Computer and Tech

HTC U11


Replace: Amazon's Alexa AI assistant is now out there on the HTC U11 and we've put it via its paces and up to date this overview with our findings.

In case you're an HTC fan – excellent news. HTC has introduced you a cellphone that, in some ways, is nearly as good as you could possibly hope for.

It's acquired a vastly spectacular spec listing, distinctive design, innovation within the type of squeezable sides and a fantastic digicam, and since launch it's acquired that little bit higher, due to the addition of Amazon Alexa.

The most recent processor buzzes alongside quickly inside a cellphone that's neither too massive nor overly compact, and the interface is as slick as something HTC has ever made.

Actually, for those who're a fan of HTC above all different cellphone producers, you may in all probability skip this complete overview and simply purchase the factor (though we recommend you learn the bit concerning the ‘squeezable’ Edge Sense aspect, as that takes a little bit of getting used to) and simply wait feverishly on the entrance door, ready to your HTC U11 to reach.

Nevertheless, for everybody else, issues are a bit extra sophisticated. Sure, HTC has just about nailed the spec listing, nevertheless it's doing so for a relatively excessive value – and one which pits it towards some sturdy various choices.

It's launching right into a world the place Samsung and LG have provide you with stunning display designs, and Sony has wheeled out the large weapons to deliver a 4K display and excellent sluggish movement video to the Xperia XZ Premium.

HTC, as compared, hasn't actually executed an enormous quantity completely different to earlier years, nevertheless it’s largely acquired issues proper. So might this nonetheless be the cellphone for you?

HTC U11 value

Within the UK, the HTC U11 is coming for a value of £649 SIM free, which is among the many larger costs in the marketplace. It's a bit cheaper on contract – below £30 a month with some respectable upfront funds – however that also makes it costlier than the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Within the US, it's $649 unlocked from HTC, or it's a Dash unique for $29 per thirty days (with no upfront cost).

In Australia, it's AU$999 for the unlocked cellphone, and from round AU$59 per thirty days in order for you it on contract.

That's fairly costly, although it gives among the high spec round – so that you'll have to be certain you're into what HTC is providing earlier than you pay these larger costs.

Design

  • Two-tone shimmer impresses
  • Properly-built chassis
  • Again sucks in fingerprints vastly

The design of the HTC U11 is one thing that takes a little bit getting used to – nevertheless it's value taking the time to take action. Holding it within the hand for the primary time is a little bit underwhelming, because the polished Gorilla Glass is so mild that it feels a little bit plasticky within the hand.

The bulbous nature isn't as thrilling or really feel as premium because the metallic construct on final 12 months's HTC 10, however don't let that trouble you. After just a few days you'll get used to the way in which it feels – and the HTC U11's chassis is effectively constructed and strong.

Aesthetically, the U11 appeals in a approach we've not seen with many telephones. The Liquid Floor design manages to supply two colours without delay, with the 'Superb Silver' and ‘Good Black’ fashions we examined wanting extra blue/purple and black/inexperienced respectively, relying on the way in which you maintain them.

There's additionally Photo voltaic Crimson, Ice White and  Sapphire Blue – and the pink is well our favourite, as you may see under.

The shimmer is absolutely spectacular… however provided that you by no means contact this cellphone, because the U11 is likely one of the most fingerprint-friendly telephones we've ever held. Ever. Ever.

The one saving grace is the truth that your prints wipe off simply, however the total impact is diminished considerably. There’s a clear plastic cowl within the field, which doesn't spoil the look of the cellphone whereas maintaining it cleaner, however even that’s susceptible to the odd smudge.

It's additionally annoying to place any cellphone, designed to be held within the palm, in a case… and it's a specific difficulty with a cellphone you're going to should squeeze to make use of.

By way of the remainder of the design, the U11 doesn't reinvent something, with HTC as an alternative placing collectively a cellphone with all the best bits within the right locations.

