The HTC U11 is the most solid phone of 2017 so far

Samsung had yet another juggernaut quarter, selling millions of Galaxy S8s and outselling every other Android manufacturer many times over. For all intents and purposes, the high-end market is a duopoly between the Galaxy and the iPhone, and no effusive story (like this) is going to change consumer behavior.

That fact is perhaps best exemplified by LG's disappointing second quarter, which found the Korean company admitting that its excellent G6 flagship sold below expectations. Smartphones are a commodity, and now that we've entered a stage of maturity in the market — it's hard to buy a bad phone from any company — the same forces play out year after year.

For the last few years, HTC hasn't been inside that gale, and it would be a stretch to call it a force. Despite what I consider to be top-tier flagships in five of the last six years (2015's One M9 was a bad phone whichever way you slice it), HTC can't catch a break. The HTC 10 was a triumphant return to form in 2016, and the HTC U11 is 2017's most solid phone so far. What does that mean? It starts with this:

If the U11 doesn't sell well in 2017, it will have nothing to do with the outright quality of the phone itself. It's a really great phone that does so much right with so few missteps along the way.

Before I used the phone, reading Andrew's take on the phone surprised me. I wasn't taken aback by the fact that HTC delivered another stellar piece of hardware, or that its software was unobtrusive and relatively lightweight. It wasn't a shock to learn that the company didn't need to ride the tiny bezel train to differentiation. What did surprise me was just how seamlessly everything connected — that the criticisms leveled against the U11 largely fall away once you begin to use it.

Having a reliable front fingerprint sensor, after coming from the Galaxy S8, is wonderful. Also wonderful is having a metal phone that doesn't constantly feel like it is going to jello its way out of my hand.

And then there's the camera: this is easily the best camera I've used on a phone to date. It's fast and accurate; it produces great photos in almost every lighting condition. HTC still has one of the best manual modes of any phone maker, and with the U11 it hasn't messed with a good thing. But now it is working with a stellar sensor, a robust stabilization system, and the Snapdragon 835's exemplary image signal processor. Though I was initially skeptical that HTC called the U11's camera an 'UltraPixel', I think the term is justified (as opposed to last year).

This camera is amazing.

Finally, this is a sincerely beautiful phone; to see it in photos doesn't really do it justice. Forget the criticism leveled at the U11's front, since its nondescript status is merely a conduit to the superlative QHD display and easy-to-reach fingerprint sensor. There are fine details, like the colored aluminum around the sides that matches (most of the time) the reflective glass back, glinting in the light like a hyperactive funhouse mirror. I appreciate the subtle curvature of the front and rear glass that curves to meet the colored bezels, and the perfect symmetry that it forms.

When the U Ultra and U Play debuted at CES, I was very concerned about the state of HTC's phone business.

But as good as the U11 is, it's caught in a profoundly disconcerting reality of The American Carrier Cartel. I'm not the first to raise this point, but it's worth re-asserting in the light of the Moto Z2 Force's surprising carrier adoption: HTC is no longer a tier one manufacturer in the U.S., and its brand has almost no clout at the retail level.

Just look at what happened to the HTC 10 after it debuted at T-Mobile — it was quietly cut from the carrier's inventory two months later. It also failed to burn barns at Verizon, which is likely why Sprint was the only U.S. carrier to invest in the U11 this year. I'm not going to be as bold as to say the U11 is a far better phone than, say, the LG G6, but LG has managed to leverage its brand outside of the phone space to ensure its place within it.

So even though you can only buy the HTC U11 from one American carrier, and arguably the least attractive one for most people, the U11 is doing considerably better than last year's HTC 10. We won't know specifics until the company announces its Q2 earnings in mid-August (opens in new tab), but things are looking good for the U11, which has received the best reception of any HTC flagship since the One M7 back in 2013. We're not looking at Galaxy S8, or even LG G6, numbers but HTC has grown used to counting in thousands, if low millions, in recent years. Any growth is going to look like a monumentally positive sign come August.

Back to the phone for a moment. When the U Ultra and U Play debuted at CES, we were ready to dismiss the upcoming flagship outright. The U Ultra is not a good product. Sure, it shares some visual similarities, but that's where the family resemblance ends; the U11 is a far more compelling and well-rounded product, and it speaks to the fact that a lot more goes into the creation of a pocket computer than metal, glass, and bits. It all has to work together — properly — and HTC continues to be a leader in that regard.

