HTC U11 hands-on review: Edge Sense is the icing on the cake

The HTC U11 is right here, and it is aiming to knock the Samsung Galaxy S8 off the winner’s podium as this yr’s greatest Android smartphone. So, what are the components HTC has utilized in its recipe for fulfillment? Add a robust processor, a brand new consumer interface and Edge Sense, then wrap it up into a tool with a high-quality design and ship it to market. However, is all of this sufficient to assist HTC get to the highest?

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HTC U11 launch date and worth

The HTC U11 was formally revealed immediately, Might 16, and the phrase is that will probably be obtainable worldwide in quite a lot of colours from Might 2017 onward. There’s nonetheless some hypothesis on the worth for the brand new HTC system, with some Indian websites predicting that will probably be launched for round 52,999 Rupees. Consequently, the price ticket is predicted to be round $820 and not using a contract, making it a costlier choice than different 2017 flagships just like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G6. 

HTC U11 design and construct high quality

The newest flagship system to return from the Taiwanese producer is likely one of the most eye-catching smartphones to be launched to date this yr. With its curved and colourful glass surfaces, the HTC U11 stands out amongst different present smartphones – at the very least inside the high-end vary of units, the place most have stored to the boring, plain design rule. The protecting glass above the show (Gorilla Glass 5) flows easily into the slim, symmetrical aluminum body in addition to the glass on the again (Gorilla Glass three). The again cowl shimmers and gleams superbly, and appears beautiful – so so long as you diligently polish away the fingerprints that are likely to accumulate there.

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The again of the telephone shimmers and gleams in every shade. / © AndroidPIT

At solely 7.9 mm thick, the HTC U11 is sort of slim and the digital camera virtually disappears into the case with no hint. Weighing in at 169 grams, it isn’t essentially a light-weight system. That stated, it’s straightforward to deal with and the load is well-balanced. The quantity management and energy button are situated on the right-hand aspect of the system, and are straightforward to entry and function. The U11 has been given IP67 certification, which means the system is mud and water-proof as much as a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. The gadget comes with a hybrid SIM card slot, utilizing both a single SIM card or a two nano SIM playing cards. 

HTC U11 show

The HTC U11 sports activities a 5.5-inch QHD show (2,560 x 1,440 pixels), giving the display a pixel density of 539 ppi. All in all, that is greater than sufficient to offer customers a crisp picture. With its black background, the HTC U11 can – at the least briefly – cover the truth that the display isn’t an OLED panel. It isn’t apparent when you look instantly on the show, however in case you look in conjunction with the display there’s a seen mild gray haze. The colours are additionally not fairly as brilliant as these you discover on an OLED show. General, the display of the HTC U11 shouldn’t be dangerous. However, it is solely only a step above.

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The entrance of the HTC U11. / © AndroidPIT

HTC U11 particular options

The HTC U11 is especially operated by way of the touchscreen – identical to each different smartphone. Nevertheless, HTC is bringing its customers an alternate option to work together with the telephone with its model new function: Edge Sense. The U11 comes with a strain delicate body, which can react to customers squeezing the edges of the gadget. The HTC U11 is ready to distinguish between easy presses and lengthy presses, and can be capable of carry out numerous features based mostly on these. 

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Give the edges a squeeze. / © AndroidPIT

In response to the producer, Edge Sense works successfully underwater in addition to with gloves. When setting it up for the primary time, the consumer might want to modify it to their personal grip strain to keep away from any unintended actions being triggered. The truth is, the Edge Sense function labored fairly properly in our preliminary HTC U11 checks – regardless of the beta firmware. For instance, you need to use Edge Sense to begin the digital camera, shoot a photograph, summon Google Assistant or activate the keyboard. Later, Edge Sense shall be prolonged and you will then have the ability to entry any of your apps. In some conditions, having this function to function key features on a smartphone shall be very useful for some customers. 

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HTC Edge Sense in motion on the HTC U11. / © AndroidPIT
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The Edge Sense settings. / © AndroidPIT

HTC U11 software program

When selecting the working system, HTC clearly needed to keep away from taking possibilities with its newest system and so it has offered the U11 with probably the most up-to-date Android model obtainable: Android Nougat 7.1.1. The HTC Sense UI has a visually unobtrusive design and could be very economical in relation to apps.

The producer hasn’t introduced when it intends to distribute an Android O replace, although there are a selection of the reason why they have not achieved this. Firstly, Android O is not obtainable but. And secondly, HTC has been one of many few producers offering common, well timed updates for his or her units for years. We’re absolutely anticipating the HTC U11 be one of many first smartphones to obtain the Android O replace each time it’s launched.

HTC U11 efficiency

With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the HTC U11 comes outfitted with top-of-the-line chipsets obtainable as we speak and has greater than sufficient energy to help itself for all duties over the subsequent two to 3 years. The four GB of RAM is lower than some followers have been hoping to see on a brand new HTC gadget, however that is greater than adequate. The proof of this shall be within the benchmark checks, as that is the one approach we will actually put the processor by way of its paces. We’ll present complete benchmark testing for the HTC U11 as quickly as a check gadget is out there. As you’ll be able to see from the benchmark comparability that Qualcomm did for the Snapdragon 835, the measured values show that we will anticipate some spectacular efficiency on the HTC U11. 

