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HTC U11 review: Back in the running

The launch of HTC's new "U" series of phones came with a flagship-sized hole in the middle of the lineup. The U Ultra was too big and too expensive, while the U Play was underpowered and short on value for the money.

With the launch of the U11, HTC is not only filling that flagship spot in the 2017 U series but also trying to create a proper successor to the HTC 10 to be the leading device of the year. Just a couple months after the U Ultra launched, the U11 arrives with a faster processor, improved battery life, a more compact body, better camera and perhaps most importantly a proper price.

With the big improvements, not only does the U11 make you wonder why the U Ultra exists — but it also makes you start considering it right alongside the flagship competition of 2017. That's something that happened only briefly with last year's HTC 10, and we're going to see if the HTC U11 has what it takes in our full review.

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About this review

I, Andrew Martonik, have been reviewing a Taiwanese SKU of the HTC U11, running on T-Mobile in both Mountain View, CA and Seattle, WA for 9 days. Due to radio band limitations, I did not have complete network coverage that would normally be provided by a proper U.S. phone. The software is version 1.03.709.4 with the April 1, 2017 security patch, and was not updated during the review period. The phone was provided to Android Central for review by HTC.

A recap

HTC U11 Video review

For a concise recap of everything you need to know about the U11, be sure to watch our video review above. When you're done, you can see my complete thoughts on the phone in the written review below!

HTC U11

Historic beauty

HTC U11 Hardware

Time after time, HTC shows how to execute its hardware designs perfectly. The "liquid surface" glass on the back stands out like no other glass-backed phone, coming down to the way it curves off of the edges and how the color is embedded in the glass rather than coated on the inside. No matter which of the five colors you pick up (the "amazing silver" is shown here), the colors shift and change as you move it around — it's a striking and unique design that stands out.

More: HTC U11 specs

The entire phone is beautifully crafted and assembled, with a satisfying heft you get from few phones — but expect from one with "HTC" on the back. That continues into the perfect curve of the glass on both sides of the phone, the way the buttons click and how solidly the haptics vibrate. These are things that are so often overlooked in order to achieve mind-bending designs, but HTC sticks with as important parts of the experience. HTC has also arrived fashionably late to the party with IP67 water resistance, which is a welcomed addition nonetheless.

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From the front, the U11 feels like a phone from last year ... or even 2015.

For as beautiful as the U11 is, you don't look at the back of your phone all that often — you interact with the front every single day. Up front, the U11 feels like a phone of yesteryear. The display is surrounded by above-average bezels, punctuated by capacitive navigation keys on the bottom (whyyyyyyyy). Front-on the U11 looks the same as any generic phone released last year — if not in 2015. There are real usability concerns around a phone that's wider and taller than it "needs" to be, but importantly to snagging sales it also gives a weaker first impression than the Galaxy S8 or LG G6.

The 5.5-inch display itself is definitely up to modern standards, though. The latest Super LCD 5 panel at QHD resolution is at the top of what you can get from an LCD today, even though it comes up a bit short of Samsung's AMOLED panel (which I regard as the top of the industry). Everything is amazingly crisp and colors are great, and surprisingly for an LCD it's even manageable in bright direct sunlight. The screen doesn't quite get as dim as I'd like at night, but that's a small complaint about an otherwise great screen.

How the HTC U11 was made

There's an amazing amount of work that goes into making a phone like the U11. From the research and design up to final assembly, we were able to see inside the buildings where the U11 was built — be sure to read our first-hand account of the process.

Made in Taiwan: How HTC designs, manufactures and tests its new U11 flagship

You shouldn't look at an HTC phone today expecting it to have a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. What you will get in return is an audio experience that's a step above the competition. That starts with the in-box USonic headphones, which sound better than your typical bundled earbuds and now include active noise cancellation powered by the phone. It's a nice treat to actually get good, feature-filled headphones in the box (along with a USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter), but it's still baffling to me that they aren't actually standard USB-C headphones that work on any other phone, tablet or computer I've plugged them into. These are headphones for the U11 only (well, or the U Ultra / U Play) ... and for some people that's just an added frustration on top of not having the 3.5 mm jack.