If you skipped ahead and just want a tl;dr, here it is: dismiss the HTC U11 at your peril this year. There are plenty of reasons to recommend the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5 and myriad other Android devices launched in 2017, but for my money, the most solid, most reliable, most stable, and most enjoyable to use is the HTC U11.

Daniel Bader

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • Even with the squeeze gimmick
  • I'm ignoring Bixby, I'm sure you can just not use the squeeze function. I think you can turn it off actually. Thankfully, I don't hit the button much at all.
  • The squeeze thing is much better than that stupid Bixby button.
  • My impression is they can be easily ignored.
  • It's surprisingly useful. Probably because it's mappable (is that a word?) and adjustable. And yes, you can completely turn it off and not even know there are sensors in the side at all.
  • The squeeze isn't a gimmick. Your face on the other hand...
  • If you've used it then you'd know it's not gimmicky but quite useful.
  • Are you asking a question or making a statement? Not just being a "grammar ****", it's genuinely impossible to tell.
  • It's not a gimmick. It works really really well
  • The squeeze feature is isn't a gimmick once you use it for a while it is like the ever elusive dedicated camera button ...... it is useful
  • Gimmick? You mean feature? And it is a feature.
  • It's a great phone. There are many great phones right now, but none compare to the S8. Camera, screen, battery life, water proofing, no bezel. Right now its not a fair fight. The S8 line makes all the rest of the phones look like kids toys.
  • And Bixby, which is a complete disaster. A dedicated button that can't be reprogrammed.
  • Careful because it won't be long until the Sammy fanboys come and turn this comments section into utter ruins. As you can see is about to happen...
  • Actually, all I see are the HTC fanboys with something to prove. 😂
  • Check who started this........😈 Surely wasn't an HTC fanboy....
  • HTC fanboys have nothing to prove, HTC has the best device on the market. Other fanboys are just delusional.
  • That's exactly what an HTC fanboy with something to prove would say. Lol
  • The rubber/glue defense.
    Very clever indeed
  • How about someone who is neither? what would they say? well....I will tell you since I am currently rocking an iPhone 6s. The HTC is the best android phone at the moment.
  • I'm not a Sammy fan boy, never had a Samung phone and probably never will. Unless they dump their OS and go to a stockish android, then I might consider it. Even then they are overpriced like iphones. But as far as hardware is concerned, Samsung is in a different league.
  • Huh? Aside from the screen and abundance of features/gimmicks (however one interprets them), the S8 is equaled or bested by it's competitors. Especially when it comes to battery life, performance, internal and external audio, camera, cohesive user experience, etc. So long as the S8 being the best is stated as an opinion and not absolute fact then all is well. Please no one bring up Android Central's ranking of the S8 as being the best. I'll have fun with that argument ;-)
  • All things being equal (battery / performance) as you mentioned, if you find the S8 THAT sexy then I'd agree, it does make all other options look unappealing.
    If you MUST have the bezeless variety (and I did lol, but I went G6 because it was out earlier) then you can understand his point of view. I'm not proclaiming the S8 the best phone in the world right now, but I easily see how other might.
  • In my opinion, the S8 has the design aspect (from the front) covered in spades and has no equal, so I won't be in denial about that. But to me, compared to the U11, the design superiority ends once I focus on the rear of the S8. The asymmetrical orientation of the sensors on the rear of the S8, are a mess and less elegant compared to the U11 and others. I also find the Solar Red color and it's attributes to be darn sexy and eye catching. So to me I call it a draw from the design standpoint between the S8 and U11.
  • It's all opinion, since when is the best phone an absolute fact?
  • This is so wrong it's not even funny. It's great to have an opinion but stating this as fact is absurd. I have an S8+ and an Xperia XZ Premium and the the S8+ is currently on my desk gathering dust. I will have a full competition review on these 2 spectacular phones on my YouTube channel in a couple of weeks but the truth is that most top tier phones are fairly even and clout in the carrier industry is what makes the big 2 "seem" so far out ahead. The Galaxy is a spectacular phone but no way is it leagues ahead of the competition.
