Published on July 27th, 2017 | by Nakul Gupta0
HTC U11 – Review
What is HTC U11?
HTC U11 is the answer to other flagship devices in the market. Specifically the Android ones. It’s a polished slab of glass both sides which looks and feels like a top tier device. But let’s see how is it really on the outside and the inside.
HTC U11 – Design
Okay, so this is the most glossy phone I have ever held in my hand. It feels almost like I’m holding a thick glass rather than a premium phone. Which is not always a bad thing. Because of these features, it is a head turner on the street. Coming to the front of the device. The bezels are relatively chunky when compared to other flagship devices such as Samsung s8 and LG G6. As expected from HTC U series, there is again no headphone jack which might be a deciding feature for you. I didn’t face many instances where I wished I had a headphone in my two weeks with this phone. But I use an iPhone 7 plus where I have experienced “no 3.5 mm jack” problems and jokes. Other features are standard when it comes to listing flagship features like fingerprint sensor in the front, microSD card which mostly all Android flagship had and designed to meet IP67 certification standards for accident-prone users means the phone will be able to survive accidental submersions in liquid at depths of 1m and below for 30 minutes.
HTC U11 – Screen
HTC U11 has got a top-notch 5.5-inch quad-HD Panel resolution that ensures your text and pictures look uniformly sharp. I experienced no bleeding of colors from the edges of the display. Direct sunlight visibility is a challenge as it’s not as bright as other Android flagship phones. The colors are much saturated as you would expect from AMOLED display.
HTC U11 – Software and performance
HTC U11 has got the second best UI after Google pixel (Stock android) as they use almost no bloatware. HTC realized it much before other brands that you don’t need an extra shiny bloaty skin on top of stock Android when stock android is something that everyone wants. U11 comes preinstalled with Android 7 Nougat from what I have seen as one of the best implementations of Google OS.
HTC has done a terrific job removing duplicate applications and ensuring a limited amount of third party software are installed on your phone. Though you won’t feel much of a difference in performance of the phone, it makes the whole UI feel less cumbersome and less cluttered. In short, this device gets the work done with minimum efforts and with ease. HTC does have some features on top of the Android skin like Blinkfeed, edge sense and Amazon Alexa but they don’t come in your way of getting things done.
Let’s talk about the main feature, some may call it a gimmick, that is edge sense which measures how hard you skews the device, and in return, it opens camera function no matter where you are in the UI. In my experience, though it can be useful sometimes when taking a picture but I would wait for other apps to adapt this feature in their developments for it to truly blossom.
HTC U11 – Camera
In the past, HTC has had issues when it comes to camera sensors because they were using custom UltraPixel tech, which on paper improves low light photos and processing speed which tended to overexpose shots.
But with the same technology in their new 12 mp, it’s a significant upgrade to the likes of HTC 10 and can compete with other flagship devices.
In normal daylight conditions, the U11 excels the most like every other flagship device. When you take a picture in low light scenarios, the phone doesn’t do too bad also. The shutter response time can be improved, but it’s not a deal breaker. In my experience, the photos come out a little heavy on the HDR effect, but it can be reduced turning HDR off.
HTC U11 – Battery
The battery size of 3000 mAh can be considered little bit small for a phone this size. But worry not, because of light skin on stock Android this can easily give you full day juice without a sweat. Please don’t be alarmed if you recently bought HTC U11 and facing battery issues because the problem is not with the phone. The problem is you. I mean in initial days of the purchase of a new phone, we tend to use it to its full potential all the time. But after few weeks when you start using U11 like a regular phone with moderation use of everything, you will not have any battery complaints.
HTC U11 – Conclusion and if you should buy it.
If you’re a fan of HTC phones in the past and love the near stock android experience with the addition to super glossy back and oddly squeeze controls, then go for it. It has a great camera, excellent Android experience, and Hi-Res Audio Support.
The lack of 3.5mm audio jack might be let down for some people but trust me; it is not that big of a deal. Having no audio jack grows on you sooner than you expect.