The fingerprint scanner on the entrance, within the (non-clickable) house key, is straightforward to hit and works nearly flawlessly. Maybe we're prepared to offer it extra credit score after Samsung performed 'conceal the scanner' on the again of its Galaxy S8, however this feels good.

The rounded glass on the HTC U11 might be probably the most hanging issues concerning the handset everyday, and it's one thing HTC put loads of effort into for good motive. 

Sure, that is nonetheless the identical ‘black rectangle’ design that so many different units provide, nevertheless it’s acquired a basis of high quality and hanging colours.

The amount rocker and energy buttons on the right-hand facet match properly below a thumb or forefinger, relying in your dominant hand, and in any other case issues are very clear across the fringe of the U11.

That's partly as a result of the cellphone is waterproof to IP67 ranking that means you may throw it into water, however in actual life you may simply dunk it in shallow water, deliver it within the bathe or wash it clear with out having to spend an awfully massive sum of money and disgrace getting it fastened.

One of many points we’ve got with this cellphone is there's no headphone jack on this cellphone, as HTC determined to observe Apple and Motorola's lead and drop the port in favor of a single slot. 

The USB-C port on the underside of the cellphone will function the ability and sound portal for many, which suggests it'll irk if that you must get some juice in whereas listening to your high tunes.

General, we're massive followers of the way in which that HTC has redefined its design technique. There are solely so some ways you may make a cellphone look iconic as of late, and HTC has constructed effectively on its design heritage within the smartphone area to ship one thing you'd be proud to place down on the desk.

Display screen

  • Excessive decision
  • Barely dim
  • Auto brightness not excellent

The display on the HTC U11 is one thing that’s difficult to overview. Till lately the 5.5-inch show would have simply ticked all of the packing containers, because it does little or no mistaken.

It's massive, vivid and clear, with the QHD (1440 x 2560) decision providing as a lot readability as anybody might need whereas nonetheless, seemingly, preserving sufficient battery life.

Nevertheless, with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 now in the marketplace, there's one thing archaic about how the display on the HTC U11 seems. The bezels seem large, the display boxy and it simply feels… previous.

Nevertheless, for those who're not bothered about these different telephones, you then gained't need for any higher options on the HTC U11's display – however don't put it facet by facet with the Samsung Galaxy S8 for those who don’t need to be nagged by doubts about your cellphone selection.

Whereas the display is evident and vivid in most conditions, it may be reflective, and it's not as vivid as we've seen on different handsets. There have been instances when attempting to observe Netflix outdoors proved a problem by way of of angling the handset the best approach, and solely within the shade did it actually begin to showcase the ability of what the HTC U11 can do.

It's additionally not the brightest display in the marketplace, which exhibits that the brand new wave of shoving HDR compatibility into handsets is probably one thing HTC ought to have appeared into.

The auto-brightness continues to be one thing HTC must work on, because it doesn't dynamically alter effectively sufficient in any respect – blinding within the night time and never vivid sufficient when heading outdoors. It ought to be capable to work throughout all areas of the brightness spectrum, however we discovered ourselves heading into the notification bar to to tweak the degrees too many instances for our liking.

You gained't miss an excessive amount of from the display on the HTC U11 – it's one of many higher choices in the marketplace due to utilizing the ever-evolving Tremendous LCD know-how – nevertheless it's not as spectacular as different flagships in the marketplace.

  • Progressive concept
  • Grip could make the digicam framing transfer
  • Each Edge Sense and Alexa really feel too half-baked

The headline function of the HTC U11 is Edge Sense, which primarily allows you to squeeze the cellphone and have it… do stuff. The rationale we're being so obscure is you'll get a distinct motion relying on how long and hard you squish the cellphone for.

Out of the field, a fast squeeze on the underside half of the cellphone will open the digicam, and it’ll be in ‘primary’ mode.

Once you've opened the digicam, you need to use Edge Sense to take an image, or long-hold the edges to maneuver into selfie mode (hopefully you're following this…).

