The HTC U11 was a notable release from HTC in 2017, aiming to compete with other flagship smartphones of its time. It introduced a unique feature called “Edge Sense,” which allowed users to squeeze the sides of the phone to trigger certain actions. Here’s an in-depth review of the HTC U11:
The HTC U11 was designed to offer a blend of performance, camera capabilities, and unique features. With its “Liquid Surface” design, the U11 aimed to stand out in a crowded market and offer something distinct to its users.
- Operating System: Initially shipped with Android 7.1 (Nougat) and later received updates.
- Display: 5.5-inch Super LCD5 with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.
- Memory: Options of 4/6 GB RAM with 64/128 GB internal storage, expandable via microSDXC.
- Camera: 12 MP rear sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, OIS, and UltraPixel 3 technology. The front camera is a 16 MP shooter.
- Battery: A 3000 mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
- Other Features: Edge Sense (squeeze functionality), USB Type-C, IP67 water and dust resistance, and HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation.
- Camera: The U11’s camera was highly rated, offering excellent performance in various lighting conditions.
- Audio Experience: HTC’s USonic earbuds provided a personalized audio experience based on the user’s ear canal.
- Edge Sense: The squeeze functionality was unique and allowed for quick access to apps and features.
- Design: The “Liquid Surface” design was eye-catching, reflecting light in a way that made the phone stand out.
- No Headphone Jack: The U11 did not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, which was a point of contention for some users.
- Battery Life: While decent, the 3000 mAh battery wasn’t standout, especially when compared to some competitors.
- Bezels: The design, while premium, had noticeable top and bottom bezels, which felt a bit outdated compared to the competition.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In its price bracket, the HTC U11 faced competition from:
- Samsung Galaxy S8: Offering a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display, Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895, and a sleek design.
- LG G6: With its 5.7-inch Quad HD+ IPS LCD display, Snapdragon 821, and a dual-camera setup.
- Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Featuring a 5.46-inch 4K HDR display, Snapdragon 835, and a camera capable of 960 fps super slow-motion video.
The HTC U11 was announced in May 2017 and became available in various markets in June 2017.
- Fragility: The glass back, while beautiful, was prone to cracks and damage if dropped.
- Software Updates: HTC wasn’t the fastest in terms of providing software updates, and some users reported issues with updates when they did arrive.
- Edge Sense Sensitivity: Some users found the squeeze functionality either too sensitive or not sensitive enough, though this could be adjusted in settings.
The HTC U11 was a commendable effort from HTC to bring something unique to the table. Its camera and audio capabilities were standout features, and the Edge Sense functionality offered a fresh way to interact with the device. However, the omission of the headphone jack and the phone’s fragility were points of criticism. For users who valued a great camera, unique design, and were intrigued by the squeeze functionality, the U11 was a solid choice. However, those looking for a more conventional design or a larger battery might have considered other options available in the market at the time.