HTC's new BoomSound speaker setup is also here, which combines both the front-firing earpiece speaker and down-firing loudspeaker for a better sound stage. Despite the complaints from longtime HTC fans that prefer the full-on dual speaker approach, the U11 sounds better than your typical phone — not only does it get louder than anything else on my desk, it sounds better through the full range. I don't see this as a big drop-off from the "proper" stereo speakers of older HTC phones.

HTC U11

Maintenance mode

HTC U11 Software and experience

HTC Sense feels like it's in maintenance mode at this point. For better or worse, the interface on the U11 isn't far removed from what you see on a One M9. At its core that's not really a bad thing, because HTC has long had a relatively clean interface that has removed a whole lot of cruft, duplicate apps and bloatware.

Much of what remains is a lightly tweaked version of Android 7.1.1, with some default apps replaced by HTC's consistently (albeit a bit tired looking) designed offerings. This is very much a "light touch" approach to shipping Android, with large swaths of the interface unchanged from what you'd see on a Pixel today.

Some people, particularly those coming from a Samsung or LG phone, will say "where's the rest of it?" — because HTC chooses not to pile a ton of features on its phones. You'll simply find some subtle, helpful tweaks — like its audio tuning, the new "edge sense" squeeze feature and its camera app.

For me, the lack of extra features is actually a good thing. Loving the software experience on my Pixel XL, I want software as close to that as possible — and the U11 isn't far off. I don't have to go through the interface and turn off all of the things I don't want or wade through features I'll never touch. I installed a different keyboard on the U11, and that was it — I could just use it as is and be happy. Every basic feature I want is here, and it's executed properly; anything more I want I can get from Google Play.

Edge sense: Just squeeze your phone

The one big feature (or gimmick, perhaps) of the U11 is its "edge sense" technology, which has been at the core of HTC's marketing for the phone — that's why you're seeing the word "squeeze" so damn often. Yes, when you squeeze the U11 things happen, and HTC's positioning it as a new way to interact with your phone that's better than just an extra hardware button or two.

The feature works simply enough: just tell the phone what you want to happen when you squeeze it, and then what happens when you squeeze it a bit longer (not to be confused with squeezing harder). You can configure and test until you hit a squeeze level that works for your hands, and adjust it at any time.

Squeezing your phone is not unlike Moto's gestures or BlackBerry's convenience key.

I left the short squeeze on its default setting of launching the camera, and changed the long squeeze to a screenshot. You can make either one launch Google Assistant, take a screenshot, toggle the flashlight, turn on the voice recorder, launch the Sense Companion or toggle the Wi-Fi hotspot — if you don't like any of those options, you can have it just launch an app of your choice.

Being able to squeeze your phone to launch an app or toggle a system function isn't much different than Motorola's set of hand gestures or BlackBerry's convenience key. It's a neat thing that works well but isn't going to completely change the way you use a phone — and if you don't like it, you can even turn it off entirely.

Performance

HTC continues to offer the smoothest, most consistent software performance outside of a Pixel or Nexus. Through what is surely a combination of obsessive software engineers and plenty of licensed technology, the U11's interface performance is immaculate. It's a sort of subconscious fluidity that's tough to describe. Touch response is perfect, scrolling feels just right and apps are blisteringly fast. No stutters, no hiccups, no issues at any point — no matter how smooth my other phones are sometimes, they're never this consistently perfect.

This is Pixel-like performance and fluidity.

So long as a phone performs like that I'm not particularly bothered by what's inside, but HTC knows people care about specs and delivered accordingly. The latest Snapdragon 835 is inside running the show, supported by 4GB of RAM and an ample 64GB of storage plus an SD card slot. Those specs are right in line with the competition, and should serve the U11 well for a good 18 months — let's hope HTC keeps its software updates rolling accordingly.

Battery life

A 3000mAh battery wasn't exactly acceptable on the massive U Ultra, but is a more appropriate cell size in the 5.5-inch U11. When paired with the power savings of the Snapdragon 835 processor, battery life on the U11 is solid. The phone could easily handle my typical day that involves lots of Wi-Fi time, keeping up with email and social networks and roughly 3 hours of screen-on time — all with about 20% battery to spare.

I only once had to dip into the "power saver" mode before bedtime, and it was on a travel day where the phone eventually lasted just over 12 hours after over 5 hours of screen-on time and just as many hours playing podcasts over Bluetooth. That's really good, and it's tough to expect much more from a flagship today — I've had plenty of phones die well before that point when I travel.