This feels prefer it must be pretty intuitive, however we discovered we needed to bear in mind to do it again and again. And once you're taking an image by urgent the edges of the cellphone, it'll trigger the handset to tilt barely, so you may miss the framing of the shot you're going for.

The concept of simply squeezing the cellphone is wise in a technique: you don’t want to maneuver your fingers to hit the display. However you may simply double-tap the ability button of the U11 to launch the digicam after which press the amount down key to take an image – and that’s really extra comfy.

Head into Settings and you may customise what an HTC U11 Edge Sense squeeze does, and add a secondary gesture for squeezing and holding. Most of those are fairly innocuous. You’ll be able to launch an app of your selection, begin voice recording, toggle Wi-Fi or use the flashlight.

Essentially the most up-to-date selection for many who prefer to expertise the most recent tech options and fads is to launch a voice assistant. You’ll be able to select the usual Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. And the HTC U11 is likely one of the first Android telephones to combine Amazon’s assistant.

You obtain an app known as HTC Alexa, which helps you to speak to it simply by saying “Alexa”, even when the cellphone is asleep. It might’t get previous your safety however is pretty good at recognizing completely different voices, and is a method to bypass Edge Sense.

At instances it takes just a few makes an attempt for the HTC U11 to appreciate you’re speaking to it, although, as if it was off taking part in solitaire or one thing.

Alexa’s present energy, aside from the standard feats of having the ability to inform you how many individuals dwell in Belgrade or the age or Michael Caine, is connection to good house providers. Nevertheless, we’ve struggled to get our Philips Hue lights working with HTC Alexa.

Talents outdoors of Alexa’s fundamentals are added via issues known as Abilities, that are successfully assistant mini-apps. Even after a few hours of deleting, reinstalling and unplugging we couldn’t get the HTC U11’s Alexa to ‘see’ our Hue lights with the Philips Hue Ability.

Alexa on telephones isn’t fairly the ultra-streamlined dream simply but, which is probably one motive Amazon didn’t go for an prompt Android-wide roll-out. For instance, you may’t but use it to manage Spotify on the HTC U11. You’ll simply be instructed it’s “not supported on this machine”. And it could’t do issues like ship textual content messages or open apps both.

Abilities can bridge these gaps to an extent, however we’re a approach off the place we have to be for Alexa to be genuinely helpful. Or simple to make use of for individuals who don’t spend their lives tinkering with tech.

The HTC U11’s Edge Sense has the same drawback. What guarantees to be the very best factor about it’s but to land: the power to have it work contextually in any app in any respect.

So for those who're after espresso outlets in Google Maps, it’s best to be capable to 'code' that to a brief press. Or if you wish to open the professional mode on the digicam, an extended press will do this relatively than opening the selfie mode.

The issue is that this performance isn't coming till months after launch. We wish to have the ability to squeeze the cellphone when Spotify is dwell to play/pause, however have it open the digicam from the house display.

And one closing factor: it’s not delicate sufficient. Properly, that’s not fairly correct: it’s too delicate generally for those who set the stress ranges decrease, and too laborious to grip and activate at different instances.

That’s since you don’t maintain your cellphone exactly the identical approach every time, and the additional effort to grip the edges isn’t a pure motion.

General, we like what HTC is doing by way of attempting to innovate right here… it simply doesn’t fairly work effectively sufficient. There’s something right here although, and possibly when the ultimate customizing functionality seems this function shall be vital.

However proper now, it takes effort to relearn tips on how to maintain your cellphone – and provided that Edge Sense might be the headline function of the U11, not launching it totally completed is a giant alternative missed.

Interface

  • Clear interface
  • Quick efficiency
  • Google apps aren't at all times the very best substitute

The interface on the HTC U11 continues to be as slick as ever; whereas Sense is now not the chief by way of our favourite Android overlay, it’s nonetheless up there.

