Review: HTC U11
HTC gets so much right with the U11, and yet still manages to trip itself up in a few places. There's no question the design is eye-popping. That mirror-finished rear glass panel is purity defined. I wish the phone's shape and front face were even half as appealing as the back. The materials are top-notch and the waterproof chassis is a welcome addition, though a case might sadly be in order.
The phone nails most of the other flagship basics. It has a bright, high-resolution display, excellent data performance, and solid battery life. The U11's super quick LTE speeds on Sprint's HPUE service were particularly impressive. Toss in coveted tools like rapid charging, memory card support, and a crazy loud speaker, and the U11 hardware impresses.
HTC's take on Android can be a bit much, leaving consumers with screens and screens of customization tweaks to wade through. The U11 sees HTC add a novel feature called Edge Sense, which lets you call up certain actions by squeezing the phone. I dig it. I wasn't as impressed with HTC's Sense Companion, which is a poor man's version of Google Assistant. Still, HTC's software lets you do far more to personalize the device that most other UI skins.
The camera application is powerful and puts the high-quality sensor to excellent use. The U11 takes amazing pictures, putting the phone toe-to-toe with the best available in the market today.
The U11 is a return to form for HTC, a showcase device that displays not only the company's design chops but its intuitive thinking and high level of execution. Sure there are some annoying things about it, but taken as a whole the U11 is uniquely lovable. It's priced at $649, which is right in line with the competition.
The last twelve months have given us some of the most compelling smartphones ever made. New screen shapes, advanced cameras, and waterproof bodies have improved the everyday experience of those willing to fork over lots of cash for high-end handsets.
Summer is here, which means it's time to go on vacation! Whether you prefer to make day trips to local points of interest, or plan far-flung adventures that span the globe, you're going to want your trusty smartphone by your side.
The HTC U11 is the company's true flagship phone for 2017. It fills the Goldilocks spot in HTC's U series: better than the U Play, but smaller than the U Ultra, while also replacing last year's HTC 10.
Aug 8, 2017
HTC today said anyone who buys the U11 smartphone between now and the end of September will be rewarded with three months of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. The service provides access to Amazon's library of millions of songs, which can be streamed to the U11.
Jun 23, 2017
HTC today demonstrated a handful of new Edge Sense actions it is testing for the U11. In the video, posted to HTC's Facebook page, the company shows how Edge Sense can be used to zoom in and out of maps and photos, answer and end phone calls, dismiss alarms, and change views in the calendar.