Galaxy S8+ benchmark scores

 
  Samsung Galaxy S8+ Huawei Mate 9 Snapdragon 835
3DMark SlingShot ES three.1 three,132 2,293 three,543
3DMark SlingShot ES three.zero three,336 2,724 four,540
3DMark Ice Storm Limitless 28,742 27,516 37,096
Geekbench Single Core 2,014 1,843 2,061
Geekbench Multi Core 6,479 5,840 6,440
PCMark Work Efficiency 5,094 6,350 7,887
PCMark Storage four,772 7,340 four,900
Google Octane 2.zero 10,440 eight,807 11,974

There’s one small element that we discovered complicated: the HTC U11 does not include Bluetooth 5. For some purpose, HTC has determined to go together with Bluetooth four.2 for it is 2017 flagship. There could also be an opportunity that Bluetooth 5 might be activated later. It isn’t clear precisely how HTC might go about doing this, however having Bluetooth 5 would have genuine advantages

HTC U11 audio

With BoomSound, HTC set the benchmark for smartphone audio system at fairly a excessive degree. The HTC U11 additionally has BoomSound audio system on board, however for this system, they have been utterly redesigned. The sound designers have been concerned within the improvement of the HTC U11 proper from the beginning, and have been allowed to design the inside of the telephone to create sufficient resonance. This has apparently labored properly, as a result of the brand new HTC smartphone has nice resonance, and the sound is loud and balanced. That stated, the HTC U11 does not have real stereo sound: the decision speaker on the prime works in live performance with the loud speaker on the backside.

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The HTC U11 has USB Sort-C. / © AndroidPIT

HTC has additionally labored on the headphones of the U11, that are equivalent to these of the HTC U Play and U Ultra. Because of the Snapdragon 835 and its software program, HTC now has Lively Noise Cancellation. The microphones used for this are situated within the HTC USonic headphones themselves. If you attempt it out, you’ll be able to hear in just some seconds that the lively noise cancelling works excellently.

The HTC U11 itself has 4 microphones on board, that are used to select up conversations and document focused or omni-directional sound for movies. The microphones are additionally essential for Google Assistant and the HTC Sense Companion, which could have firm quickly: a number of weeks after the launch of the U11, HTC will additionally combine Amazon Alexa into the system. The consumer can then decide and select which assistant they like to regulate apps and features.

HTC U11 digital camera

The primary digital camera of the HTC U11 has 12 MP and an aperture of f / 1.7. HTC needs to surpass the digital camera efficiency of the HTC 10, and it has succeeded, having been awarded a robust 90 factors in comparison with the HTC 10’s 88 factors by DxOMark. It’s the highest-rated smartphone camera ever tested by DxOMark. The system comes with laser autofocus, and it really works just like the Galaxy S8, with twin pixel focus – so every pixel can also be used for focusing. This makes the HTC U11 digital camera actually quick. At first sight, any footage taken come out very properly. Nevertheless, the HTC U11 does not but have all the ultimate software program on board – there should be some modifications that develop into obvious after our last exams. Video recording is feasible in 4K with 30 photographs per second, and sluggish movement in Full-HD creates 120 frames per second. The digital camera has each optical and digital picture stabilization.

The entrance digital camera has 16 MP and fastened focus, and the aperture is f / 2.zero. HDR Increase can be used with the entrance digital camera.

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The HTC U11’s rear digital camera. / © AndroidPIT

HTC U11 battery

The battery of the HTC U11 is non-removable and has a capability of three,000 mAh. That is fantastic on paper and must be adequate for one full day with out charging. Right here, nevertheless, testing the consumption of the Snapdragon 835 will most certainly show to be fascinating. Because of QuickCharge three.zero, HTC guarantees a 50 % cost after half an hour, and a full recharge after 90 minutes.

HTC U11 technical specs

Dimensions: 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 169 g
Battery measurement: 3000 mAh
Display measurement: 5.5 in
Show know-how: LCD
Display: 2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)
Entrance digital camera: 16 megapixels
Rear digital camera: 12.2 megapixels
Flashlight: Twin-LED
Android model: 7.1.1 – Nougat
Consumer interface: HTC Sense
RAM: four GB
Inner storage: 64 GB
Detachable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Variety of cores: eight
Max. clock velocity: 2.45 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth four.2

Early Verdict

On first sight, the HTC U11 has all of the makings to be a profitable smartphone, offering you like the design – followers of the One vary will certainly miss their beloved aluminum. Each the software program and processor are up-to-date and highly effective, Edge Sense is a pleasant further perform and the digital camera is promising. The audio options will delight music lovers, and the twin SIM choice can also be laudable. We’ll be excited to see whether or not we will affirm our first impressions of the HTC U11 once we full our remaining evaluation. 

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The HTC U11 is an actual magnificence. / © AndroidPIT

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