The choice to flip to Google’s suite of apps, relatively than loading HTC telephones with duplicate apps, retains issues clear. For essentially the most half this works, because the Google apps are fairly good.

Nevertheless, there are some areas the place having Google’s does get relatively in the way in which: as an example, Google Photographs nonetheless appears like it might relatively at all times have an web connection, and doesn’t present all of your footage immediately, as an alternative asking you to decide on which folders to show.

In case you take a screenshot, you count on to have the ability to see it within the gallery, and whereas it’s simple sufficient to seek out, it doesn’t really feel intuitive… and that must be the first metric when deciding on a person interface.

It’s attention-grabbing to notice that shifting to the HTC U11 from the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has proven how slick the ‘slide up’ movement on Samsung’s cellphone is. With that cellphone you simply give the display an upwards swipe and also you’ll get into your listing of apps – it’s like what Google is doing with Nougat.

HTC’s caught with the older model of the person interface, and it doesn’t really feel as superior. There are some Nougat options in there – having the ability to go split-screen, as an example – however that is principally very acquainted territory, and will do with an overhaul.

And whereas we respect that it’s in all probability early software program, the HTC U11 does undergo from some judder at instances, with some apps taking part in up a contact.

It’s nothing main, nevertheless it borders on glitchy from time to time… not what we’re anticipating from a giant flagship, however sadly a typical drawback as corporations rush to launch with the very best and brightest software program.

That stated, this cellphone is insanely highly effective. With the Snapdragon 835 CPU on there, together with 4GB of RAM, all the pieces typically whipped alongside fairly rapidly, and the Geekbench rating of 6312 is up there with the perfect for the time being, the benchmarking app lauding the uncooked energy supplied by the HTC U11.

It’s a disgrace to see what’s occurred to BlinkFeed (the feed of knowledge on the display to the left of the principle house display); 4 years in the past it appeared like a genuinely highly effective motive to purchase an HTC cellphone, however since then it’s eroded to the purpose of being ineffective.

The issue is twofold: firstly, the structure of the knowledge, which is a combination of your calendar, social networks and curated information feeds, is a visible mess in comparison with different apps in the marketplace proper now.

The second difficulty is that it’s now crammed with sponsored adverts, coming far too usually – it’s comprehensible that HTC is looking for methods to bolster income, nevertheless it jars once you’ve simply spent a lot cash on a cellphone solely to be served with adverts.

Information Republic, the app that underpins the information aggregation, isn’t intuitive sufficient both – among the issues it suggests are simply nonsense given the subjects we requested to see, and it doesn’t appear to be taught that effectively both.

Finally, we discovered searching Twitter was a extra attractive expertise; turning BlinkFeed down to only social networks was helpful, however with the adverts as effectively nonetheless too irritating.

Sense Companion

  • Genuinely spectacular at instances
  • Must do extra

Sense Companion is one thing we strategy with trepidation… as a result of it sounds nearly too good to be true.

A man-made intelligence (AI) app of types, it’ll take a look at the climate the place you might be, your calendar, your battery degree and every day utilization to offer you insights on tips on how to use your cellphone higher.

Received an appointment later within the night and your battery’s dwindling? You’ll get a notification once you’re nonetheless at work, when you are able to do one thing about it.

Or been utilizing the cellphone a little bit an excessive amount of at this time? You’ll get a notification telling you that you simply’re within the ‘above common’ utilization class, with a rundown of what apps you’re utilizing.

It’ll even inform you the place to eat at a specific time of the day for those who’ve acquired location settings enabled.

By way of how genuinely helpful the app is to make use of… effectively, it’s not fairly HTC's promised AI assistant, nevertheless it’s useful. Being instructed every day we’re above common for our utilization isn’t enjoyable, however in all probability true. The battery notifications are helpful as effectively, if a little bit too common.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t fairly go far sufficient. The utilization immediate doesn’t provide any tips about what to do – we ended up downloading Forest, an app that encourages you to place your cellphone down, however that’s one thing Sense Companion might have supplied.