Speaking somewhat selfishly as someone who was really getting used to wirelessly charging their Galaxy S8 every night, I do wish that the glass-backed U11 integrated at least Qi charging. I know it's a rather niche feature, but for a high-end phone with a glass back you sort of expect the feature. Luckily Quick Charge 3.0 is here for when you plug in over USB-C, and that 3000mAh battery charges fast.

HTC U11

A nice rebound

HTC U11 Camera

As a side effect of the HTC 10's overall lack of traction in the market, we generally forgot that it had a pretty good camera. Thankfully the U11 not only one-ups the U Ultra's camera, but steps beyond the HTC 10 at the same time. A new "UltraPixel 3" camera offers 12MP of resolution, 1.4-micron pixels, an f/1.7 lens and switches from laser to phase detection "UltraSpeed" auto focus.

HTC is very proud of this camera, and is happy to tell you it has the "highest ever" DxOMark Mobile score of 90, but more important than any number is how it actually holds up in real use. When I spoke with HTC's camera engineers ahead of the launch, they said they like to aim for "true to life" photo reproduction, then kick up the punch just a little bit — and I found that to hold true.

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The U11 takes really good photos, and they indeed lean toward real-life reproduction with just a little extra pop and contrast to make them pleasing to the eye. Leaving the phone in HDR Auto, as I typically do, I didn't run into the same sort of low dynamic range issues that I typically have on HTC's phones. It was good enough that I didn't even turn on the tap-to-expose option in the settings, though in a few situations I felt HDR didn't do enough to brighten up dark portions of scenes — but of course that would've been unnatural looking, which isn't what HTC wants its cameras to do.

HTC is back in the discussion with the top smartphone cameras out there.

In daylight, photos were just about pristine and right on par with the Galaxy S8, Pixel XL and LG G6. Colors were just right, edges were sharp and there was plenty of contrast available. When the lights got dimmer, things weren't as perfect, but no phone is in these situations. The dynamic range was again good enough to handle most scenes with mixed lighting, and I think HTC makes good decisions in leaving some grain in dark areas and not over-sharpening lines to the point of making them soft. In low light, where shutter speeds were sometimes a little on the dangerously low side, optical image stabilization (OIS) compensated just fine.

This camera is miles ahead of the U Ultra's, thankfully, and I have no issue setting it right alongside the top-tier competition in 2017. Having so many flagships just in the first half of the year offer great cameras is wonderful.

HTC U11

On the right track

HTC U11 Bottom line

When I reviewed the U Ultra, I could see the potential in the design and hardware execution — that phone was just unfortunately saddled with multiple issues including its size, a couple bad internal spec choices, a subpar camera and a far-too-high price. HTC has remedied nearly all of those issues just a couple months later with the U11. It has a more manageable size, ditched the second screen, improved battery life, overhauled the camera and lowered the price to $649.

If the U11 doesn't sell well, it will have nothing to do with the outright quality of the phone itself.

With those issues out of the way you can appreciate what a beautiful phone the U11 is, with a design that's truly unique to look at and solid to hold. You can also appreciate the ridiculous speed, fluidity and consistency of the software that beats everything but Google's own phone. And if you're a fan of the spartan approach to features and apps as I am, you'll like what HTC is doing here. Even if the interface isn't demonstrably changed from two years ago, at least the design is solid and you're not saddled with tons of cruft that's constantly in your way.

I don't think anyone was expecting HTC to come out swinging with a flagship smartphone that can steal a large number of sales from the big names out there, particularly in North America and Western Europe. But 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. HTC has just lost so much ground in market share and brand awareness that it's fighting an uphill battle no matter what it puts out.

