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HTC U11: Top Notch Device with Squeeze Functionality & High Performing Camera

HTC U11 has made it to world market and is regarded as more appealing and economical than the ‘U Ultra’ version. With the presence of latest “squeezable Edge Sense” feature the HTC U11 is surely par excellence.

What exactly this new HTC U11 has to offer its dedicated users? Let’s explore it in detail:

Design & Display

HTC has innovatively modified the design of U11. It has the same ultra glossy rear in lighter and brighter shade of blue. The metal band around the sides is a slightly duller shade of blue. Layers of glass have bonded well with highly refractive precious minerals that give it the metallic liquid look. Brilliant black color variant of this phone is also available.
 


Finishing of the rear side is shiny and deep which means that every little smudges and fingerprint will be on display. Even if you wipe the screen all the time, you cannot avoid messing it up again, so it's never really going to look as great as it looked on your first glance. The plastic case is available in the package of HTC U11 that makes it appear cheaper.

Talking about the front of HTC U11, a 2.5D curved edge glass and side borders are present that makes it more conventional. Front camera and earphones jack are there above the screen and narrow fingerprint sensor as well. The sensor doubles as a capacitive Home button, and you have the Back and Overview buttons on either side which brighten up on being touched.

Power & volume buttons can be reached easily on the right, leaving left side bare. The “squeezable” Edge Sense zones are on the other side of the lower half of the phone. At the bottom there is a Type-C port, and hybrid dual SIM tray at the top. Single open slot is there at the bottom instead of on the speaker grille. HTC decided to bring earpiece doubling as a tweeter with a separate woofer at the bottom in this U11 with the absence of 3.5mm audio socket as well.

HTC U11 lacks in comparison to its competitors in terms of back camera feature as it comes with only single snapper. The laser autofocus sensor is missing in the snapper which is present in the U Ultra variant. On the other hand, the HTC U11 boasts an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, while the U Ultra has no rating at all. The newer HTC U11 model comes in a comfortable size and is curvy that makes it easy to hold and use even with one hand. In short, the display is absolutely top-notch with 5.5-inch screen on the U11 called "Super LCD 5", and has a resolution of 1440x2560 pixels.

Cameras

The main camera of HTC U11 has only a 12-megapixel sensor, but can go down to f/1.7. The U11 uses every pixel on its sensor to detect focus faster, and can deliver rapid HDR shots with an increased range between shadows and highlights. Low-light sensitivity is a particular strength, and there's both optical and electronic image stabilization.

HTC's camera app is relatively basic, with fewer buttons and no sheets of options that pop up when you swipe in any direction. There's a single menu with a row of icons for various modes, and options further can be viewed right below that. Switching to Pro mode will make you see more controls, including the option to save raw data, and sliders for white balance, ISO, shutter speed, and focus. There are even Night, Action, and Macro presets available which give you optimal combinations of those variables to suit each situation. There aren't any filters, stickers or fun effects, but third-party apps almost always do that kind of thing better anyway.

When it comes to photo quality, we have to agree with HTC - this is one of the best smart phone cameras we've ever used. It delivers truly surprising quality in all kinds of situations, especially low light. Macros are stunning, but the thing that really blew us away was low-light performance.
 


 

The 16-megapixel front camera delivers excellent shots as well. The video recording resolution goes up to 4K in regular mode and 1080p at 120fps in Slow Motion mode. "Acoustic focus" uses the U11's four microphones to isolate subjects from background noise. Motion is smooth, and videos were just as impressive as stills overall.

Software Specifications

The main reason of HTC U11’s existence is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. There is an Octa-core CPU clocked at 2.45 GHz, with an integrated Adreno 540 GPU and several hardware-level improvements targeted at everything from camera image processing to machine learning and sensors. You get 4 GB of RAM with 64 GB storage, and 6 GB RAM with 128GB of storage, both of which are healthy amounts.

Edge Sense

There are a few gestures in your HTC U11 which you can use to navigate around Android and unlock the phone. The actual innovation we got to see in U11 is Edge Sense. It's off by default to prevent confusion, but you'll get hints urging you to set it up and learn its’ methodology. All you have to do is squeeze gently while the phone is in your hands, and you can trigger an action such as launching the camera or voice recorder, triggering the flashlight, or beginning voice-to-text transcription. In case you enable "advanced mode", you can set different triggers for short, regular and longer press. If you choose either the camera or voice recorder triggers, a second press will begin recording.

Battery Life

Battery life of HTC U11 is pretty good, with 3000 mAh non- removable and we were happy with the amount of usage we were able to get out of a full charge. You should be able to get through a full day with some audio/ video streaming, photography, and gaming thrown in. Our HD video loop test ran for 10 hours, 7 minutes which is just about the bare minimum we now expect from phones of this caliber.

Verdict

HTC U11 is a top-notch smart phone. Although it doesn't have dual cameras or taller screens that its main competitors are now offering, but it's gorgeous and powerful, with a camera that can deliver miracles in low light. Edge Sense quickly becomes second nature, and the Snapdragon 835 has plenty of headroom for larger apps over the next few years. The turn offs of U11 are the non-starter Sense Companion UI and pedestrian battery life.

HTC U11 is a serious contender against the Samsung Galaxy S8 series and OnePlus 5, all of which have at least one standout USP.

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