HTC U11 lets you squeeze to perform actions, unlocked model now available for pre-order

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UPDATE: Mo Versi, HTC’s VP of Product Management, has confirmed to me that the unlocked HTC U11 supports VoLTE, Wi-Fi Calling, and 256 QAM on T-Mobile, but not 4×4 MIMO.

 

ORIGINAL: HTC’s flagship Android smartphone for 2017 is here.

The HTC U11 is now official, complete with a feature that HTC calls Edge Sense. With it, you can squeeze the sides of the U11 to perform actions, like squeezing once to launch the camera app and then squeezing again to capture a photo, which enables you to snap a selfie with one hand. You can customize the app that launches when you use Edge Sense, and HTC is including a long squeeze feature that’ll give you another action to use.

Another feature of the HTC U11 is its AI assistant support. HTC has included Google Assistant with its new flagship, but it’s also throwing in Amazon Alexa support, which will be available within 30 days of the U11’s launch. And then there’s Sense Companion, HTC’s assistant which can do things like recommend nearby restaurants at lunch time or suggest that you charge your phone if you’ve got a late day meeting.

When it comes to raw specs, the HTC U11 is packing a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 Super LCD 5 display with Gorilla Glass 5, a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a microSD slot. Also included is a 3000mAh battery, fingerprint reader, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, and USB Type-C. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack to be found here, but HTC is including a 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter in the U11’s box, and it’s also throwing in a pair of USB-C earbuds which can use active noise cancellation.

HTC is also touting the camera functionality of the U11. The back of the device is home to a 12-megapixel camera with UltraPixel 3 tech, dual LED flash, OIS, and EIS. HTC touts that the U11’s camera earned a score of 90 from DxOMark, a group that rates camera performance. That’s currently the highest score in DxOMark’s mobile camera rankings.

Finally, the HTC U11 features glass on both its front and rear, and HTC has made the U11’s body IP67 dust and splash resistant.

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HTC is partnering with Sprint for the U11 launch in the US, but an unlocked model is also available. You can now pre-order it from Amazon and HTC for $649, and it’ll launch on June 9.

The unlocked HTC U11 includes support for LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 28, 41, and 66. HTC also says that the U11 supports VoLTE, Wi-Fi Calling, 4×4 MIMO, and 256 QAM. I’ve reached out to HTC and asked if the unlocked U11 will have these features on T-Mobile US, but haven’t yet received a response. I’ll update this post when I do.

On paper, the HTC U11 looks like a respectable Android flagship, boasting features like a Snapdragon 835 and Quad HD display. It’s also good to see HTC make the U11 splashproof, a feature that was missing from the U Ultra. What will be interesting is seeing how well Edge Sense works and if it’s a “use everyday” kind of feature. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the U11’s camera performs in the real world. The downside is that T-Mobile customers will have to splurge for the unlocked model, at least for now.

What do you think of the HTC U11? Are you thinking about pre-ordering a unit?

Sources: Amazon, HTC

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  • souggie

    Looks pretty sweet….too bad I already have an S8

    • DM725

      I honestly would jump to this from the S8. I can’t justify pretty display over audio quality. The S8 needs a separate DAC badly.

      • MadMartigan

        Messing with the EQ I was able to at least get it to sound somewhat decent on most songs in my car…but yeah – this could be a lot better.

        • DM725

          It’s fine for some music genres but for hard rock and metal, the treble just gets unruly on some songs (even 24 bit lossless files). I wish it had built in low and high pass filters…

  • Ty Christensen

    Solid phone, amazing specs, squeeze feature seems pretty cool. This may be the comeback story HTC needs.

    • Acdc1a

      Sad to say it’s doubtful.

    • gmo8492

      No headphone jack tho.

    • MattPortland

      Not without a release on the 4 major US networks. It will flop in the U.S.

  • MadMartigan

    Conversation at HTC:

    Guys, this phone could actually help us get back in the game. How can we best avoid that? Sprint Exclusive.

    WTG, guys. You did it again!

    These guys are, like, the champions of shooting themselves in the feet. /smh

    • thepanttherlady

      Right?!!?

    • MattPortland

      Exactly!

    • Jason Rayner

      Only Sprint, what? Looks like no U 11 for me, now i have to get a Samsung damm…

    • jralphroman

      Are you aware one of HTC highest selling phone was a Sprint exclusive? HTC Evo! But no you’re probably not aware of that.

