As scheduled HTC at an event today unveiled its new smartphone HTC U11 and it looks like the company is yet again taking the smartphone innovation to a whole new level with this smartphone.
HTC's President of Smartphones and Connected Devices Chialin Chang took to the stage to announce the new phone, and said that the new product is one of the most innovative product from HTC and that it is the next generation device that delivers the ultimate user experience. He further added that the HTC U11 is a product that enables great interaction between the user and the device.
As such the newly announced smartphone comes with the Edge sensor feature which is the key highlight of this smartphone. This feature will basically allow users to enable shortcut interactions with the device and further open up applications by just squeezing the device at the sides.
How this works? Well, the smartphone has around 8 super sensitive microsensors embeded at the sides and these microsensors detect the level of force or "squeeze" and accordingly open up the set apps. However, only two functions can be set at a time. So it is easily customizable and users can choose and assign any app to the feature. HTC says that the level of force can also be adjusted.
Further the Edge Sense feature is also integrated with voice assistant services like Google Assistant and Alexa. Interestingly, the handset will be listening for both "OK Google", and "Alexa", as the handset will be able to work with both voice assistants at the same time. The U 11 will have Google Assistant support first hand, but Alexa is said to arrive within 30 days of the device's official release in the US, UK and Germany.
However, the new HTC U11 also comes with other interesting features which we will discuss below.
Design and Display
HTC U11 features similar design to that of the HTC U Play and U Ultra. Thus it comes with liquid surface and metal unibody design. The device has been designed to fit really well ergonomically in a users hand and it has been desgined to look asthethically beautiful at the same time the choice of colors for this smartphone has been carefully developed.
That being said, HTC U11 will come in five color variants which will be Amazing Silver, Ice White, Brilliant Black, Solar Red and Sapphire Blue. The smartphone has also been given the IP67 rating which means that HTC U11 is water and dust resistance.
As for the HTC U11 will come with a compact 5.5-inch QHD display with Corning Gorilla glass on top for added durability. Looking at the front of HTC U11 there are the same capacitive navigation keys and front-mounted fingerprint sensor as the U Ultra.
Specifications and Software
The smartphone will be powered by a Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835 chipset. However, other details were not revealed. But going by the leaks that happened earlier, the smartphone is expected to feature either 4GB or 6GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB internal storage.
HTC U11 is expected to run on Andriod Nougat 7.1.1 out-of-the-box.
Talking about the cameras, HTC said that the cameras used in the new smartphone have received the highest ever DxOMark Mobile score of 90. The UltraPixel 3 camera in HTC U11 has five-axis image stabilization and dual pixel auto focus. HTC also says that the U11 has its "best ever" HDR processing as well.
That being said, HTC U11 sports an 12MP Ultrapixel rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, ultra speed autofocus, OIS, EIS, and dual LED flash. On the front, there's a new 16MP sensor with EIS, a 150-degree wide-angle lens and an f/2.0 aperture. The company says that the camera has been improved a lot in terms of delivering better image quality, reduced noise, finer details, improved white balance and flash color.
The cameras are also capable of recording 4K videos, comes with 360 sound recording and delivers high resolution audio. Further HTC U11 gets a new feature called Acoustic Focus. HTC says that with this feature the audio levels are tied in with zoom-in functionality of the smartphone.
Continuing on the audio front, HTC is leveraging its BoomSound Hi-Fi setup of using two speakers with the smartphone to offer louder audio levels and higher quality audio. However, the 3.5 mm headset jack is absent but to compensate, HTC is making enhancements to its USonic headphones which now will offer active noise cancellation technology, powered by the phone over USB-C.
HTC will also ship the USB-C to 3.5 mm headset adapter with the HTC U11 for free.
Price and Availibilty
Well, the pricing details have not yet been dislcosed but it is expected that in all respects, the handset will be in tmid-range category. As for the availability, the handset wil be launched in selected markets next week. The global launch and full ditribution will happen starting early June.