- Fingerprint magnet
- No headphone jack
- Limited support for pressure sensitive sides
It’s no secret that HTC hasn’t kept up with bigger names in the flagship Android market. With the HTC U11, they’re hoping to reverse this trend. While the phone is eye-catching, will it be the hit that HTC needs?
Reviews for this colorful new phone are in and we’re bringing you the best (and worst) of what reviewers are saying.
Let’s dig in!
While the physical design of the phone is nothing out of the ordinary, reviewers raved about the color treatment on the phone's glass back panel. Even the reviewers with the white model loved the subtle sheen of the “liquid surface” glass treatment HTC used on the U11.
And the phone isn’t just pretty—it also offers IP67 water and dust resistance. The Guardian noted, “HTC’s build quality is legendary and the U11 does not disappoint. It is rock solid with no give or flex in the body.”
The only complaints found regarded fingerprints. Unfortunately, all that shiny glass means lots of cleaning to keep the appearance flawless.
Heading around front, you’re greeted with a 5.5-inch QuadHD LCD screen. Reviewers loved the color and sharpness but some wished it were brighter for better outdoor use. ChipChick said, “[It] looks fantastic in most conditions, with vibrant but accurate colors, great contrast, and decent viewing angles.”
You’ll find a 2.45Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 835 paired with 4GB of RAM to keep things running snappy behind the scenes. As this is one of the most powerful chips in 2017, performance is near the top of the charts. GSM Arena benchmarked the phone and said, “The UI is fluid and there's zero stutter, no matter how many apps you're using. Loading larger apps like heavy games doesn't even make this thing sweat.”
With 64GB of internal storage, you shouldn’t have much to worry about when it comes to keeping your favorite apps and media on hand. Should you need more space, a microSD card makes expanding your storage cheap and simple.
The phone ships with Android 7.1 Nougat. HTC has added their Sense 7.0 UI. Reviewers liked their changes and there were no complaints of bloatware or duplicated apps. Greenbot noted, “HTC treads pretty lightly on top of stock Nougat, adding a few useful features and settings, but mostly keeping things as Google intended.”
When you look at the camera specifications, you might get confused. However, they’re right. The rear camera is 12MP while the front-facing lens is a beefy 16MP. This is because both cameras have different aperture and pixel sizes. While the front camera is great for selfies and video chat, it lacks the optical image stabilization and phase change auto focus of the rear camera. So you’ll still want to stick to the rear camera for daily snapping.
ChipChick ran the camera through its paces and noted, “Pictures taken with the main shooter are sharp and properly exposed, with excellent color rendition. Dynamic range is helped by the auto-HDR mode, which does some very clever image processing.”
The phone’s 3,000mAh internal battery appears to keep things running with no problems throughout a full day of use. Should you find yourself low on juice, Quick Charge 3.0 means you can top off your charge in around 30 minutes to get through the rest of the day. The Guardian tested their phone and said, “The U11 lasted around 24 hours between charges without activating any power saving modes. That was while using it as my primary device, browsing and using apps for four hours with hundreds of push emails, 60 minutes of gaming, and listening to around five hours of music via Bluetooth headphones.”
One of the phone’s most hyped features is its pressure-sensitive sides. Squeezing the phone allows you to launch apps or activate shortcuts. While reviewers found the feature worked fine, they often had trouble remembering to use it.
HTC has built a name within the audio community for a stellar listening experience. Unfortunately, the U11 missed the bar for some. While the BoomSound speakers were a hit with reviewers, the phone lacks a 3.5mm headphone port. While they include a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter, many reviewers found the USonic headphones and adapter lacked the punch and clarity of earlier HTC offerings.
Overall, the U11 might be just what HTC needs to return to the top. Reviewers all agree that it offers a convincing package of performance, looks and camera quality. If you’re bothered by fingerprints or you have a habit of dropping your phone, steer clear of the amount of glass on this phone. Otherwise, it seems a stellar buy.