HTC officially announced the HTC U11 today at an event held at its HQ in Taipei. It's a true flagship product from HTC with high-end specs and a fantastic camera, all wrapped up in a Liquid Surface designed introduced with the U series a few months back. We'll give the phone a proper workout for a full review in the next few days, but here are the five things you should know about the HTC U11.
1) Yes, you can squeeze it
Before the official announcement, HTC released an ad showing how squeezing something is a natural action and thus comes the new squeezable frame found on the HTC U11. The lower part of the frame has pressure and ultrasonic sensors that can detect the amount of pressure applied on it. You can set custom actions for a short squeeze as well as a long squeeze. HTC demonstrated these for launching the camera and taking selfies. HTC will later release an app that will allow you to customize these actions per app. It’s an intuitive new action that works but will require some getting used to. I’ll talk more about it after I’ve used the U11 for a few days.
2) It has a sound chamber
HTC was the first in the industry to introduce front facing stereo speakers on a phone and everybody loved it. Then they took it away and sadly, they’re not back on the U11. However, what HTC has done is added a sound chamber under the screen so the whole phone should sound like massive speaker. It was difficult to gauge the sound quality at the launch event but we'll certainly test it out in our review. Also, HTC is adding a Type-C to 3.5mm adapter inside the box and this is not ordinary adapter. It has a built-in DAC and HTC says that it will be the most widely compatible adapter in the industry.
3) The camera is speedy
There is no denying that HTC flagship phones have featured a great camera. However, my issue with HTC phone cameras has been the speed, or the lack of it. Previous HTC phones usually took a noticeable time to launch the camera app as well as take the pic. With the U11, HTC solves that problem and the camera is very quick to launch and take snaps. You still get the fantastic image quality and HTC is claiming the highest DXO Mark on the HTC U11.
4) OK Google or Hey Alexa
HTC introduced the always-on four mic setup with the HTC U Ultra and with the U11, it's also adding Amazon Echo integration. What is awesome is that both Google and Amazon voice assistants work simultaneously so you could say OK Google and it’ll power up Google’s engine or say Alexa and it will fire up Amazon’s service. Is Cortana next?
5) Solar Red
Yes, I know this is just a color but oh wow! HTC’s highly reflective liquid surface finish was introduced on the HTC U Ultra, however, the U11 comes in a new color that brilliantly switches between a fantastic deep red and a shiny gold- and all shades in between. It’s super bling and stands out. If you are to get the HTC U11, get it in this colors.
The HTC U 11 is expected to be available in the Middle East in the next couple of weeks with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration. Pricing hasn’t been disclosed for the region just yet but it will be available in four colors at launch with the Solar Red to follow. Keep an eye out for our review.