And the lunch notifications aren’t helpful sufficient – more often than not we don’t need to eat out, and once we do we all know tips on how to use Google to discover a place.

With a bit of labor, Sense Companion may very well be genuinely helpful… nevertheless it’s not fairly there but, which is beginning to really feel a bit like a typical theme with this cellphone.

  • Very spectacular efficiency
  • Sturdy HDR capabilities
  • Shutter velocity lag irritates

The digicam on the HTC U11 is a 12MP affair, with solely a single lens to talk of – there's no double sensor right here, as we're beginning to count on on flagship telephones.

That doesn't actually matter right here, fortunately, as HTC has packed in some good know-how for the one digicam, and consequently you'll largely get wonderful snaps.

The HTC U11 has been tipped by imaging analysts DxOMark as the very best cameraphone in the marketplace following its in depth battery of exams, and whereas we've seen different high-scoring telephones not even have sensible day-to-day cameras, the U11 is greater than succesful.

The principle function it's sporting is the HDR Auto mode, which mixes the very best elements of three snaps into one each time you chop the shutter.

It's a function that was notably outstanding on the Google Pixel, which coincidentally sufficient HTC additionally manufactured, so it is aware of what wanted to be executed in making a superb picture.

There are a selection of mode choices with the digicam as effectively, with skilled mode giving a variety of choices to tune up your snaps, and the power to seize in uncooked for those who like getting all the info from the sensor to control.

Like on the HTC 10, when you've taken an image in uncooked mode Google Photographs can improve it additional for you, figuring out the proper publicity  and sometimes making the image even clearer.

Nevertheless, even with a monumentally sturdy processor on board this nonetheless takes some time – it’s quicker than final 12 months, however you gained't be capable to do that for each picture you’re taking because it'll take up far an excessive amount of of your life.

The opposite factor that HTC nonetheless hasn't solved with its telephones is a slight contact of shutter lag. It's at all times been one of many slower telephones to reply to the contact once you need to take a photograph, and whereas the U11 is faster than earlier than there's nonetheless a noticeable pause once you need to take a snap.

That is notably infuriating once you're attempting to seize an image of a kid or an animal that isn't holding utterly nonetheless, and contemplating that HTC is making a giant deal concerning the truth the U11 can focus in zero.three seconds that is an odd efficiency.

We don't need to make this sound like an enormous drawback – it's a blink of a watch slower – however it’s noticeable, and it implies that once you use the squeezable sides of the HTC U11 to take an image you're at all times fearful that the framing shall be off, because the squeeze itself appears to shake the cellphone a little bit.

You'll get used to it, however even on the lowest squeeze degree you're nonetheless going to get some shudder with the trouble of clenching your palm.

It's nonetheless a lot simpler to make use of the volume-down key to do the identical factor – it's extra intuitive and takes much less effort than utilizing Edge Sense.

The front-facing digicam on the HTC U11 is likely one of the higher examples on the market, letting in a great deal of mild within the 16MP sensor and an f/2.zero and make the photographs extra clear.

That is needed as there's no flash from the cellphone itself on the entrance 16MP sensor, nevertheless it's a greater choice in our opinion – the low mild efficiency and sharpness from the selfie digicam is likely one of the best possible we’ve seen.

The video recording on the HTC U11 is, as soon as once more, among the many best possible we've seen from a smartphone. The shortage of distortion at a gig or typically loud scene is unbelievable, and mixed with the 4K sharpness on provide it results in some gorgeous movies.

The sound is correctly recorded in 3D due to extra microphones being packed in, and you may even zoom into the motion and have the sound observe, the U11 intelligently figuring out the place the audio is coming from and following the main target.

We’re unsure that it’s a needed perform to have – it’s super-cool, nevertheless it solely works effectively when attempting to video one thing from distant in a loud atmosphere, and zoomed in video at all times borders on the grainy.

