After a series of many leaks and rumours, Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC on Thursday finally announced the launch of its two new HTC U-branded smartphones — HTC U11+ and HTC U11 Life, as the company had promised. HTC U11+ is the company’s latest flagship model, while the HTC U11 Life is targeted at the mid-range buyers. Interestingly, the high-end HTC U11+ runs on Google’s latest Android 8.0 Oreo OS-based HTC Sense UI custom skin, while the HTC U11 Life will be available in two versions based on its operating system: HTC U11 Life with Android One 8.0 and HTC U11 Life with Android 7.1 Nougat OS-based HTC Sense UI custom skin. The HTC U11 Life is the company’s first Android One-powered smartphone (a part of Google’s Android One project), which comes pre-installed with stock Android.
HTC U11+ and HTC U11 Life Pricing and Availability:
As for pricing and availability, the HTC U11+ comes in two variants based on its RAM and internal storage configuration: HTC U11+ with 4GB RAM & 64GB inbuilt storage and HTC U11+ with 6GB RAM & 128GB inbuilt storage. The HTC U11+ with 6GB RAM & 128GB inbuilt storage has been launched with a price tag of GBP 699 (approximately Rs. 59,100), while the HTC U11+ low-spec variant’s pricing and availability are not known at the moment. It will be made available for purchase in the UK starting from November 20 (Monday) in Ceramic Black, Amazing Silver and a new Translucent Black colour (with transparent back) options. The HTC U11+ flagship smartphone has also been listed on the company’s India website, indicating that the company will announce their latest flagship device in the Indian market pretty soon. Though, the company has not revealed the HTC U11+ India pricing yet. In the European market, the HTC U11+ has been priced EUR 799 (approximately Rs. 60,200), while the availability of the smartphone for the European markets is yet to be announced. Unfortunately, the HTC U11+ won’t be available in the USA as the Taiwanese vendor is planning to launch the flagship device only in Europe, Asia, and the other countries.
On the other hand, the HTC U11 Life also comes in two variants based on its RAM and internal storage capacity: HTC U11 Life with 3GB RAM & 32GB inbuilt storage and HTC U11 Life with 4GB RAM & 64GB inbuilt storage. The HTC U11 Life Sense UI version is priced at US$ 349 (approximately Rs. 22,500) for the base 3GB RAM & 32GB inbuilt storage model and will be available for purchase in the US starting from tomorrow (November 3) exclusively via T-Mobile in Sapphire Blue and Brilliant Black colour options. In the European market, the HTC U11 Life Android One model (4GB RAM & 64GB inbuilt storage) has been priced at EUR 395 (approximately Rs. 29,700), while the same model costs GBP 349 (approximately Rs. 29,400) in the UK market.
HTC U11+ Highlights:
Similar to the HTC U11, the HTC U11+ smartphone also comes with the HTC’s Edge Sense technology that allows the users to squeeze the phone to give voice commands. The technology called Edge Sense, based on sensors built into the side of the device that responds to being squeezed. Unlike other touch-based smartphones, HTC Edge Sense technology works well when the phone is wet and if the user is wearing gloves and also supports voice dictation for messages. HTC’s Edge Sense also allows you to squeeze the sides of the body edge to perform actions launching the camera, Google Assistant, turn on flashlight, and others.
The HTC U11+ also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smart virtual assistants. Another highlight of the HTC’s new addition of U series smartphones is Sense Companion, a company’s own AI personal assistant based system that learns the user’s daily patterns to provide useful recommendations and friendly advice. The HTC Sense Companion also uses machine learning (similar to the Google Assistant) to make the device more personal by adapting to user’s behaviour over the time. Just like the HTC U Ultra and U11 Life, HTC U+ also lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and has USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 audio connectivity instead. There is also a Translucent Black colour variant of HTC U11+ with a semi-transparent back panel, which gives you a glimpse of the wireless charging coil and other hardware components.
HTC U11 Life Highlights:
The HTC U11 Life also supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and HTC’s Edge Sense technology (for HTC Sense U.I version) and runs on Android 7.1 Nougat (USA), but the company has promised that it will receive Android 8.0 Oreo update pretty soon. Android 7.1 Nougat OS comes pre-installed on the phone in North America (version with HTC Sense), and Android 8.0 Oreo in other markets (stock Android), though the company has confirmed that Android Oreo is coming to North American models in December. Just like the HTC U Ultra and U11, HTC U Life also lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and has USB 2.0 Type-C audio connectivity instead. The HTC U11 Life also features IP67 rating that means the smartphone is water and dust resistance.
In terms of design, the HTC U11+ sports a beautifully moulded Liquid Glass Surface design with tri-axis curved edges, giving it an overall premium look. The smartphone’s design delivers a more comfortable hold and a secure grip. The new HTC U11+ features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner due to bezel-less display, while the HTC U Life sports a front-mounted fingerprint sensor that is housed underneath the physical Home Button of the device. The volume rockers as well as the power/lock button are all placed on the right-hand edge of the smartphones. The speaker grille is seen at the bottom edge of the handsets along with a USB Type-C port (USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 for HTC U11+ and USB Type-C 2.0 for HTC U11 Life) sitting in the middle.
