HTC U11 hands-on: Taking on the Galaxy S8 in style
14:05, May 16, 2017
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There's plenty going on with HTC's new flagship phone and, although a little late to the party this year, it looks like it could be pretty competitive. Think again. The HTC U11 is now here and at first glance it's a far more compelling proposition, with top-end specs and innovative features that could make it a real alternative to the iPhone 7. And yes, there won't be a near bezel-less display on the front, unlike other flagships.
We must agree that squeezing the metal frame to capture images looks quite intuitive. The HTC 10 achieved a paltry IP53 certification, which basically meant it was wise to keep it as far away from water as possible.
For example, a short squeeze of the U11 automatically opens the camera, with a second taking a photo - with a small vibration confirming the phone felt the squeeze. The U11 is also compatible with the HPUE technology Sprint is using on the 2.5GHz band, which promises better coverage and speeds, particularly indoors. The device as a 5.5-inch screen and a liquid surfacedesign on the back.
HTC's U11 flagship isn't just a forgettable gimmick. The Phone will runs on Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. And beyond that both phones have features that affect the way you interact with them.
Design: The HTC U11 has a slim, refined design that trumps the stylish HTC 10 - and bundles in a new squeeze control mechanism called "Edge Sense" for good measure.
Each squeezy action launches any app you see fit and - once you're in that app - you can tell it to perform certain actions. It comes with a storage capacity of 64GB and 4GB RAM.
HTC will livestream the launch event, and may offer the phone for sale within a week of its debut.
Admittedly, the U11 trumps the Premium if you're planning on slotting in a memory card as the latter is limited to cards of (a still decidedly large) 256GB, whilst the HTC can take cards up to an insane 2TB. And it could be a very compelling option for Android fans looking to separate themselves from the pack and carry an original handset as opposed to the Galaxy S8 we now see everywhere. You can check the location-based information such as weather and several other widget-like settings from the secondary display. Soon after launch the device will feature for Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa.
HTC says that the feature will have more functionality in July when the company releases the Edge Sense app. There's also an extreme power saving mode, and Quick Charge 3.0 support.
Apple's phone - perhaps predictably - doesn't have great battery life, often struggling even to last a day. You can read the full review here.
After a lot of hype surrounding the U11, HTC has finally announced their new smartphone officially today in Taiwan. It's also achieved the highest ever DXO Mark score, hitting 90 and beating the Google Pixel which scored 89.
Talking about the cameras, the HTC U11 sports a 12MP Ultrapixel camera on the rear with f/1.7 aperture, OIS, and dual tone LED flash.
The front "selfie" cam has had a massive resolution bump, though, jumping from a 5-megapixels to 16-megapixels. There concentrate on the design, camera and, of course, the Edge Sense, pressure-sensitive sides of the device. HTC U11 is slightly heavy with 169 grams as compared to 155 grams of the Galaxy S8.
The U11 is HTC's latest attempt to gain lost ground in the smartphone arena.
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