HTC U11 review
Squeeze with Edge Sense
Our HTC U11 review sheds light on the new Edge Sense feature, where a squeeze gives an extra dimension of interactivity. This may be the main innovation but everything else if top-end premium, rivaling the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6.
You can get the HTC U11 in the UK from £42 per month on a 24 month contract, with even more deals to become available on the run up to June. Handset only, the from £649 price tag is sure to give this HTC phone an air of exclusivity.
Design - 3D liquid glass
The HTC U11 has a 3D liquid glass surface, crafted using a (jargon-heavy) Optical Spectrum Hybrid Deposition process. The process creates layers of highly-refractive precious minerals within the rear cover and these transform light at every movement.
New: HTC U11 Life review
The 3D front and back glass has been shaped through the use of heat and extreme pressure. Nature’s colour palette has given inspiration to three colour variants; Amazing Silver, Brilliant Black and Sapphire Blue.
New: LG K8 2017 review
The HTC U11 has a 5.5” Super LCD 5 display and this produces true-to-life colours with a great Quad HD resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels). For strength, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 has been used to protect the display and this HTC phone is water resistant too (IP67 certified).
Performance - Snapdragon 835
The HTC U11 is king when it comes to lightening fast performance. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform is the first 10nm mobile processor. This has a 2.45GHz clock speed delivered through eight cores and with 4GB RAM.
|HTC mobile phone reviews|
In comparison to the performance of the HTC 10, we find 25% faster graphics and being more energy efficient, there is 30% (8 hours) more music playback, 35% (3 hours) more video playback time and 43% (3.5 hours) longer web browsing.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Transferring content and security
Transferring content over from an old smartphone will be no issue, thanks to HTC giving the U11 64GB of internal storage. There is a memory card slot that supports 2TB microSD cards and a fingerprint reader for biometric security.
Shortcuts - Edge Sense
Edge Sense is essentially a shortcut tool, where a short squeeze or a squeeze and hold, links to various tasks:
- Camera - Give the HTC U11 a squeeze and a smile and the camera app is launched. Edge Sense can also be used to take photos, which is much easier than tapping on the screen or trying to find a button on the side of the phone.
- Apps - Configure the Edge Sense feature to open apps like Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook.
- Text - Create a text with a squeeze and Voice to Text dictation.
- Digital assistant - Squeeze and ask the Google Assistant a question or squeeze and ask Alexa to play music, check the weather, read the news or shop on Amazon.
Sound - BoomSound and USonic
The HTC U11 has BoomSound Hi-Fi edition speakers that bring 100% more loudness and a 150% improvement in Dynamic Range Audio. At the top of the phone there is a tweeter, while at the bottom of the phone there us a woofer.
|HTC U Ultra review|
The U11 also has the latest version of HTC USonic. This tunes the audio to your ear through the earbuds. The earbuds map the inner ear using a sonic pulse. In the box, there is also a USB C to 3.5mm adapter, for using your own headphone.
AI - HTC Sense Companion
The HTC Sense Companion is an artificial intelligence that learns your daily patterns, in order to help you out on a day-to-day basis. The Sense Companion may remind you to charge up the phone or point out abnormal activity so that you can stop background apps to ensure a smoother experience.
New: HTC U11+ review
The AI may also give you the weather forecast for your day off, monitor your fitness metrics, recommend nearby places of interest, make restaurant recommendations based on where you have eaten before or check the traffic and remind you to start off earlier if there are delays. The Sense Companion can also directly interface with Google Maps to give alternative routes, with Google Maps included as part of the Android 7.1 Nougat operating system.
Camera & Video
Photography - Highest DxOMark
Last year we saw the Google Pixel get the highest DxOMark mobile camera rating (89) but that is a story of old, with the HTC U11 now having the highest DxOMark score (90).
The 12MP camera (HTC UltraPixel 3 / 1.4μm pixel size) gets this high DxOMark score through three camera features:
- UltraSpeed autofocus - This uses all of the pixels for phased detection autofocus.
- Auto HDR Boost - This gives the benefits of HDR but without the delay associated with capturing two shots and merging them together, for a better exposure.
- Temporal Noise Reduction - This removes unwanted noise by using the information detected in the previous shot, for the next shot.
Further camera features on the HTC U11 includes a new white balance enhancement and RAW format support in Pro Mode. Video can be recorded at 4K quality with slow motion footage captured at 1080p. Four microphones work with Acoustic Focus technology so that you can zoom in on a video target and amplify their specific sounds.
Selfies - 16MP or UltraPixel
The selfie camera can be used to either focus at a 16MP resolution for capturing detail in good light or at a lower resolution with UltraPixel technology giving more sensitivity to light, which is great for indoor or low light selfies.
The selfie camera on the HTC U11 also has HDR Boost, Live make-up, auto selfie, voice selfie and selfie panorama features.
Power - 3,000mAh
The HTC U11 has large power reserves with a 3,000mAh battery, which supports Quick Charge 3.0 through the reversible USB Type-C port. The battery gives up to 24.5 hours talk time or up to 14 days standby. For longer periods of time away from a power source, there are power saving and extreme power saving modes.
Next: LG K10 2017 review
Written by: Michael Brown