  • That's funny. Not a fair fight? Samsung's phones do have some features that HTC's phones lack, but guess what... The reverse is also true. And the S8 does not have a better camera (by all accounts it's not as good as the U11's). It also doesn't have a better display, though I know there's no convincing those who've been duped by the cartoonish colors of AMOLED. Furthermore, Samsung SUCKS at audio. Samfans always try to dismiss the audio issue, but it's far more important than things like waterproofing. Lastly, the Galaxy phones are just so damn UGLY. Hideous eyesores. Yes, I'm serious, and yes, that is just my opinion. The reality distortion that occurs in the mind's of Samsung fans is getting to be as bad as that of the iSheep. Yes, Samsung sells more than any other OEM (you can credit marketing above all other factors). Yes, they make very solid phones. But these blanket fanboy statements are just silly.
  • Yeah you HTC guys definitely are out to prove something. If the phone was that good you wouldn't need to bring all this up. Plenty of people have said the U11 is a great phone but like the article states, Samsung is everywhere. Including these comments 😂😂😂 And you're listing opinions as if they're definitive facts. Audio might be more important to you, but waterproofing may actually save you money and save your phone, audio performance does neither. I've had no problem with the audio and I listen to music everyday. I've also been using PowerAmp since 2013 though. The Audiophiles go to Android music app
  • HTC guys are out to prove something, yet Samsung fanboys dove headfirst into this article bringing their usual antics, trying their best to refute the claim of any device being deemed as having good qualities. "but da S8 iz da best y0" when this article was clearly about the U11 why are some of you dingbats so insecure about your purchase. If some of you were so assured, then there'd be no reason to bring your rebuttals here, but no, that'd be too convenient.
  • Nice try, but no cigar. I wouldn't own the U11 if you paid me. It's not as ugly as Galaxy phones, but it's still a glass-backed monstrosity. But I can recognize its value nonetheless. As for opinions stated as fact - pretty sure you Samfans have a monopoly on that. Typical move, ignoring the fact that I pointed out my statement was only opinion. You know, if you swap "Samsung" for "HTC", you actually sound like you're describing your own fanboyism.
  • You make no sense. Like literally almost none. It's hilarious. You want to argue, get a life 😂😂😂
  • I'm currently using an S8 temporarily while I repair my Nexus 6p and
    I've been impressed with the sound from the S8. And I love AMOLED screens. The richness and depth of the colors is best in the industry in my opinion.
  • i agree with you on samsung audio. it's terrible. i have been waiting cycle after cycle for them to improve it to no avail. the u11 destroys the s8 on audio performance.
  • The only thing the HTC U11 is missing from your list is the small bezels. And the U11 is 150 dollars cheaper. So, next time, validate your point with more concrete and accurate evidence please.
  • It's not same level of water proofing, it's missing wireless charging as well. So there some differences and as far the price is concerned only a fool would pay full retail for GS8 they've having carrier promotions and Sammy has been offering trade-ins that knock $300 from the retail price.
  • Samsung has come a long way but there ui and os still don't satisfy, HTC runs smoother and their ui is right on the money.
  • But the S8 is still the laggiest flagship, just like they are every year. In phonebuff's speedtest the u11 was almost 2x faster than the S8. Samsung makes great hardware, but awful software. I'm surprised most of the review sites don't give Samsung for more grief.
  • I would like to sell my Galaxy S8 and get the HTC U11. It's amazing how laggy my S8 has become. Sure, it's pretty, but I'm completely over it.
  • no more lusting over its gorgeous body 😂😂
  • If you think the Galaxy S8 has no bezel then it's pretty clear you've never held one or even looked at one. The side bezels may be narrow but they're still there. Top and bottom, I've no idea how anyone could miss them.
  • My wife has an S8. That''s the phone she wanted. I'm not impressed with it at all! It has become the "APPLE" phone for Android users. It has a Samsung logo, it must be a great phone. "I" think my two year old Nexus 6P is still a better phone than her Galaxy S8! But as the saying goes, "To Each His Own!"
  • I have never had a HTC, i would probably try it out if it had Wireless charging.. Also note - on the actual AC review, the Cons were listed as "2016-level camera performance" and on this review you say it is the best camera, I realize it is different people, but seems odd that two members of AC would have drastically different opinions
  • That 2016 level camera is regarding the U Ultra not the U11
  • thanks, that's it, sorry, stupid HTC names
  • People in the same family can have drastically different opinions. I fail to see why any 2 people can not also disagree. What you see as odd is the simple reality of all people are unique.
  • It might also be that he had mistakenly confused two different devices.
  • Camera is so subjective though, yes you can judge on sharpness and quickness of the camera. But everyone's eyes are different, every camera lens is different, processing the image is different. It makes judging the best camera very difficult.