The U11 has everything it needs to be a challenger to the top crop of phones in the market today — now HTC just needs people to get to the point of giving its phones a chance again.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

228 Comments
  • Sort of like suspected.
    Its a great phone, but it'll be tough for most manufacturers this year with Samsung having such a big advantage due to their display technology
  • It's not even that...it's brand recognition. Samsung shows up everywhere...they've almost somehow become synonymous with Android (for better or worse) that the average consumer has come to think of it as "Apple v. Samsung" instead of "iOS v. Android".
  • Samsung is everywhere , and to Samsung's credit , the company puts the effort in to put lots of features and incentives into the devices , and it doesn't end there , you can buy a full compliment of accessories to go with your samsung device .
    And if your wandering around your shopping centre , almost any shop or little phone kiosk you can buy Samsung accessories much like the iPhone.
    Sammy puts in the hard yards to make it's devices an attractive proposition.
    And This is where a lot of companies fail , a lot of them make a half assed attempt to market their phones as a package at a time when competition has never been tuffer.
    A device being pretty and solid is not enough .
    I'm not really a fan of the tall skinny form factor trend , but to me the S8 or plus still looks easily more compelling and better value than the htc u 11 .
  • Even tougher for HTC in the U.S. since Samsung has partnered with all the main carriers. HTC just has Sprint and most folks in the U.S. still get their devices through carrier stores. That's not even taking into account Samsung's large marketing budget.
  • This. I can think of no better way to sink your Flagship than to only make it available on Sprint. Just a terrible, terrible decision. If it were on Verizon...I would totally snap up that beautiful blue model.
  • It's not only available on Sprint. Sprint is just the only carrier to sell it directly - the unlocked version sold my HTC works on Verizon.
  • No, you still need to buy the actual VZW version sold by HTC. I confirmed this with HTC customer support.
  • That's a lie. It has to be, since there is no Verizon version. In the US there is a Sprint version and the unlocked version. No others.
  • Just curious.
  • Yes, exactly. LG was lucky to see it coming from a mile away, while everyone else is stuck for at least another half year with now fat-looking bezels. Or perhaps they were unlucky: hoping that the G6 would have a significant lead time over a similarly bezel-less Samsung, only for the S8 to have even less bezels.
  • Display tech really isn't the issue keeping others behind. The screens on non-Samsung phones are fine enough for nearly all people. It's the brand recognition, marketing spending and carrier pushing of Samsung that will hurt other companies trying to make inroads.
  • Yes ofcourse, Samsung has always been selling more. But even for the more "tech-savvy" crowd it's difficult to choose this phone above the s8 this year.
    So if not even them, who is really going to buy these phones?
  • I think if HTC's lucky it finds a niche of people who love the HTC brand, or just don't want to go with one of the "big" names and try something different. It's also $100 cheaper than the GS8, $200 cheaper than the GS8+ — I'm sure that doesn't hurt.
  • For the price, it's like getting a GS7 brand new a year ago, but double the storage and a way better processor. If I wasn't so entrapped in Samsung Pay I'd be all over this.
  • Yeah, Samsung Pay is a plus, although I feel it slowed down adoption of true contactless payment.
  • No way. Over half of smartphone users in the US are iPhone users and iPhone uses NFC. Merchants are what has slowed down adoption. There's still tons of shops around here that don't even have chip readers.
  • Hello Andrew, I highly recommend to compare the HTC u11 screen playing a video or showing a picture to an s8 screen, I've tried it and the HTC u11 videos/photos are at least 10% bigger and equivalent to the s8+, the s8 videos are equivalent to HTC 10 size. I always trust your reviews but comparing screens with different aspects ratios is a necessity now. Samsung are somehow lying to the customers and as a trusted reviewer, it is your responsibility to show this. An article will need, or at least add this comparison to the u11 review.
  • The S8 is really nice but some want something different. The S8 focuses so much on 1 main thing, the display. What about the speakers? a proper aspect ratio for videos? 16:9 will be king for a very long time as long as movies are in 16:9. And of course it looks like the U11 will run smoother than the s8 and has no bloat. Plus its cheaper but $150. Thats a nice chunk of savings.
  • Andrew: S8 or U11 is better on battery life front?
  • U11 has been consistently stronger. I would suspect they'd be closer together if I turned off Always On Display on the GS8.
  • Yep because it's hard not to notice with the percentage on the AOD display, but it drains enough battery that I don't use it anymore
  • AOD is probably good for 5-10% of your battery drain over the course of a day.
  • Can anyone confirm if the polarization issue with the screen is still present? Love my 10, but always hated having to take of my sunglasses to use it outside.
  • This please.
