HTC launches HTC U11 flagship phone

Alex Kidman 16 May 2017

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HTC’s shiny new flagship demands to be squeezed.

It was no particular secret that HTC had a flagship in the works to announce to the world running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC. It’s just unveiled the HTC U11, the latest member of the HTC U family that already incorporates the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play.

Every premium phone needs a standout feature, and for the HTC U11, HTC is hoping that the addition of squeezable sides that can enable selected actions to be easily undertaken with one hand that will make the HTC U11 stand out. This ranges from quickly launching the 12MP rear camera and taking photos to enabling Google Assistant or even simpler matters such as enabling the flash for use as a torch.

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HTC will allow you to customise the HTC U11’s squeeze actions, which work off both short and long squeezes to launch additional applications, with an SDK to come later in the year to allow app developers to further utilise the technology.

HTC has been behind some of the best mobile cameras in recent years, most notably being the OEM behind Google’s rather spectacular Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL cameras, so expectations are high for the HTC U11. HTC has opted for a single lens, 12MP, 1.4um, f/1.7 rear camera that it claims has exceptionally fast focus. HTC is calling it “full sensor ultraspeed autofocus” with a claimed focus speed of less than 0.3 seconds and the ability to rapidly process HDR imagery. On the front, the HTC U11 features a 16MP sensor with a 150 degree field of vision for ultrawide selfie shots, as well as the same option as the HTC U Ultra to drop down to lower resolution ultrapixel mode for low-light shots. HTC has stated that the rear camera on the HTC U11 has achieved a DxOMark score of 90, putting it ahead of the existing current leader in that benchmark, HTC's own Google Pixel phone.

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Design-wise, the HTC U11 largely follows the liquid design principles of the HTC U ultra with a range of colours on show at launch, although it’s all but certain that we won’t see every colour variant here in Australia.

While it’s only just launched the HTC U11 globally, it’s expected that we’ll hear news of its local availability quite shortly as HTC jostles with numerous Snapdragon 835-toting competitors such as Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium and the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ handsets.

We’ve already had some hands-on time with the new handsets, so if you’re interested in our first impressions, check out our hands-on review. The HTC U11 now becomes HTC’s premium device for 2017, supplanting the existing HTC U Ultra which recently saw a price cut down to $899 outright.

Huawei U11 Specifications

HTCU11
Display5.5in
Resolution2560x1440
ppi534
SoftwareAndroid 7.1
Storage64GB+microSD
RAM4GB
Battery3000mAh
Front Camera16MP
Rear Camera12MP
ProcessorSnapdragon 835
Size153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm
Weight169g

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