  • u11 has an amazing camera. The best.
  • So, why is the S8 the best phone on your best phone list. There is so much complaining about the S8, but I feel like you guys are almost afraid to take it off the top of the list.
  • Most of the complaining about the S8 is not from actual owners of the phone.
  • But this statement is true about almost every phone
  • True. I always complaint about the OP5 even when i dont have one.
  • Because the owners don't want to admit they paid for a mediocre device.
  • My comment is pointed more at the Android Central editors. Listen to the last like 20 podcasts, and they always have something to complain about with the S8. Always. It's always, "this is annoying, and this is annoying, and this is annoying, but it's the best phone on the market still." Then, this article comes out and says, this is a solid phone, pretty much nothing to complain about. I just feel like once you get on the Samsung train, it's hard to get off...
  • It's fairly obvious why they put it at the top of their "best" list. There are more s8 owners and samsung fans in general so by saying it's the "best" they are appealing to this audience to ensure they maximize page views and clicks. It's simply a numbers game. That's not to say the s8 doesn't deserve the recognition but there are arguably 3-4 other phones that could be labeled "best" since it's a completely subjective title.
  • The only reason I haven't replaced my S7 Edge with the U11 is I am waiting to see the Pixel 2. I have played with this phone and after reading the reviews and watching videos I'm impressed. I've been a HTC fan since the Evo days , but haven't bought one of their phones in years. There always seemed to be better options.
  • You know, of course, that HTC makes the Pixel? I have the U11 and I would find it hard to believe that another manufacturer can make a better phone than this one
  • Let's not count out Google's software. HTC may have made a great device but it's worth seeing what the hardware/software duo of the Pixel will bring.
  • The PIxel 2 is being made by LG...not HTC.
  • No, the pixel XL 2 is by LG the pixel 2 is still gonna be by HTC... It is even rumored to have the squeezable sides like the u11 too
  • I might be mistaken, but I believe it is the Pixel XL 2 made by LG that is going to have the edge sense. I would actually prefer it be that way, as it will mean more than one manufacturer using the feature, and I think the diversity will help. I have to say I like the flexibility and how you can have it do many different thing. But, I love the way it's context sensitive when set for the camera. Quick squeeze and the camera is open and ready. Another quick squeeze to snap a photo or start video, or a long squeeze to flip between front and back cameras. A blind man could take a good phot with this setup, and I often find myself taking a one handed shot and putting the phone back in my pocked before my friends have a chance to tap their screen. And for the curious, the camera waits until the camera is steady enough to grab a clean shot.
  • Pixel 2 XL being made by LG, Pixel 2 being made by HTC. Should be very interesting as I hear they will look almost identical except for screen size.
  • No it isn't. The pixel XL 2 might be..
  • Pixel will not have an SD slot. For that alone, the U11 wins.
  • Evo days lol. I still have my HTC Evo 3d from 2011
  • Just wished the screen was a tad bit bigger
  • BTW, the OIS on the U11 doesn’t provide heap of stops in terms of compensation. The stellar shots you’re seeing is more of the work of very good software working in tandem with a beefy ISP backed up by a very capable sensor.
  • At best I think you'll gain 1 to 1 2/3 stop of compensation from OIS. They seem to favor boosting the ISO vs dropping the shutter speed to take advantage of the OIS anyway. At least that's my best guess.
  • Good for you HTC. Good job.
  • No headphone jack makes this phone a no-go for me. Need the jack to cable connect to my current car. (no Bluetooth). Otherwise, the phone looks ok.
  • I have been in the same boat, but I am starting to think using a adapter might not be that bad of a thing. If rumors are true that Pixel 2 will not have one so I have no choice. Can't stand Bluetooth headphones
  • I use a Mpow BT adapter in one of my cars. $16 on amazon.
  • I'm slowly beginning to accept the no headphone jack thing. It still feels too soon, but I think I will live. And I believe there will be fewer options in the future so I'll give it a try now.
  • That was an important reason why I didn't go with the U11 also when deciding between the U11, the OP5, and the XZP.
  • What kind of car, I can give you a bluetooth solution
  • To be honest, I'd just leave the adapter on the cord in your car, or get a second one for $12 to keep there. I usually leave my adapter on the end of my concert headphones at home so I know where it is. I have not been able to drain the U11 battery in one day, so I've never run into the situation where I had to charge it while listening. For a road trip if you use maps on the phone, it may be inconvenient (just being honest), but normal use should be fine.
