Before I get to the U11’s squeezing trick, permit’s cover the basics. The U11 has a 5.Five-inch LCD display with Quad HD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) that’s sharp and colourful and vivid sufficient to be seen without problems outside, that is an improvement over ultimate 12 months’s difficult-to-see HTC 10. It has a sixteen:nine aspect ratio, so it’s no longer tall and thin like the displays at the Galaxy S8 or LG G6, and it doesn’t stretch facet-to-edge like the ones presentations do. It’s no longer as vibrant as Samsung’s AMOLED panels and doesn’t get as eye-searingly bright either, however it is a totally great display and I have no issues with it. It feels familiar due to the fact we’ve been searching at this shape of display within the palm of our palms for a decade now.
That display screen is wrapped in a metal and glass body, that is at the same time the first-class and perhaps the worst a part of the U11. A glass returned is a surprisingly new design path for HTC – the organisation began the usage of it this 12 months with the unlucky U Ultra – but you wouldn’t recognize that from the manner it has been applied. The curved glass again of the U11 mates to the metallic frame with nary a pointy edge and the deep, sapphire blue coloration of my evaluation unit is a pleasure to look at. The edges of the the front glass over the display screen in addition curve down into the frame in an almost seamless manner (even though the display screen itself isn’t always curved, it’s far flat). The complete bundle is splendidly built and top rate to a tee. HTC has essentially matched Samsung’s know-how with metal and glass designs on its 2d try, which is not any small feat.
The disadvantage to this layout is that glass is not almost as hardy as steel, and can be effortlessly scratched or cracked. On pinnacle of that, the U11 is a fingerprint and grease magnet, in order that lovely finish gets spoiled nearly as quickly as you touch it. HTC includes a completely fundamental snap-on plastic case within the field with the U11, which provides more grip and continues your fingerprints off the glass, but it gets scratched to hell right away and is a negative compromise. On the upside, HTC has finally made its flagship telephone waterproof; the U11 has the same IP67 water resistance rating because the iPhone 7.
Like Apple, Motorola, and others, HTC has left out the three.5mm headphone jack from the U11. The employer’s argument for doing that is that it provides more room for different, greater important components and produces a sleeker design, however I don’t agree that this compromise is worth it. The U11 is not a small phone, neither is it thin to the factor wherein a headphone jack clearly wouldn’t in shape. You likely already know whether or not or not the lack of a headphone jack can be an trouble for you personally, so I gained’t belabor the point, but it didn’t take long for me to miss it when I got in my car and didn’t have a way to plug the cellphone into the aux port.
The U11 does come with a set of earphones that use the USB Type-C port and they sound pretty proper for buds that come bundled with a phone. HTC uses the Type-C port’s electricity delivery to tune the earbuds to your ears for a better sound, and it even gives very simple noise cancellation functions. These received’t examine to a right noise cancelling headset from the likes of Bose, however the U11’s headphones are fun to use on a loud commute. Frustratingly, though, these headphones won’t work with some other device you may own, which includes your laptop or pill.
The U11 also comes with an adapter to use widespread headphones with the USB-C port, however that become no help to me in my vehicle once I absent-mindedly left it linked to the headphones I use at domestic. That’s the problem with dongles: by no means there whilst you need them.
The phone’s personal speakers (there are two, one at the lowest aspect, the other in the earpiece) are loud and clear and may be tuned for video or track relying on what you’re gambling. I determined them quality for speakerphone calls.
I’ve been especially inspired with the U11’s overall performance; it is probably the fastest Android telephone I’ve used this side of Google’s very own Pixel. Apps open quickly, the interface could be very responsive, and scrolling internal of apps is just as rapid and fluid as I’d like. It’s been a long time on the grounds that I’ve used an Android flagship that I might call slow, but the U11’s performance has reset my expectancies for what fast can sense like. This could be way to the U11’s Snapdragon 835 processor, however it additionally appears to be in component due to a whole lot of software tuning from HTC.
I’m less enthused with the U11’s battery life. That’s not to say it’s horrific; I’m frequently capable of get via a day of medium to heavy use with no need to price up part manner. But it’s no longer a multi-day marathoner and its stamina just isn’t as magnificent because the rest of the telephone’s overall performance. The U11 is the biggest mainstream flagship smartphone HTC has ever produced (previous models, inclusive of the M9 and HTC 10, had five and 5.2-inch monitors, respectively), but that growth in size did not carry a exquisite development in battery existence.
Fortunately, the U11’s camera is a winner. The 12-megapixel sensor has an f/1.7, optically stabilized lens and twin-pixel autofocus, and it may take adorable photographs in lots of extraordinary lighting conditions. It may not win each head-to-head assessment with a Pixel, S8, or iPhone, and it doesn’t have any of the hints that telephones with cameras offer, however I didn’t virtually miss any of that. The U11 simply focuses fast and takes beautiful photos with masses of element and accurate colorings. The 4K video it captures is likewise easy and jitter-loose, and it could document 3-d sound thanks to its 4-microphone array.
Out of the field, the U11 is going for walks the contemporary software from Google – Android 7.1.1 Nougat – and it has some mild customizations from HTC. I assume the software is amazing: it’s fast, clean to apply, and not too a long way away from what Google offers at the Pixel. The U11 even helps app icon shortcuts when you press and preserve on an app in its standard launcher.
There are not one, however intelligent assistants at the U11, and shortly there might be a 3rd. You already understand how Google Assistant works, and you can use “OK Google” any time, even when the screen’s off, to release it. HTC has its own assistant that tries to present you useful pointers on whilst to fee your telephone, in which to move for lunch, and what the climate can be like the following day, but most of these are quite apparent things or already dealt with by using Google’s own Assistant. HTC’s assistant is largely redundant and forgettable. I’m extra excited by using the impending Amazon Alexa integration, in order to allow me to yell “Alexa” on the telephone to do things I commonly ask an Echo to do — although that received’t be to be had until later this summer time and I wasn’t in a position to test it.
Now right here’s the gimmick: the U11 has stress touchy areas on its aspects which could reply to a one-passed squeeze. The employer calls this “Edge Sense” and it may be configured to launch an app, switch on the flashlight, launch Google Assistant, or do other matters with either a quick or lengthy squeeze.
The concept is that it makes the large U11 barely simpler to use with one hand, however the execution doesn’t stay as much as that pitch. There are already quicker and greater comfortable approaches to do many of these obligations and squeezing the sides of the smartphone never feels ordinary or intuitive. It’s viable that this could get extra thrilling in the future – HTC tells me it has broader plans for it down the road – but proper now it feels 1/2-baked.
As I said at the start, you could absolutely forget about the very forgettable Edge Sense function due to the fact you don’t want it to do any of the things you want to use a phone for. You can pick up the U11 and enjoy the display, digital camera, performance, and construct excellent without ever thinking about squeezing the edges of it.
The U11 is priced proper in the premium region, where businesses do differentiate with useful and modern ideas. It doesn’t have a number of the forward-looking features of its competition, but at its base it is a superb telephone in a very pretty shell. If that’s what you need, and you’re able to get past the dearth of a headphone jack and the U11’s enchantment to fingerprints, you gained’t be disappointed