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HTC U11 Quick Review: The Squeezable Flagship

HTC’s Flagship Has Arrived In the Philippines

HTC has finally made its triumphant return to our shores! We’ve already gotten our reviews in for two of the smartphones that they’ve launched today, but it’s this one we’ve been waiting to get in our hands on and take for a spin — the HTC U11. Armed with some pretty banging specs, we’re sure it can handle massive work loads. Before it goes in for testing and its full review, let’s have a quick look at the HTC U11.

HTC U11 Specs

  • 2.45GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • Adreno 540 GPU
  • 5.5-inch QHD Super LCD5 display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection; 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • 128GB of expandable storage
  • 12-megapixel rear camera. f/1.7 aperture, PDAF, OIS, dual-tone LED flash
  • 16-megapixel front camera, f/2.0 aperture
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • USB Type-C
  • IP67 certification
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android Nougat 7.1.1

Initial Impressions: A Glossy Powerhouse

In terms of design language, not much has changed between the HTC U11 and the HTC U Ultra; aside from the obvious size difference and a few other details. You’ve got the same glass-covered metal body with that polarizing, ultra-glossy back, which the company is calling a Liquid Surface, that has nicely curved edges for better handling.

HTC hasn’t gone the unibody route with either of the phones but, given their experience in crafting metal bodied phones, we’re pretty sure that their flagship will be just as sturdy as the phones we’ve already reviewed from their current lineup. Just make sure to bring a cleaning cloth to keep it pristine, because it is prone to fingerprints. It’s also got IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, so just in case you get caught in the rain without an umbrella — there’s no need to worry about this one fizzling out on you.

As expected, the layout of the phone is exactly as the HTC U Ultra.

You’ve got the volume rocker on the right side of the device with its power button below it.

Access to the SIM tray can be found up on top.

Below the device are its USB Type-C port and its speaker grille.

Yes. Sadly, the 3.5mm audio jack has also been omitted on the HTC U11, but it will ship with USB Type-C earphones, the HTC U Sonic, and a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter with a built-in DAC.

Behind the phone is its 12-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/1.7 and the dual-tone LED flash right beside it. It still has a bit of a hump to it, but it’s not too bad and the company does throw in a case to help you keep your device smudge-free and even it out when you place it on the table.

On the front of the phone is, of course, its 5.5-inch QHD Super LCD 5 display. While it is smaller than the HTC U Ultra, you are getting better pixel density on this phone. It’s a solid display that would make any YouTube binge watcher happy. You’ll find the 16-megapixel front camera just above the display; to the right of the phone’s earpiece. The fingerprint scanner on the HTC U11 is also rather thin but, despite its questionable aesthetics, at least it’s still fast and accurate; though it may require a wipe down once in awhile to keep it that way.

One of the headlining features on the HTC U11 is HTC’s Edge Sense that allows you to launch a mapped app by squeezing the phone. It sounds a little gimmicky at the get-go, but we’ll reserve judgement for the phones full review. It does, however, respond quite nicely and launches assigned apps quickly.

Under the hood of the HTC U11 is a 2.45GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with a good amount of RAM and on-board storage. As expected from a smartphone with this caliber of hardware, initial navigation through the device was silky smooth and we don’t foresee any trouble throwing the heaviest tasks and games at this device.

That’s pretty much it for this quick review for the HTC U11. We’re going to be putting HTC’s flagship to the test for the next couple of days, so make sure you check back if you want to know if this device is worth it.

The HTC U11 is priced at Php 36,990.

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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