  • Today everyone's camera is now their phone, and the same goes for their iPod to consume music. Unless I missed it HTC is no longer using a hi-fi rated DAC so can't consider the HTC brand or Samy any more. I'm rocking a LGV20 which is a killer phone with an amazing audio DAC but its boring looks won't get you laid and I'm ok with that I always use a case anyway. And the 2nd wide angle camera is another must have feature now too.
  • The U11 does have a HiFi DAC and sounds great
  • thanks iHAVOC, good to know, the review only talked about the custom earbuds and noise canceling but the HTC site does have hires logo so not a step backward. does the adapter reduce the quality at all? Any idea whose DAC it is? - d
  • The DAC is in the 3.5 mm adapter and in the USB C headphones. Comparing it to the HTC 10 which had the DAC built into the phone I hear no difference. I use the included USB C headphones and the adapter and both sound great. Not sure who's DAC it is.
  • What for? What's the need when there is no headphone jack?
  • Why don't you do your homework.
  • Danfj40 - I would agree with the original U11 adapter being below the V20 in quality and power. I listened myself and confirmed that. However, the external DAC in the adapter has been updated, and I think you would be hard pressed to tell the difference in blind A/B/X testing used by the Audio Engineers Society. For maximum volume, the V20 will still top it, but quality wise, it's very close now. Do you use a case for your phone, or for when you get laid? That part had me laughing, so thanks for that ;) The wide angle camera is a cool feature, and I'd like that better than zoom. I think HTC wanted to focus on getting their camera great this year because they have taken a beating in that department so many times (HTC 10 excepted), and adding a second camera would distract from that critical goal this year.
  • I really like the G6 and the U11, but I don't think I'll ever get another non-Google Android phone again. I miss my N5X every day when I use my S7. The clean interface and timely updates are insurmountable requirements for me.
  • The problem I have is that I'm using an HTC 10 which is still performing incredibly well for me (how and why it opens and manages apps better than the S8 I was using I'll never understand). Furthermore, I'm not a fan the new trend that is glass backs after the not-so-great durability I experienced with the S6-S7-S8 etc. so I'm holding on and praying that the Pixel 2 really does retain the metal frame because it'll more than likely be my next phone. I'm glad to hear the U11 is so great though. The M9 was really the only mistake HTC made, and even then it was still a solid phone, but I'm glad they're back in full form.
  • The how and why of its performance advantage over the S8 is all down to memory management. Samsung's is far too aggressive. Also, TouchWiz by any other name still stinks.
  • NotoriousNeo - Metal is more durable, and the HTC 10 was the most durable phone of the year for 2016 (per Jerryrigeverything). You should be able to get a few good years out of it. For the U11, HTC wanted to produce something that nobody else had, and most could not replicate even if they tried. They needed a "look at me" feature to grab attention before you even got to the technology side, and I'd say they nailed. It's not many devices that produce the reaction "Oh My G__!" when first seen, and the U11 does that. I've had mine almost a month and it still looks stunning. I have one micro scratch on the back from sliding it into a gritty car holder, but it's so small that it takes me a few minutes to even find it. I keep my car holder clean and am more careful now, lol.
  • I'm really likeing the S8. To make it even better is it was only $450 with the Sammy promo of trading in and old ZTE prepaid, and no I didn't have any trade-in issues. If HTC want to see me a U11 for the same price I'll take it. As far as people complaining about the Bixby button, the app BK disable take care of that issue.
  • My biggest gripe with the U11 is that it was advertised as fully certified on Verizon but it still lacks band 4 and wifi calling support. I can deal with no wifi calling but the lack of XLTE speeds is a major setback.
  • This is my sentiment as well. I had a pixel Xl, s8 plus, and u11. I thought the u11 was best until I learned that the phone is majorly handicapped on Verizon. No band 4 is a real shame. HTC was misleading.
  • The U11 it's just about to get better with an update according to @LlabTooFeR,
    1. BT5.0 activation
    2. August Security patch
    3. 1080p60 Video mode
    4. sRGB Screen Mode
    5. General camera tweaks
    6. Performance tweaks
    7. Thermal tweaks
    8. Edge Sense tweaks
  • It doesn't have an SRGB mode out of the box?
  • I can't remember the last time I hit the Bixby button on my S8. But I have been using it and it works light years better than it did weeks ago