Nevertheless, for a child's college play or recital, it's the right function.

Digicam samples

Battery

  • Lasts fairly effectively
  • Enhance+ does effectively to maintain issues in test

The battery life on the HTC U11 comes from a 3000mAh energy pack, and it's really significantly better than we had been anticipating.

HTC has at all times had an issue with getting the very best out of its batteries, and the concern each time we use a cellphone from the model is that we'll spend an excessive amount of time hanging round an influence outlet, simply in case.

Fortunately evidently issues aren't anyplace close to as unhealthy with the brand new HTC, and that largely appears to be because of the HTC Sense Companion / Enhance+ know-how working in tandem to be taught your habits effectively.

This implies issues like noting which apps you're utilizing through which methods, so for those who don't want all of the pixels from the display for some capabilities it'll routinely fireplace up fewer – going to HD mode doesn't actually appear to make a lot distinction visually, however total it appears to have a superb impact on the battery life.

Properly, at the very least that might be the case. The graphs that the U11 will throw at you when suggesting battery optimizations present two traces: one which highlights your present utilization, and one which exhibits what you could possibly be getting for those who take sure actions.

We've no approach of telling whether or not the claimed enhance in battery life is right, however having the ability to toggle on sure issues means that you can make some choices on whether or not you want the additional energy.

Positive, your favourite graphically-intensive sport seems chic in QHD, however is it value the price of an hour's battery life? Most likely – however at the very least you'll know what occurred on the finish of the day once you're reaching for the charger.

The HTC U11 packs Sense Companion, as beforehand mentioned, and whereas it's rudimentary over battery suggestions, it does work – when it notes that you simply've acquired one thing within the calendar that night and also you're beginning to get low about mid-afternoon, you'll obtain a delicate immediate to get charging.

That solely works for those who correctly use your calendar, nevertheless – which many people don't do, solely placing within the odd factor. In case you've acquired a shared calendar at work Sense Companion will even spot conferences or dinners to your co-workers, so the notification from the assistant isn't actually wanted.

Then once more, it's no unhealthy factor being prompted to cost if you wish to have the entire night time with out battery fear – even in case you are simply going house to weep right into a lasagne for one.

It's a disgrace there's no wi-fi charging on the HTC U11, and we're fairly certain that's a cost-saving train. HTC instructed us throughout a pre-brief that it was omitted for 'comfort', because the charging speeds weren't ok but – however certainly essentially the most handy factor is to have the cellphone charging in a lot of methods?

Given there's no metallic again right here to cowl up a wi-fi charging connector, this appears like a missed alternative, particularly when the iPhone 8 inevitably cuts the wires for powering up, making the U11 look far behind by way of spec.

By way of day-to-day battery efficiency, we had been typically fairly pleased with the HTC U11. It’s not the very best in the marketplace, however with medium utilization it might typically make it fortunately via the day. 

It’s at its finest once you’re not turning on the display, as its background sleep mode is relatively superior certainly at figuring out what must be stopped from drawing energy – and solely improves with Enhance+ tinkering away behind the scenes.

Nevertheless, we couldn’t ever get the HTC U11 to final comfortably into the following day, so whereas it’s a good efficiency it’s inferior to among the different high performers in the marketplace.

We ran our normal Full HD battery take a look at, looping video for 90 minutes at full brightness, and the HTC U11 didn’t fare effectively: 22% misplaced over the time is on the decrease facet, with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus managing 19% and 14% drops respectively.

So battery life is, effectively, effective. It gained't wow you, nevertheless it'll do.

  • Glorious audio efficiency
  • Nice in-box headphones
  • Devoted DAC to make your present headphones sound higher

The audio efficiency is likely one of the finest causes to choose up the HTC U11, with it providing sturdy readability and all of the instruments you could possibly need proper out of the field – together with Hello-Re Audio playback, for those who’ve acquired any high-quality recordsdata kicking round.