HTC U11+ Specifications and Features:
Starting with the high-end model, the HTC U11+ comes equipped with a gigantic 6-inch Quad HD+ Super LCD display with a screen resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels and a scratch resistance Corning Gorilla Glass 5 coating on top. Under the hood, the device is powered by a blazing fast 2.45GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor coupled with Adreno 540 GPU to handle the graphics. In terms of memory, the HTC U11+ is backed up by 4GB/6GB of RAM and 64GB/128 GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 2TB via a microSD card. Talking about its software fronts, the smartphone runs company’s proprietary HTC Sense custom UI skin, based on Google’s latest Android 8.0 Oreo operating system.
In terms of optics, the HTC U11+ sports a 12-megapixel UltraPixel 3 rear-facing camera with 1.4-micron pixels, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), an f/1.7 aperture, a BSI sensor, ultra-fast laser focus and new Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF), and a dual-tone LED flash. The UltraPixel mode is four times more light sensitive than standard mode (best for low-light photos). Camera features also include Pro mode with manual control, Face Detection, RAW format support, 32-second long exposure, Panorama, HDR Boost, and Hyperlapse. The rear camera is capable of shooting videos in 4K resolution with 3D Audio support. On the front side, the HTC U11+ features an 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens, 85-degree field of view, and BSI sensor. The smartphone’s Selfie camera is also capable shooting full-HD videos in 1080p resolution.
In terms of Connectivity, the HTC U11+ supports 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4 & 5.0GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS, NFC, DLNA, Miracast, and USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port for superfast charging and other connectivity. HTC U11+ also comes with HTC U-Sonic feature, which allows it to analyse the shape of user’s inner ear with a “sonar-like pulse”. HTC USonic earbuds support HTC BoomSound, active noise cancellation, and Hi-resolution audio. The company claims that the BoomSound speaker on the HTC U11+ delivers 30 percent more loud audio than the HTC U11. The HTC U11+ is an IP68 certified smartphone, that means the device is water and dust resistance. Being a Type-C USB port based smartphone, HTC U11+ doesn’t feature the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. With all these high-end specifications, the device also comes packed with a decent 3,930mAh non-removable battery that supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology for fast charging.The battery is rated to deliver up to 25 hours of talk time on 3G/4G network. Sensors on the device include Proximity, Compass, Accelerometer, G-sensor, Gyroscope, Ambient light sensors and Fingerprint (rear-mounted). Dimensionally, the handset measures at 158.5 x 74.9 x 8.5 mm and weighs 188 grams.
HTC U11 Life Specifications and Features:
Moving on to the HTC’s latest mid-range device, the HTC U11 Life sports a 5.2-inch full-HD Super LCD display with a screen resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels and scratch resistance Corning Gorilla Glass coating on top of the display. Talking about power and performance, the smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 octa-core chipset coupled with Adreno 510 image processing unit to handle the graphics content. As we mentioned above, it will be available in two variants – 3GB RAM with 32GB internal storage and 4GB RAM with 64GB internal storage. The smartphone also supports microSD card for additional storage, that you can expandable your storage up to 2TB. On the software front (OS), the HTC U11 Life comes in two versions: one with Android 7.1 Nougat with HTC Sense UI and another one with Android One 8.0 Oreo. It also features Edge sense technology which lets you launch apps and perform certain actions with a squeeze gesture on the sides.
In terms of photography, the HTC U11 Life features a 16-megapixel rear camera with BSI sensor, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), an f/2.0 aperture and an LED flash module. The rear camera is also capable of shooting 4K videos in 2160p resolution. On the front, the HTC U11 Life sports a 16-megapixel front-facing camera onboard with an f/2.0 aperture, BSI sensor, and full-HD (1080p) video recording support.
In terms of Connectivity Options, the HTC U11 Life also offers various connectivity options, which include 4G with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4 & 5 GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, GPS antenna with GLONASS, NFC, and a USB 2.0 Type-C port for charging and data transfer. The HTC U11 Life also lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and has USB 2.0 Type-C audio connectivity instead. Just like the HTC U11+, the HTC U11 Life also features HTC U-Sonic technology with active noise cancellation and Hi-Res audio support. On the battery front, the HTC U11 Life is backed by a 2,600mAh non-removable battery and supports Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging technology. The battery is rated to deliver up to 22 hours of talktime on the 3G/4G network and up to 9 days of standby time. Sensors on the smartphone include an Ambient light sensor, Motion G-sensor, Proximity, E-Compass, Gyro and Magnetic sensors. Dimensionally, it measures 149.09 x 72.9 x 8.1 mm and weighs 142 grams.