  • There will always be those who prefer one manufacturer over another but I do agree that those who have dissed the u11 are missing out on a superb high quality phone. I'm not one who likes all glass phones, but I definitely like the u11 that withstanding. It's camera is to me better than the s8, it's audio quality exceeds it by a country mile, it has far less bloat to get in the way, and it has a traditional style that I like with a normal aspect ratio with a fingerprint sensor that is second to none.... and let us not forget it's Boomsound speakers. The 3 things that it does not have, that would make this the greatest phone of 2017 from anyone is... Amoled screen, no headphone jack, and no wireless charging... and to be honest while to me these don't stop me from loving the phone, others feel very differently and that is unfortunate because they will pass on the phone without ever seeing just how good it is. HTC has done a great job with the u11, and as good of a reception as it has gotten, can help them get a better reception at other carriers with the next flagship Mac
  • Good job HTC, if I needed a phone right now, this is the phone I would buy.
  • If only it had a headphone jack. And an AMOLED screen.
  • This a nice phone that's missing a lot of features that the s8 offers and with the deals on the 8 for less money ....good luck selling this phone to the masses
    Doesn't make it are the g6 a bad phone just bad timing
  • Dude it could have every feature of the S8 50 times over and be 50% less in price compared to the Samsung, and still the masses will pick an S8 over it 9.9/10. Unless the branding of the U11 changes from HTC to Samsung or Apple, good luck getting the masses to pay attention to it.
  • Pixel 2 is going to be better I think.
  • I hope they can make a better looking phone, cause that Pixel was butt ugly.
  • Lack of wireless charging, no Samsung Pay, no headphone jack, and no AMOLED screen says otherwise for me.
  • Don't forget no waterproofing.
  • The U11 has water proofing [resistance]. Which idiot came up with the notion that it (U11) didn't?
  • Resistance is not the same as waterproof, if you drop your htc in a pool it's a paper weight.
  • Soooo you're still not making any sense and that makes the original comment even more stupid. The S8 isn't waterproof either in that sense, so what they heck are y'all even babbling on about? And I swear if you try to use IP67 vs IP68 to support the original braindead claim, then I'm going to have fun with this discussion. I was giving y'all the benefit of the doubt that maybe you were using water proof and water resistant interchangeably, but nope...seems your claims are even worse than I initially thought.
  • The only one not making any sense is you, it's not complicated. You drop a GS8 into a pool, you retrieve it, towel it off and you have a working phone. You drop your HTC into the pool, you retrieve it towel it off, and you have a $600 paper weight. If you try to use your brain it won't hurt, I promise.
  • Hey dude... They are both water resistant. Neither of them are waterproof, so you were saying? Not only that, but your example proves your ignorance as both would survive the same process.. Haha! But yet the U11 would be rendered a paperweight. I'm still hoping you'll IP67 vs IP68
  • The s8 has been shown to fail before the iphone 7's ip67 rating. Of which the U11 also has. So you can claim ip68 is better I guess.. But not when samsung does it. Because they cut every corner they can to give you the worst quality product they can.
  • I think that Samsung tries to put out a quality product, but you are right about the ratings. It's better to have a product with a conservative rating it outperforms, than a product with a higher rating that it fails to meet on a consistent basis.
  • Wow...Samsung fanboys are even more annoying than Apple fanboys...that's saying something!
  • A very good read. Thank you for sharing.
  • "If the U11 doesn't sell well in 2017, it will have nothing to do with the outright quality of the phone itself. It's a really great phone that does so much right with so few missteps along the way." Their biggest misstep was making Sprint the exclusive release partner in the United States. If you don't have Sprint, you are forced into buying the phone directly from HTC and can't get it subsidized through any other carrier besides Sprint. HTC should have shipped out the U11 to all major carriers, to increase the potential market.
  • They tried T-mobile last year and that was a complete failure as well. HTC might as well be invisible.
  • Unfortunately, it was not up to HTC... they took who they could get. They would sell more if more people at other carriers could just pay tax and walk out the door with a new phone. But at least it's selling well despite that handicap.
  • U11.
    Ugly, crap audio, good camera, poor battery life, old tech screen, massive bezels, skin from 2014. What's not to like?
  • Not ugly, great audio, best camera, best battery life for size, new screen tech(slcd5), normal bezels and aspect ratio, skin is irrelevant on an htc device the way it should be.
  • My goodness, you were just shown the door.
