HTC U11
HTC U11

Today, HTC has launched its newest flagship smartphone, the HTC U11. The name might seem strikingly unusual, but it’s a perfect flagship with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, stunning design with shinny-glass outfit, and most importantly, it comes with a couple of impressive features – “Edge Sense”, a squeeze function that works on pressure sensors and will responds to two “hot-words” –   “Ok,Google” and “Alexa” as it supports both Google Assistant and Alexa.

Prices at $649 / £649, the HTC U11 lands UK in June and the US release will follow the suit. Beginning with HTC U Ultra, HTC shifted to full-glass panel. Indeed, the HTC U11 features a sleek and stunning glass back design, which indicates the future HTC will follow the same design pattern. The glass back also doubles as the fingerprint scanner.

Unlike other brands flagship that stresses bezel-less screen which became trend in the past year, the U11 gets a traditional design with quite a lot of space on the top as well as the bottom. With the previous flagship device, HTC ditched the headphone jack, and so the U11, but it will ship with USB-C adaptor to plug in 3.5mm headphones. Since the phone sports USB-C, the headphone that comes within the box gets active noise cancelling. The headphones will not require a battery pack for this property as it derives power form the phone itself.

HTC U11 comes with all the bells and whistles that you could expect from a flagship device. The key specification of the phone are:

HTC U11 Specifications

  • 5.5-inch, 2K LCD display
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4GB RAM / 64GB Storage
  • Expandable microSD slot
  • 12-megapixel rear camera, quick dual-pixel focusing and f/1.7 aperture
  • 16-megapixel front camera
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

There’s an another variant of HTC U11 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for global markets, which will not land in the US. It comes with IP67 water and dust resistant. That’s not where the glory of the U11 ends and it beings now. The most striking feature in the U11 is “Edge Sense”, probably the first phone to have it. Basically, it works similar to pressure touch, but here the pressure sensors are integrated on the left and right edges below the fold where you hold your phone. Literally, you can squeeze the phone just like squeezing a lemon. But, HTC U11 will launch apps or functions that you assign to it based on different levels of pressure. A quick squeeze will launch the camera app and another squeeze to take a photo. You can set different features with “advanced” mode for short and harder squeeze.

HTC calls it a “convenience key” as you will be able to configure the pressure sensors for different programs.  It works great with gloves on. The next amazing feature is “dual wake word” system. HTC U11 will support both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. So eventually, it will respond to both hot words “Ok, Google” and “Alexa” and will not confuse between them. But, the phone will ship only with the Google Assistant and will get Amazon Alexa through software update.

The phone will ship with HTC’s own Sense Assistant as well. There are four microphones in HTC U11, so if you yell at your device, the microphone closest in relation with your will be activated. HTC says it will provide accurate results. There are dual speakers, one at the bottom and another at the top, which doubles as earpiece. Apparently, HTC U11 is loud and richer in terms of look, feature and sound.

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