htc u 11

At an event organized in Taipei, HTC has today taken center stage to take the wraps off their latest innovation. Called HTC U 11, this flagship device tops off the company’s existing U series devices and comes packed with several new features. This device will witness a region-specific launch in the coming week, followed by a complete worldwide launch in early June.

The design and aesthetics of the HTC U 11 resemble that of its predecessors, which also feature the similar ‘liquid surface’ back with colors embedded in the glass. The manufacturing process of this glass back has, however, been refined and now includes about 20+ steps for 3D forming the rear, which gives off a unique vibe from different angles. The device is, however, late to the IP67 resistance party, which protects it against dust and water splashes.

The front of the smartphone doesn’t introduce anything crazy like a gorgeous ‘Infinity display’ but retains the similar U Ultra look, with a 5.5-inch, Quad HD display. It still includes capacitive navigation keys and a fingerprint scanner mounted in the home button. The device is powered by the greatest Snapdragon 835 processor, which may help it gain an edge over competitors like LG, who still picked the SD 821 to hastily launch their G6 before the Galaxy S8 lineup.

This processing power is coupled with two memory and storage variants — 4GB RAM/64GB onboard storage and 6GB RAM/128GB onboard storage. The HTC U 11 includes support for MicroSD cards to help you expand on the internal storage. It is powered by a decent 3,000 mAh battery pack, lacks the 3.5mm headphone jack (lays emphasis on HTC Boomsound, Usonic technology, which is of prominence on this device). It includes a 12-MP rear camera with optical stabilization and dual-pixel autofocus along with 16-MP ultrapixel front camera with a 150-degree wide-angle lens.

Let’s put all internal and camera details on hold for a moment. The rumors, as well as the teaser videos all, suggested that the HTC U 11 will bring along pressure-sensitive edges to the device. And that’s been proven true and has become the highlight of this latest U series smartphone, which enables you to perform different functions simply by squeezing the sides of the device. The sensor will act as the replacement for some functions that would usually require you to interact with the touchscreen.

htc u 11

This new (slightly gimmicky) feature has been named ‘Edge Sense’ and works due to the integration of sensors, which are designed to detect pressure, directly into the sides of the HTC U 11. One can configure both the shortcut interactions, as well as the pressure sensitivity, of the sensors to activate the feature. This means you can either short squeeze the edge to open the camera app and take a selfie within seconds or assign the long squeeze gesture to activate an AI-powered mobile voice assistant.

This is the very first integration of this technology into the smartphone, claims Nigel Newby-House, the vice president of product planning for HTC America. HTC U 11 is aimed at introducing this new experience to the masses before making it more robust and widely available to everyone. This is definitely a new experience for smartphone users, thus, it may take some time for them to get used to this feature. The phone still includes power and volume buttons but they could have been replaced with pressure-sensitive actions as well.

Another highlight of the HTC U 11 will have to be the integration of both Google Assistant and Alexa into the device. While Google Assistant is inherently available on Android 7.0 Nougat-powered devices, the Alexa voice integration makes this the second device to bring along the service of Amazon’s powerful voice assistant. But, it is not like you’d have to choose between any one of the voice assistants as SD 835 provide

But you know what, you wouldn’t have to choose between any one of the integrated voice assistants as Snapdragon 835 provides it with the capability to employ ‘two wake words’ in the device. This means Alexa voice will be a secondary assistant and be activated almost instantly by calling out the corresponding wake word. Alexa voice service will be made available in 30 days of availability of the HTC U 11, initially in the U.S, U.K and Germany — where the voice assistant if popular and fully supported.

HTC U 11 is being launched in five colors variants, namely — Amazing Silver, Sapphire Blue, Ice White, Brilliant Black and the final addition — Solo Red. All these back panels are crystal clear and reflect light, where the Red gives off a golden tint and looks like the sun, says HTC. But, you won’t have access to some colors at launch as only three of them are presently being made available — blue, black and silver.

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