  • There isn't a squeeze gimmick it's very useful in a lot more ways then you can count stock and with aftermarket apps to help get the most out of it I literally use it 100s of times a day
  • What a joke. I now do not believe any of these reviewers actually use a phone after they try it for 5 minutes at the shows. I bought a U11, the glass back is absolutely the most ridiculous joke ever perpetrated on the public. I took the phone out of the box, set it on the table in front of me and it immediately slid right off and on to the floor. It's like the thing is haunted, the glass back is so slippery the phone starts moving as soon as you lay it down. Then, it has no notification system like my Motorola Moto X. And, the U11 doesn't come with a photo gallery app? And finally, I noticed no difference at all in speed compared to the Motorola. After a couple of days, I gave the U11 to my wife. You guessed it, she set it on the table, it crashed to the floor and broke the screen. HTC doesn't have a screen replacement yet but they said if they did, it would cost at least $200.00 for them to repair it. An absolute joke of a phone, avoid at all costs. You can buy a much better phone at half the cost.
  • Hey
    RK928 post a pic of your shattered HTC. I bet it didn't happen.
  • Try leveling your table
  • Or level his travel trailer!
  • Level your table, or floor. fixed that issue. I have NEVER had a device slide off my desk, table, etc.
  • I have feel the same about the U 11 as the author.... It has been an awesome experience ...
  • I'm kind of an all rounder. I own an iPhone 6S and 7, and an S7 Edge. I bought the U11 with the intention of using it to replace my aging M8 and S7, and I planned on either returning it if it didn't work out, or keeping it and using the M8 for audio. I'm happy to report my M8 is powered down and resting for a change, as is the S7 Edge. It seems I've written excessively long posts about U11 audio, so I'll be brief and just say that USonic is better. If I had to choose between USonic over USB, and a 3.5 mm jack, I would gladly say bye-bye to the 3.5. That's a hard statement to make for a guy who has worked shoulder to shoulder in the studio with Berry Gordy's mastering engineer, but I stand by it. I was concerned about the glass, and it's been fine so far, but I have been trying to be more careful. The phone has been dropped five times so far with no protection. Once on carpet, twice onto hardwood, and twice in the car onto the console and parking brake handle. No damage yet, but I have not dropped it onto concrete! Note that all of these were falling off other surfaces or jumping out of a car holder. It's never fallen out of my hands. I should note one aspect that never gets mentioned: The U11 slides off fabric surfaces, but sticks well in your hand. The M8 sticks well on fabric surfaces, but slides out of your hand. This probably explains why the M8 HAS dropped out of my hand onto steel and concrete (that boy got some dents!), whereas the U11 just falls off of other stuff. Another thing is that, once you get into the phone, the user experience is so good that you don't pay attention to the back. And, the front is surprisingly beautiful in it's own right with the screen off. It's pretty nice with the screen on as well, as long as your name is not Michael Fisher (sorry Michael, I still love ya bro!). I've had plenty of girls take notice without even seeing the back, though none have jumped me yet for it ;)
    It has been mentioned that you don't see the back of the phone when using it. My counterpoint is that the back of the U11 is what the rest world sees when you're using it, and many of them are stunned. The display itself is nice, and I'm quoting GSM Arena here: "It offers great viewing angles, bright colors, dark blacks, and great contrasts". For myself, I find it to be a pretty display to use and look at in it's own right, and I don't feel the need to put down other displays to make me feel better about it.
    No problems in sunlight, even with sunglasses on and the phone set to slightly above medium automatic brightness. A little secret is that the U11 has a max-auto mode with kicks up the brightness another 100 nits in sunlight. However, those that keep the screen brightness in manual mode will miss out on this boost. And another feature not really mentioned is better NFC performance. I have to actually touch the NFC terminal on most of my other phones, or get real close. The U11 can complete the transaction from about an inch away, so there's less moving the phone around to find the exact spot anymore. Last thing (I promise!) is Edge Sense. I love it and will look for it on my next phone. Best camera and flashlight control ever (in my opinion), and I use it every day. I get the shots that nobody else has time to.
  • Just want to echo the screen brightness is excellent on the U11. Was outdoors in Los Angeles last week, and had no trouble seeing the screen, even with sunglasses on. Also have been pleasantly surprised by the included headphones. I've switched to using them all the time even though I expected to use Bluetooth. No headphone jack has NOT been the annoyance I expected it to be. Day and a half battery life also exceeded my expectations, especially compared to the twice per day I had to juice up my V20. Bottom line: I expected to get a good phone with the U11. Instead I got a great one.
