone for 2017 – HTC U11. The HTC U11 is not very different in terms of design when we compare it to the HTC U Ultra which was launched in January 2017.
Update – HTC U11 is launched in India priced at Rs. 51999. HTC has not gone with the insanely high price but has kept it competitive. The price is not low but at par with the competition. Had HTC been able to price the phone below Rs. 50,000 its would have helped HTC gain more share in the flagship smartphone market. The HTC U 11 competes with Samsung S8, LG G6 and Google Pixel.
Compared to the global market price the pricing in India is competitive and HTC has done the pricing right for the first time in a long time. HTC has used the U Ultra and refined it further in terms of software and hardware and added some new features like the squeezable edge and Amazon Alexa assistant.
HTC has used the U Ultra and refined it further in terms of software and hardware and added some new features like the squeezable edge and Amazon Alexa assistant. The new smartphone comes with high gloss finish and as HTC describes it as Liquid design. A really reflective glass surface forms the smartphone which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.
The HTC U11 comes with 5.5 Inch Quad HD Display (2560*1440) pixels with Super LCD5 Display panel. There is also corning gorilla glass 5 coating to prevent any damage to the expensive display. The smartphone comes with ultrasound screen tech and can be used using wet hands. There is also IP67 rating which makes the U11 water and dust resistant like iPhone 7.
It also has large bezels at the bottom and at the top which is also similar to the iPhone 7. It is definitely not a cutting edge design as we have seen on the LG G6 and Samsung S8.
The smartphone comes with a unique squeeze sensor which allows you to squeeze the frame and open up certain Apps like the camera and take pictures. It is not groundbreaking technology or anything which users will extensively use but that is what HTC is offering as a differentiator.
The smartphone gets full marks for performance as it comes with the latest and fastest mobile processor, you can have on any smartphone – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 clocked at 2.45 GHz. The processor is accompanied by Adreno 540 GPU and there is 4 GB of Ram to ensure that everything runs blazing fast on U11.
The HTC U 11 comes with a much better camera and HTC is claiming it is the best camera smartphone you can buy. The rear camera comes with 12 Megapixel sensor with f/1.7 aperture and 1.4μm lens. It has the highest DXOmark score for any smartphone camera. The HTC U11 scores 90 on DXOmark which is higher than the Google Pixel (89) score.
The smartphone camera can record 4k videos and has 5 axis image stabilisation (OIS+ EIS). The front camera is also much improved and will be something selfie lovers will love as it comes with 16 Megapixel front shooter with f/2.0 aperture.
The HTC U11 looks promising as far as the camera specs look and even has been able to secure a good rating from folks at DXOmark.
The U11 comes with 64 GB of internal storage which can be expanded to 256 GB using the micro-sd card slot. The smartphone runs on the latest Android Nougat 7.1 software along with the HTC Sense 9 UI.
Things get confusing as we try to understand the software and AI used in the HTC U11. Firstly, there is HTC Sense companion which is an AI (artificial intelligence) developed by HTC, secondly, HTC has integrated Amazon Alexa AI, thirdly, we have the Google Assistant.
Confusing as it may sound there is too much of AI on the HTC U11 for its own good.
The battery capacity is not too much on the device and it offers a 3000 mAH capacity Li-polymer battery to fuel the device. There is Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 to enable quick charging, we expected the newer Quick Charge 4.0 for a more rapid charging support on this flagship.
The HTC U11 misses on the headphone jack and comes with a USB Type-C connector at the bottom along with USB C type earphones out of the box. The smartphone also has got support for USonic sound which adapts to your listening habits and makes the sound more natural for you.
HTC in its presentation shared that the HTC U11 comes with much-improved bottom speakers and is much better than an HTC 10. On the connectivity front, the HTC U11 has support for NFC, WIFI, 4G LTE as well as VOLTE.
The HTC U11 comes with a good camera, an already used design, great performance and some gimmicky features. There is no real differentiation for the smartphone as we have seen with the Samsung S8 and S8 Plus or even the LG G6 as far as design goes. It is definitely better than the HTC U Ultra but is it the real flagship from HTC which may make user abandon iPhone or Samsung, I don’t think so.