The HTC U11 was unveiled globally just a couple of weeks ago, but yet, the device was just launched in Malaysia this morning. Not only is this a very timely launch, the U11 is also priced rather well; much better than the HTC U Ultra, that’s for sure.
Naturally, we got to spend some time with the U11 at its launch event, and long story short: the U11 may just be HTC’s most exciting smartphone yet since the One M8.
As a flagship smartphone, the U11 is definitely one of the most capable high-end devices in the market right now. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor paired with a whopping 6GB RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, an IP67 rating, a 16MP front-facing shooter, a 3,000mAh battery, as well as HTC Sense based on Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box.
These are very respectable specifications, but none is arguably more interesting than the U11’s unique Edge Sense feature. By simply squeezing the frame of the U11, I can launch the camera or any app of my choosing. A short squeeze will launch one app, while a longer squeeze will open another app. Edge Sense may sound like a gimmick, but it’s actually pretty intuitive to use.
Moving on, we have the U11’s glass and metal construction, which is very similar to the U Ultra’s design. While some aren’t quite as thrilled with HTC’s new design language, I think the U11 is an eye-catching phone; the new “Amazing Silver” colour is particularly sleek. The glossy back is a fingerprint magnet, yes, but it gives the U11 a premium look and feel.
Not surprisingly, performance isn’t cause for concern with the U11. App launches very quickly, there’s no noticeable stutter or lag while operating the device, and really, the U11 is a fast phone. Of course, this is only my first impressions of the device, but I’m positive I can expect – at the very least – the same level of performance as the Xiaomi Mi 6.
And then we have the 12MP UltraPixel 3 rear camera of the U11. Thanks to HTC’s new “UltraSpeed Autofocus” feature (which is very similar to the dual-pixel camera of the Samsung Galaxy S8 devices) the U11 locks in focus very quickly. Aside from that, the camera interface feels pretty fast too, although I did notice a slight shutter delay – this is definitely something I’d look into in our full review of the U11.
The HTC U11 holds a lot of promise, but there is one aspect of the device I’m concerned about: battery life. For a 5.5-inch device with a sharp 1440p display, the 3,000mAh battery of the U11 doesn’t seem very fitting; especially for a device this size. That being said, the U11’s 10nm Snapdragon 835 chipset is more power-efficient than its predecessor, so hopefully, the U11 will have above average battery life.
It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen a phone as exciting as the HTC U11 come from the Taiwanese company, and we cannot wait to put the U11 through its paces. For RM3,099, the U11’s feature set, 128GB storage and 6GB RAM certainly sound like a good deal, but only a full review can establish whether or not this is really the case.