  • Was also in L.A. last week. Now in Honolulu using my U11 daily in bright sunlight on the beach with sunglasses. No issues. Coming from an AMOLED screen (Lumia 950) I thought lcd would be a set back, but it matches up well and I have no complaints. This thing is slippery without a case. It has actually fallen out of my front pocket when seated onto the floor 3 times. About a 2-3 foot drop onto carpet. No breakage or scratches. But putting it into a clear case has solved the problem for me.
  • I had an IPhone for the last 4 years,(I know, don't go nuts) and I grabbed this almost immediately when it came out for sale. I owned an m8(which was really underappreciated as a GREAT phone) and I have never had the issues with HTC that I've had with Samsung.
  • Just needed CDMA bands, and I would have considered it. Oh well.
  • VZ phones only need CDMA in very remote areas might look into your area to see if you can get by with LTE bands.
  • I am aware of this. Regardless of what they say, (and I'm in NJ, which is Verizon country) having the fallback bands are necessary.
  • Verizon is taking down their CDMA network starting in 15 months. So will be a useless drain on battery when the CDMA radios try to acquire a signal. Verizon is launching new phones without CDMA.
  • I like what you called "The American Carrier Cartel." Absolutely accurate. It has gotten better largely thanks to T-mobile, but that whole thing was a scheme that would take a longer post to point out.
  • Congrats HTC. Love their better phones, like most Android enthusiasts.
  • Samsung = TouchWiz, and TouchWiz = a wet fart. Samsung is (in)famous for taking great hardware, and making it run like a two year old phone right out of the box. And they only get slower, and laggy with age. Their marketing is obviously fantastic. Their phones are just as obviously not.
  • Dan is shaping up ma mind to a phone I've been eyeing besides the S8+ & Note 9.
  • Lost mucho respect for HTC ending support early on phones. My first Android was HTC but they burned that bridge. Gimmie my SO+ all day. Too much bezel on HTC U whatever anyway.
  • Bezel divas, they're adorable.
  • I thought slim bezels were great but now that I use an XZ Premium with probably the largest bezels of any 2017 flagship, I don't think they are in any way a negative compared to my visual experience when I use my S8+ I actually enjoy having a generous area to grip it. As far as looks, that's completely subjective.
  • "it's hard to buy a bad phone from any company" LOL!
  • One reason it's not: It's way to large.
  • ... for me, which disqualifies my comment
  • The lack of wireless charging made this phone not appeal to me :(
  • Let me tell you, the squeeze is nothing but fantastic.
  • The squeeze ... it is nothing sort of fantastic with the camera. ... see it and use it before giving out any impression.
  • If only sprint would offer the same deals (or event close to) the deals offered for S8 and Iamlikeeveryoneelse7
  • I'm grateful for the HTC U11 and the MOTO Z series, because I'm just not feeling the 18:9 screens. Too long and thin, with the G6 feeling too small in my hands. I only ask 2 things of HTC: Make the bezels a tad smaller, and give me a true Verizon carrier phone.
  • It is extremely hard to like a phone with bezels this big after using a Mi Mix and then a G6 and an S8+.... Not a fan of samsung jankiness or glass backs but the phone is beautiful... as is the Mi Mix. I hope HTC steps up their design game and trims those bezels... I loved my One M7 but I've been spoiled by small bezels at this point.
  • I loved HTC, my first phone was the HTC G1 and I had a blast using it and my next favorite was the HTC G2. But they burned me with the M9 and after that I lost all faith in them. I heard great things from the M7 and M8 so i figured the M9 would be even better but i was sadly mistaken. They would have to come out with something real ground breaking for me to go back, until then ill still with Samsung.
  • I have this phone from Sprint for $549 and I love it, it`s very responsive.
  • "The Galaxy S8+ is the most solid phone of 2017 so far" There, fixed it for you.
  • Except it's not Ron....there fixed that for you!
  • I'm happy that HTC has a win with the u11 and I hope the new Moto phones also sell well. The market needs the competition to thrive. That said, I still prefer my S8+. I didn't like the screen proportions either at first and needed the Plus to keep the same keyboard width that I was used to on the S7e - which is now my backup phone. Now the the S7e and every other traditional format screen seems oddly truncated by comparison.
  • The U11 may not be the fanciest, it may have bezels for days but it is the complete package if you want the latest and greatest without trying to make a statement in a sea of trying to make a statement. HTC has been created two great device, the 10 and U11. Maybe there's hope after all.