      • MadMartigan

        lmao…

        You know, you almost had me for a moment – had to look it up. Got a gander at a list of top 20 smartphones in sales.

        Yeah, no; Sprint exclusivity is most definitely not going to help them, so I really hope that’s not what you were trying to imply there.

      • MattPortland

        Are you aware that that was 7 years ago when there weren’t a great deal of Android phones on the market? HTC has since been surpassed in terms of sales not to mention innovation. The M7 was a great phone and sold well. On all 4 major carriers.

      • Andrew Singleton

        Where do you get your data?

        • jralphroman

          Is your head so far up T-Mobile’s ass you find it hard to believe a Sprint exclusive actually sold 24 million phones? Why don’t you look at Wikipedia

        • Andrew Singleton

          woaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh dude all I asked for was a source. are you donald trump?

  • Noremacam

    Partnering with only Sprint is a bad choice.

    • Acdc1a

      Making this phone was a bad choice. Has the design language of an S5 crossed with an S6.

    • Mike

      HTC phones doesn’t move huge numbers and other carriers pull HTC phones in the past due to poor sales. It doesn’t surprise me this phone is only available at one carrier.

  • DM725

    Wish I could jump on demand to it…

  • Ben

    I think this one is DOA. There is a clear distinction (design wise) between the One series and this one. I’m sure it’s due to the mass exodus of executives from the design department.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Hopefully have all features on att

  • wondercoolguy

    HTC ….remember when they were king of Android…..I feel like they became the mad king and now their bastard grandchild is about to jump out the window

    • Andrew Singleton

      points to gryffindor for this one

  • gmo8492

    HTC is about to squeeze whatever little life it has left.

  • riverhorse

    All other brands have had a window of a couple of years to leapfrog, or at least differentiate, Samsung in North America… yet they copy their missteps and / or don’t add their missing features :

    headphone jack, front speakers, IR, removable battery, larger screen size, more storage, NFC(some), etc.

    And now that Window may be totally closing with Samsung, followed by Google, increasing screen size. With that, plus other innovations made possible by their deep pockets, there won’t be a reason to buy any other brand flagship.

    I don’t see how anyone else will be able to compete. Smaller companies cannot produce(or extract carrier deals) lower than the behemoths…not even when leaving out features or components. So a fairly upscale, yet obviously inferior model, will sell for not enough less than the big selling flagships.
    Up until now one could rationalize not splurging on a flagship given skimpy sizing n specs (in America at least), but this looks like no more the case starting very, very soon.
    Now, if the big boys get greedy n jump to $1,200/1,500…then it’ll be a different story.

  • duscrom

    Between the Blackberry KEYone, the S8 and G6’s Near bezel free phones w/ HDR, and the Pixel/PixelXL, I mean, hell even add Phab 2’s Project Tango, Moto G5/OnePlus 3T/ZTE Axon 7’s Price… This.. is possible the most boring phone launched this year. And I was a Huge HTC fanboy. My first… several smartphones were HTC (HTC Wing, HTC Touch Pro, HTC Evo 4G HTC Shadow HTC One V, HTC One M8, are all the HTC phones I’ve owned over the years and LOVED THEM. Even now I still have the HTC Built Nexus 9, and an HTC Vive).

    But this phone is Kinda pretty, I like the Blue color. The Audio is nice, but a) Untested, and having no Headphone jack, that means the DAC is most likely in the Earbuds and not the phone itself. Heck, going back to the look of the phone, It’s pretty, but as pointed out earlier, looks like last years glass backed phones.

    LG and Samsung set the bar so high this year with the ultra wide screens, that this.. Is really just boring. And Sprint? When carrier exclusivity for flagships was a normal thing, Sprint was still a kiss of death. (See: Palm Pre, Sharp Aquos Crystal).

    BTW, if you watch the presentation, it was depressingly bad. When he had problems even using OK Google on stage. Squeeze is a straight up gimmick..

    The Camera is the main saving grace for this device.

    I love you HTC, but.. you’ve lost your way. And it will be sad to see another of the grandfathers of the Mobile Phone industry sink.

    • corona10

      How do you feel about it now after the reviews?

  • Zach B.