The very first thing that HTC is providing is its USonic headphones, which deliver respectable sound for a set that come bundled with a cellphone. 

Some have famous that they're a bit bass-heavy, however for earbuds that appears like a superb factor to have achieved, given the smaller area for the drivers.

Secondly, they provide noise cancellation… apparently. They pack microphones in to learn the ambient noise and supply a extra remoted audio expertise, though they’re nowhere close to nearly as good as a pair of noise-cancelling over-the-ear cans.

It’s in all probability partly right down to the noise isolation supplied by larger headphones, however utilizing the USonic headphones on a airplane was solely a little bit bit higher than utilizing a good pair of buds with out power-sapping noise cancelling.

Both approach, the sound is extra encompassing, and feels extra direct. You additionally use the bundled headphones to scan the within of your ear and create a private audio profile, which is fairly cool, and the ensuing impact does sound extra spectacular.

You may make issues much more outlined by listening to a set of noises in a quiet room to work out the extent of frequency your ears are capable of discern, which additionally appears to work effectively and is value doing.

Whereas it’s annoying that HTC has dropped the headphone jack on the U11 (we’re nonetheless not in a spot the place forcing this resolution on customers is a good suggestion – and it’s not like this cellphone is massively skinny) the bundled adaptor is great.

It’s not solely extra sturdy than the one Apple gives, nevertheless it’s additionally acquired a digital amplifier inside, so whichever headphones you plug in they’re going to sound higher. It does draw energy, however not loads, and it actually improves the sound high quality.

The ultimate aspect is the HTC U11’s Boomsound speaker setup. There are two audio system, however HTC has caught with the plan of splitting the sound between high-end and mid/bass ranges, with the previous popping out the earpiece and the latter firing downwards on the backside of the cellphone.

This implies it’s simple to cowl the loudest speaker, and when holding the cellphone within the hand the sound high quality doesn’t work as effectively.

Nevertheless, HTC has added a intelligent trick into the U11: place the cellphone down on a flat floor and the resonance chambers develop, with the advance in sound high quality marked. Nevertheless, that is solely any good for those who’re taking part in music, as for video you need the cellphone propped up, so that you’ll lose the spectacular high quality.

We nonetheless want there have been two audio system firing ahead on the HTC U11, like on the One sequence of previous. They labored effectively and appeared iconic… however these days have handed. 

In case you like listening to music on a cellphone, then the HTC U11 has acquired all of it: wonderful bundled buds, intelligent audio algorithms, a powerful headphone adaptor and good exterior playback.

The HTC U11 is a superb cellphone… however in a world already populated by sensible telephones. From the gorgeous rear glass to the speedy internals to the sturdy digicam to the insanely good audio to the improved (and good) battery, it's nearly laborious to seek out fault with this cellphone.

However like its current predecessors, the HTC U11 will battle to draw the eye it deserves as a result of it’s launching comparatively late within the 12 months. It doesn't have the wow issue of the Samsung Galaxy S8's large Infinity Show, nor the spectacular sluggish movement video seize and HDR film playback of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

And we've nonetheless acquired the iPhone eight to come back, which seems prefer it might effectively be the most effective handsets of all time (if the rumors are to be believed… which is at all times a harmful sport).

What HTC has executed is create a brilliantly competent cellphone, and tried to innovate by letting you squeeze the edges… however sadly its headline function doesn't impress.

If it had include the improved software program that allows you to customise the squeeze to no matter you wished, then this could be a really sturdy cellphone… we are able to see the potential for having the ability to use stress as a multi-function button when holding your cellphone, however we've at present no concept if HTC will combine it correctly.

The identical goes for having Alexa performance in-built… it's not there but. We're unsure why HTC would launch this cellphone with out these key options, however such is the speed of smartphone function innovation now that it appears any model is trying to simply get one thing out half-finished after which iterate, relatively than await it to be fully-baked.

