HTC has finally unveiled its first true flagship smartphone for 2017: the HTC U11. Packed with some of the best hardware available today, the U11 also comes with HTC’s unique new Edge Sense feature, and get this – an even better camera than the Google Pixel’s excellent shooter.
Let’s start with arguably the most exciting feature of the U11: Edge Sense. As rumours have already suggested, Edge Sense really is a new layer of interaction. Basically, users can “squeeze” the frame of the phone to launch specific apps, including the camera, your favourite app, or any app of your choosing.
Interestingly, the HTC U11’s Edge Sense feature can also be customised to launch different apps based on how long you squeeze the device: a “short squeeze” will launch one app, while a “squeeze and hold” action will open a different app. According to HTC, Edge Sense relies on actual pressure being applied to the side of the device, so a casing shouldn’t affect this feature – unless it’s a hard casing, of course.
And then we have the U11’s 12MP UltraPixel 3 rear camera, which received a 90 rating from DxOMark; that’s one point higher than the Google Pixel’s score of 89. The 12MP camera also features Auto HDR Boost – it gives “all the benefits of HDR without the lag” – and HTC’s new “UltraSpeed Autofocus” technology, which provide “significantly faster focus speeds.” The U11’s 16MP front-facing shooter also comes with HDR Boost.
Other specifications of the U11 are what you’d expect from a capable flagship smartphone. These include a 5.5-inch QHD Super LCD 5 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor paired with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage, a modest 3,000mAh battery, IP67 rating, as well as HTC’s new USonic earphones – it now comes with Active Noise Cancellation. Yes, the U11 does not come with a 3.5mm jack.
The HTC U11 will start shipping sometime in June 2017, and it will retail from $649 – that comes up to about RM2,800, which is a rather compelling price tag for the U11’s feature set. While the U11 doesn’t impress quite as much in the design department as its competition (the Samsung Galaxy S8 devices come to mind), it certainly looks to be a very solid smartphone.