After numerous leaks the past few months, the HTC U11 is finally official. HTC revealed the big news during a launch event in Taipei, confirming many of the specs we saw only yesterday.
A followup to last year’s HTC 10, the U11 is definitely a looker, carrying the same design language as HTC’s U line, with a shiny metallic finish but all of the premium hardware you’d expect from a 2017 flagship. Now that the phone is 100% official, let’s take a quick look at what’s inside:
HTC U11 Specs
- 5.5-inch Quad HD display (16:9) with 534ppi Pixel density and Gorilla Glass 5 protection
- Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor / Adreno 540 GPU
- 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage (UFS 2.1) / 6GB RAM & 128GB storage
- Up to 2TB expandable storage
- 12MP rear camera with Sony IMX362 sensor and f/1.7 aperture
- 16MP UltraPixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture
- Up to 4K video via rear camera / 1080p videos via front camera
- Android 7.1 Nougat with Sense UI
- USB Type-C, NFC, GPS, Dual SIM, LTE and more
- Edge Sense Technology (pressure sensitive frame)
- 4 omni-directional microphones for 3D audio recording
- 3,000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
- IP67 water resistant
- HTC USonic earbuds
- HTC USB-C to 3.5mm adapter with a built-in DAC
- Clear case
HTC Edge Sense
Image credit: Twitter
Other interesting hardware details include HTC Edge Sense, a touch sensitive frame that can actually sense the amount of pressure applied to the sides of the device, allowing you to launch apps or snap photos with a short or long squeeze. Since this isn’t capacitive technology, Edge Sense will continue working fine weather wet or while wearing gloves.
Highest rated smartphone camera ever
Yes, you heard that right. The HTC U11 has received the highest ever rating from DxOMark, toppling even the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8 for the best photo / video quality on a mobile device. This is thanks in part to 5 axis OIS + EIS, DSLR level UltraSpeed AutoFocus, and what HTC is calling Auto HDR Boost to deliver all the benefits of HDR without the lag that usually accompanies it.
When it comes to video, the U11 uses Temporal Noise Reduction that compares previous frames previous/next frames to help eliminate noise (this actually sounds similar to the Google Pixel’s HDR+ feature, only this is with video). There’s also 4 omni-directional microphones for 3D audio recording and using Acoustic Focus technology, allows the user to HTC to focus in on a subject to amplify their audio.
BoomSound is back and better than ever
Image credit: Twitter
With improved HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition, the onboard speakers are also getting an upgrade. An “acoustic chamber” (I presume comes through the earpiece?) acts as a tweeter with rich highs and mids, while the lower speaker delivers louder, richer, and deeper bass tones. After being subject to the Galaxy S8 and its awful speaker for over a month now — this sounds extremely promising.
It’s worth noting that the headphone jack has indeed been removed on the phone, although HTC will bundle a Type C to 3.5mm headphone jack inside the box. The adapter actually features its own built-in DAC, which should give audiophiles with power hungry headphones some peace of mind.
HTC Sense Companion, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa — your choice
On the software front, HTC is giving you the option between three different virtual assistants: HTC Sense Companion, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa. While we’ve seen Alexa on devices in the past (the Huawei Mate 9 for instance), HTC says the U11 is the first to feature hands-free wake word access. It works just like the Amazon Echo, simply speak the hot word and ask Alexa anything from the weather, to order more toilet paper, or even control smart home products like your lights (US, UK, and Germany only).
Pricing and availability
The unlocked HTC U11 — compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile or Verizon — is available for pre-order starting today from Amazon or directly from HTC.com for $649.99. The phone comes in Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Amazing Silver, (red version not available) and begins shipping in June.
As a special bonus for those pre-order the HTC U11 on Sprint, HTC will be throwing in two free Amazon Echo Dots so make haste.