HTC recently unveiled the HTC U11. It is the latest flagship device by the Taiwan-based manufacturer. It comes with a unique new feature called Edge Sense, which lets you launch apps by squeezing your phone.
It packs a 5.5 inch Quad HD display, Snapdragon 835 Octa-core processor, up to 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM with support for microSD cards up to 2TB. HTC U11 was launched in India in June at a price of Rs. 51,990, available on Amazon India and across all offline retailers in the country.
HTC U11 Coverage
HTC U11 Specifications
|Key Specs||HTC U11|
|Display||5.5 inch Super LCD5, Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|Screen Resolution||Quad HD, 2560 x 1440 pixels|
|Operating System||Android 7.1.1 Nougat, Sense UI, Edge Sense, Sense Companion|
4 x 2.45 GHz Kryo
4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Inbuilt Storage||128GB, UFS2.1|
|Storage Upgrade||Yes, up to 2TB|
|Primary Camera||12MP, Ultrapixel 3.0, f/1.7, 1.4μm pixel size, PDAF, OIS, dual LED flash|
|Video recording||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, 120fps|
|Secondary Camera||16MP, f/2.0|
|SIM Card Type||Dual, nano+nano, hybrid SIM slot|
|Waterproof||IP67 certification, water resistant up to 1m|
|Dimensions||153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm|
Build and Design
The HTC U11 has a liquid-glass surface back, which gives it a shiny finish and adds grip to the device. It comes with an IP67 water-resistance.
The main 12MP camera unit is placed towards the top with dual LED flash on its left.
The back does look shiny but quickly catches fingerprints and looks messy after use. Even so, the fingerprints can be wiped away easily.
The front of the phone has a fingerprint sensor that doubles up as the home button and two capacitive buttons for navigation. The top of the display features the earpiece and a 16MP Front Camera.
Speakers are placed at the bottom of the phone, next to USB 3.1 Type-C port. The phone does not have 3.5mm earphone jack.
The display on HTC U11 is a 5.5 inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440p) Super LCD 5 display. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and comes with display colour personalisation.
The display can be easily used with one hand. It is bright and clear even in broad daylight, so you can use it outdoors with ease. The display is easy on eyes when it comes to reading (Thanks to Super LCD technology). The viewing angles are good too.
The only limitation we felt on the display was unclear blacks. The reproduction of detailed black colours is not very crisp compared to OLED panels, but this is common for all phones using LCD panels. Otherwise, it has a great display in terms of viewing as well as responsiveness.
The HTC U11 features a 12MP primary camera with f/1.7 aperture and Dual LED flash. It comes with Ultra Pixel 3 tech, UltraSpeed Autofocus, Optical image stabilisation (OIS), 10-second timer and RAW format support.
The front camera is a 16MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture, Selfie Panorama, Self-timer and Full HD 1080p video recording.
In terms of camera performance, we found that the front camera tends to produce grainy images in low light conditions. Images taken in artificial light had lesser issues and natural light images were crisp.
The Camera app interface too is straightforward and easy to understand. Users can also fiddle with advanced settings to get more control of their shots.
HTC U11 Performance
HTC Edge Sense
HTC has added the HTC Edge Sense to the U11. This means you can launch a designated app, take screenshots and images or toggle flashlight, by squeezing the edges of your phone. This is a cool feature and adds to the ease of usage.
However, if you have Edge Sense toggled on and you take screenshots the old-school way (Power + Vol. Down), you will end up accidentally toggling Edge Sense and even capturing its activation in a screenshot. This can be avoided if you set Edge Sense as a default method of capturing screenshots.
Hardware and Software
The U11 packs a Snapdragon 835 Octa-Core SoC, which is clocked up to 2.45 GHz. It features 6GB RAM with 128GB internal storage. The external storage is expandable via microSD card up to 2TB.
HTC U11 supports Flex Storage which means your SD card can act like internal storage. This gives you the freedom to expand your storage up to 2TB, but we don’t think most of us need that much storage.
In terms of software, HTC U11 runs on Android 7.1 Nougat with HTC Sense, which is HTC’s custom user interface. It also features HTC Sense Companion, an AI based assistant that optimizes daily usage for you.
The phone is fast and handles multitasking and heavy gaming well. Asphalt 8 runs neatly on the HTC U11. We also ran it through multiple benchmarks, the scores of which are above.
The only problem we faced while gaming was the muzzled speaker. The speakers are placed at the bottom of the phone; hence your hand will cover them while gaming. This muzzles and lowers the output of the speakers.
Battery & Connectivity
The HTC U11 packs a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery. The company states that the phone can give 24 hours of talktime or 14 days of standby time on one full charge. It also has an Extreme Power Saving mode for when the battery level is extremely low.
The phone also comes with Quick Charge 3, a technology for fast charge developed by Qualcomm (same company that developed the processor in this phone). This allows your phone to charge up to 4 times faster than conventional charging.
In terms of connectivity, The HTC U11 is a dual SIM 4G VoLTE capable smartphone. You can either use two Sim cards or 1 Nano Sim and 1 memory card.
It also comes with NFC and USB Type-C port with USB 3.1 support, allowing you to transmit data much faster in comparison to USB 2.0 based ports. It also supports casting through Chromecast, DLNA, Airplay and Miracast.
Pricing and Availability
The HTC U11 is priced at Rs. 51,990. This is a bold pricing for a flagship device by HTC. You can order it soon through Amazon India or buy it from a retail outlet near you.
HTC seems to be moving boldly with the U11. The phone packs all the features of a flagship device. It features the best-in-class chipset, 6GB RAM and an expansion capability of up to 2TB. The phone handles multitasking well and does not heat much while gaming.
With integrated AI from HTC (HTC Sense Companion) and Edge Sense, this phone packs more than a regular flagship device.
The U11 is good to use and has a premium feel to it. The Edge Sense feature is also a unique selling point of the device. HTC has demoed several new uses of Edge Sense, which will be added to the HTC U11 soon via updates. Overall, HTC seems to have finally found the right combination of design, specs, software and price, especially in India.