    The most interesting thing about this phone is its camera that destroys EVERY other phone on the market. DxOMark posted their extensive review on the phone already, giving it their HIGHEST score EVER at 90/100, dethroning the Google Pixel as the best camera on a smartphone for both pictures and video. In comparison, the Galaxy S8 is rated as having the 4th best camera in the world behind the Pixel and HTC 10 that’s respectively in 2nd and 3rd. The iPhone 7 is #12, and the LG G6 has yet to be tested by them. If anyone cares about having a good camera on their phone, you should go check out the detailed review on DxOMark’s website. It might be time to replace my 6s plus!

    • steadymobb

      Or wait for real reviews

      • Zach B.

        DxOMark is a real review. They’re one of the most trusted review sites for cameras, both smartphone and not and is often the place quoted in the fine print on product webpages/packaging when discussing camera performance.

        I’d assume your comment is in response to ignorance of not knowing who they are… but not knowing them is like not knowing who Apple is.

        • steadymobb

          Lol you’re comparing their brand recognition to Apple?

        • corona10

          It is to Android enthusiasts.

  • Modzilla

    Is this coming to T-Mobile?? I’m aware there’s a unlocked version on htc.com but I’d like to use my jump.

    • Zach B.

      As of now, Sprint has exclusive rights to sell them in their store. It is fully compatible with other carriers, but you’d need to buy from HTC or Amazon.

      • corona10

        Or Best Buy

  • Looks like a phone from 2015!

    • Zach B.

      But with the best smartphone camera in the world according to DxOMark.

    • Bklynman

      Yes you are right it does,also it like a phone form 2016,and 2017.It has button on the front,and look like 2 buttons on the right side of the phone. Yes it look just any other android phone that has been made since 2015 and up.

  • Josh Quintana

    everyone needs to lay off the “doesn’t have an aux” crap. Idk about any of you, but who uses an aux cable or wired headphones anymore? I personally have my beats studio or powerbeats and never use an aux anymore. Plus, the phone comes with not just any earbuds, but noise cancelling ones. Plus it has an adapter to go from usb-c to 3.5mm Jack anyway. Your arguments against the aux are all invalid because htc has already thought of the way to make you happy. Get with the times.

    And htc was the king, way back when, because they were innovative. Doing things that nobody does. As long as Android has been around, I’ve always had an HTC phone, dating back to the HTC G1, G2. Htc one S, m7, m8, m9, one 10. This phone is different. The squeeze technology is weird, but that’s what gives HTC its own identity. No one else is doing it. And yes, I know htc has had its bugs and lack, and I told myself that this one 10 would have to blow me away to stay with htc, until I tried a Samsung s7 for a week. My audio quality was terrible and would sound distorted at higher volume on not only wired, but Bluetooth. The glitches in software, the feeling of cheapness, and the overall lack of ingenuity. I can easily say I was happy to go back to my one 10, after my week with an s7. So what if it’s only on sprint, and you have to order it online. But guess what, you have to do it with the one+ phone anyway. And there is even $50 off coupons out anyway. Htc seems to start it’s way of becoming innovative again, created a phone with top tier specs, and is less expensive than a s8. So I say, I welcome this phone. Because it seems to be the biggest bang for the buck (that’s not made in China), and it’s different than everything else out there, in a good way.

    • Charmed79

      Get with the times? Yet they included a wired set? If times have changed and everything is wireless now, why even bother including a wired set, regardless if they are USB C or not lol That argument is just as pointless as complaining about people who want AUX! HTC is just trying to be another Apple. Either have an AUX for headsets, or don’t, it is just stupid to have to use an adapter to plug in a headset!

      • Josh Quintana

        OK. Include a wireless headset. How much do you think that would add to the total cost? Easily make the cost over $700. Now, for a company that that is trying to gain customers, do you think raising the cost is a good option? Probably not. Plus, the 3.5mm dongle uses the usb-c to create a digital audio converter! And in addition to that. The space that gets cleared up with not having an aux port goes to upgrading the onboard sound by creating room for bigger drivers and bigger air chambers for them! I don’t know about you, but if it meant to have alot better onboard speakers than an aux port that I never use? I’ll take the speakers because I use them a heck of a lot more than the aux. And if it means THAT much to you. Just leave the dongle connected to your headphones. And when you are ready to listen to music, plug it into the USB. Problem solved.

        And another iPhone? Are you kidding me? Htc offers the best audio of any smartphone out right now. And it utilizes the power from the USB port to give it a better (as mentioned before) digital audio converter for further better audio.

  • corona10

    Tmobile you should really give HTC devices another chance. This is going to be a great phone.