HTC U11 – They are back in the game !
Another U series phone from HTC is here.. The U11 and with this phone, HTC finally managed to stand out from the competition. The squeezable phone changes the way I use my smartphone and to be honest it looks simply amazing. There are big improvements making this Phone the current Flagship from HTC, but does it have what it takes to survive alongside the flagship competition of 2017 . Lets find it out in this full review.
Checkout our full video review:
HTC U11 Review – Design & Features
The U11 is HTC’s answer to Samsung’s S8 and Sonys XZ premium. Highlights include Amazon Alexa support, Hi-Res Audio and “Edge Sense” which allows you to squeeze your phone. To be honest, this phone is just beautiful, No matter which of the five colors you pick up the colors will shift and change as you move it around. The built quality is superb and it feels very premium. Curved glass on both sides of the phone, buttons with great haptic feedback and good feeling in my hands. Also this phone is IP67 water resistant and attracts a lot of fingerprints on the back.
The only bad thing is that it feels huge with big bezels for a 2017 flagship and its slippery and glides from almost any surface. A cover is a must have, and a transparent plastic cover is included inside of the box. There you will also find a type c inear headset, a type c to 3.5mm adapter and a charger plus cable. The included USonic earbuds do not only sound great, but also feature active noise cancellation that works extremely well for blocking out exterior noise.
Squeeze it baby !
The biggest standout feature on the HTC U11 is the Edge Sense Technology. The sides of the phone are pressure sensitive, and this allows you to squeeze the phone to activate a specific function or open the camera. Its actually more useful than I thought, but nothing which a separate extra button wouldn’t do. Nothing which gets me super exited. The volume rocker and power button are both placed on the right-hand edge and the two “BoomSound” speakers are placed on the bottom edge and within the phone’s earpiece. Also there is the dual-purpose SIM/microSD card on the top and a multicolor notification LED. There is no headphone jack, just the type c port at the bottom. The speakers sound great and they are loud and very clear. The fingerprint scanner is very fast and super accurate. This phone really made me use the fingerprint scanner again because its just so fast.
HTC U11 Review – The Display
The 5.5-inch display runs at QHD resolution and uses HTCS’S Super LCD technology. Its sharp and has okay colors and viewing angles, but its sometimes a bit oversaturated. Its bright enough in all conditions but the panel gets not as dim as I like but otherwise than that its great.
HTC U11 Review – Battery Life & Performance
The 3,000 mAh battery sounds not really big, but battery life was really good and gave me 4.5 to 5 hours of screen on time which lasts for me the entire day. Charging speeds are also fast due to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 and it charges from 0 to 100 in less than 1.5 hours, but there is no support for wireless charging. The HTC U11 is using Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 CPU. With a clock speed of 2.45Ghz and paired with 4GB of RAM the octa-core CPU is one of the fastest I’ve tested. All games run with great framefrate, stunning graphics and absolutely no lags. 4GB of RAM are definitely enough combined with the new snapdragon, but well 6gigs wouldn’t hurt.The u11 continues HTC’s legacy, which from what I’ve seen has one of the best implementations of Android 7.1 Nougat. The UI feels very smooth, everything is easy to access and there is no bloatware. HTC also includes the return of Blinkfeed, Edge Sense and Amazon Alexa support. Its also easily customizable and themes can be changed withing seconds.
HTC U11 Review – This camera is stunning !
Another stunning feature in the u11 is its 12-megapixel rear camera, which scores 90 points in the DX0mark test and they rate it as the best camera so far. Its specifications are really impressive. It has a bright f/1.7 aperture, uses dual-pixel autofocus (UltraSpeed autofocus in HTC language), has 1.4um pixels and there’s optical image stabilisation. The camera app is very simple.. almost abit too simple. But there is also pro mode where you can adjust everything on your own.The image quality is impressive. On point white blanace, color tones, sharpness and dynamic range. There is also auto HDR Boost and in Pro mode there is RAW format support like on the p10.
During my tests in auto mode, I found that the exposure is sometimes a bit too dark for my taste, but well the HTC makes sure that all spots in the scene have correct exposure with not outblown highlights. If you don’t like it, there is pro mode where you can adjust everything.It’s very fast to focus, captures a real depth of detail with very little noise, and the colors are vibrant, but realistic and not oversaturated.In sunny conditions, most photos looked impressive and low-light performance is equally impressive.It’s also great for close-ups and is capable of getting some nice bokeh effect blurring the background.The front-facing camera has an impressive 16 megapixel sensorwith an f/2.0 aperture, HDR Boost support, and 1080p video recording. It’s ideal for video calls and capable of capturing detailed selfies. There is also 4K recording on the back and even slow motion for recording full HD videos with 120fps.
HTC U11 camera samples:
HTC U11 Review – Connectivity & Conclusion
Connectivity was very good. I managed to get a stable wifi where my honor 8 pro can’t even find the wifi anymore. Good call quality with the loud earpiece and nice 4G speeds and ping. GPS performance is great and I had no issues while navigating around vienna.
You can pre-order the unlocked HTC U11 now from HTC or Amazon for $650 which is an okay price for what you get.
All in all a great phone with a great look and definitely a S8 alternative for 100$ less. It feels big, is not as stylish as the Samsung Galaxy S8, but hey I’m already in love with the backside
The HTC U11 is an excellent smartphone and my personal favourite right now. The camera is simply stunning and it's dynamic range has blown my mind. First I was in love with the Huawei P10, but the color accuracy and sharpness on the HTC U11 have really impressed me. Further it looks stylish, has great performance, good battery life and it's Android UI is very clean and fast. There are only some small downsides like the screen, the old fashioned front design and that there is no 3.5mm headphone jack. For me those things are not a big deal and the U11 is on the TOP of my "Favourite 2017 Smartphone Flagship list"
- Outstanding camera
- Amazing Design
- Good Performance
- Great Battery Life
- Screen could be better
- Missing Headphone Jack
- Edge sense is more a gimmick