Who's it for?

The HTC U11 is, firstly, one for followers of the model. Its Sense UI hasn't been overhauled for this new handset, and that can please those that just like the intelligence the software program gives.

HTC's Sense Companion and Enhance+ may very well be seen as intrusive by some, however anybody who’s accepting of the mission HTC is on will actually respect this performance. 

The design is various, and whereas it's a fingerprint magnet, the two-tone curved glass is a badge of honor – it is a cellphone  that we got here to like holding and exhibiting off. 

However finally, the HTC U11 is the cellphone for anybody who desires a handsome cellphone that may take nice footage and gives the most effective sonic experiences round. Annoyingly it's nonetheless a little bit costly for what's on provide, however the value ought to come down over time.

Ought to I purchase it?

In case you're in two minds over whether or not to purchase the HTC U11, then see for those who can take it for a take a look at drive. It’s best to solely actually purchase it for those who worth your audio expertise on a smartphone and don't thoughts utilizing a dongle to your fancy headphones that also have a three.5mm jack (as a result of they ALL nonetheless do).

You'll must not thoughts forking out a little bit extra money than it's actually value… however for those who wait a month or two the worth ought to have dropped to a extra palatable degree.

In case you're shopping for this cellphone for the squeezable sides – don't. Simply don't. It's a pleasant concept, nevertheless it's one which looks like a good suggestion on paper however doesn't actually translate. We're wanting ahead to attempting this methodology of interplay out as soon as it's fully-implemented in July, however for now it's a gimmick.

The HTC U11 is a powerful – very sturdy – cellphone. But it surely's nonetheless one that can solely actually impress those that need one thing that appears a bit completely different, have an affinity to HTC and respect good high quality audio from a cellphone, relatively than a handset that can wow you the second you maintain it in your hand.

Not satisfied that the HTC U11 is for you? Then give these choices a strive as an alternative

Samsung Galaxy S8

That is our cellphone of the 12 months thus far, and the explanation why is easy: it does all the pieces effectively, and combines this efficiency with a surprising look that nothing else in the marketplace is absolutely providing proper now.

The Infinity Show is the principle occasion of this cellphone, and whereas some are not sure concerning the new longer display ratio it's a powerhouse of battery life, gaming prowess and snapping capabilities.

The draw back is the sky-high value, and that's the place the HTC U11 wins out… however the Galaxy S8 does nearly all the pieces HTC's new cellphone does, and in a barely slicker package deal.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy S8 review

LG G6

Control the LG G6, because it’s a handset that can solely get higher with time… as a result of the worth will come down, and that can enhance the enchantment of this cellphone no finish.

It’s already a powerful proposition, because it gives a big show that’s much like Samsung’s, a good dual-sensor digicam, a sensible interface and good construct high quality.

Nevertheless, it depends on older , so there aren’t that many jumps ahead right here… and the worth continues to be relatively excessive consequently.

Learn our LG G6 review

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

In case you’re not towards the design language of the Sony vary, then the XZ Premium is an actual contender this 12 months. 

The 4K display is HDR-compatible, so is able to exhibiting some sensible motion pictures – and it’ll solely get higher with time as extra mobile-optimized content material seems from the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

The Tremendous Slomo video seize is superior as effectively – it’s a little bit fiddly maybe, however the outcomes are simply superior, as you may see under.

Learn our Sony Xperia XZ Premium review

HTC 10

Relying on what you want in your HTC handset, final 12 months’s mannequin may very well be a very good purchase.

The metallic design continues to be extra expensive-feeling and, effectively, premium than the plastic-like glass in our opinion, and the person interface largely equivalent. The bundled buds are good, if not as top-quality as those supplied with the U11, and the sound output sturdy.

The digicam isn’t as highly effective, however nonetheless does a good job – all issues thought-about, for those who can store round and discover the HTC 10 at a good value, it’s effectively value a search for followers of the model.

Learn our HTC 10 review



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