  • You can use it with polarized glasses in portrait, just not in landscape
  • So just like the 10 then. Shame. Especially for those of us in the South where sunglasses are a must 99% of the time.
  • I have an HTC 10. Polarized lenses affect viewing in portrait, not landscape, so it's not just like the 10. It's the opposite.
  • WRONG! The screen is polarized in one direction. They're all the same. Some sunglasses are polarized in the same direction as the screen, some in a different direction than the screen. So while you have a problem in portrait but not landscape, I will have the opposite issue with your phone when I'm wearing my own sunglasses. I wear Maui Jim's and portrait mode is perfect for me. My wife has some girly brand and they give her problems in landscape. That's one reason she still sticks with Samsung. AMOLED screens aren't polarized.
  • The 10 had two screens. One had a polarization while looking at it in portrait mode, this is the one most people hated. The other screen was landscape which we are all used to so not all screens are the same
  • I didn't mean to imply that all of the screens were the same in terms of angle of polarization. All I meant was that a screen is polarized in a single direction. And all screens are like that, though they aren't all polarized in the SAME direction. But there are two parts to that equation. And the second part is how the lenses you're looking through are polarized. That is what determines the rotation at which you lose sight of the light leaving the screen.
  • No polarization issues. I'm sure about that one.
  • Hmmm, 2 contradicting statements. Now I guess I'll have to check it out in person before I write it off. Haven't been to a Sprint store in forever. Maybe Andrew can confirm one way or the other?
  • From XDA: We've also tested the u11 JDI panel in both orientations with polarized glasses, it's fine
  • Thanks!
  • No polarization problem anymore. Excellent phone.
  • God knows what they were thinking with the U Ultra, but if HTC made a supersized version of this phone, with these internals, I'd buy it. Their major marketing problem for the U11 is selling people on 16:9 over the "new & improved" 18:9 aspect ratio (which I spit on: ptu!). I've already seen one review that complained about how wide the U11 is--like the human hand has immediately adapted to thin phones and simply can't cope with 95% of the phones currently in production. Sadly, marketing is hardly one of HTC's strengths, so this might be painful to watch.
  • It's not just the aspect ratio — the U11 is pretty damn wide and tall for a 5.5-inch phone. It's a smidge larger than the Pixel XL ... that's not great company if you're trying to sell a phone that's compact enough for most people. I agree that the market isn't all of a sudden demanding super narrow 18:9 phones, but the U11 is competing with two phones that are offering that — and people may prefer to go with the "new" thing.
  • Any idea if the red/gold version is coming to the US? I've seen one website say it's not, and another say later this year. It's easily the best color and I'd definitely consider it to replace my aging Nexus 5 later this year (depending on what the Pixel 2 is like).
  • Supposedly during summer
  • HTC's being very coy about which countries will be getting the red and white versions.
  • I'd really like to know this as well. If it was available, chances are high I'd already have ordered one. As it is, I'm waiting to see if there's a possibility, and every passing day gets us closer to the Pixel 2. I've never really understood holding back on colors, as if they'd expect someone to buy a phone twice?
  • The line from HTC is that they developed the red and white colors late in the development process after they had locked in the first 3 — so the phones being made don't yet integrate the new color options.
  • I want to love it, I do. The camera looks impressive and the software is very minimal which I like because it lends itself to better utilization of the hardware and great battery life. I've stuck to the idea that I have to have a headphone jack, but when I really think about it, I barely ever use it as I mostly stick to bluetooth. The price is good to, If the price of the OP5 is nearing the point of this, its going to be tough to choose. I also really like the LG G6 and I'm interested in the new Moto X. I have a tough decision coming this fall.
  • Great review Andrew.
  • Thanks!
  • Can anyone confirm if the U11 will 1) support HD Voice and WiFi calling on AT&T and 2) come with "Uh-Oh" protection? Each was a "yes" for the HTC 10, and I'm finding that the former is now critical for me since coverage has gone from acceptable to total crap in an area where I spend a lot of time. I'm currently using a OP3T, which I absolutely love, but it's basically useless when I go into low coverage areas. Looking to possibly replace it with the U11 if the support I need is there...
  • No uh oh protection for the U11
  • HTC isn't talking about Uh-Oh with the U11, and its social media team has been walking around it when people ask questions. As for the other point, HTC lists VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling in its U11 specs page. HTC has gone through the trouble of guaranteeing network support for the top 4 carriers, so I would be surprised if it didn't offer the features on AT&T.
  • Thanks for the response here! I figured that was the case on the Uh-Oh since any mention of it is suspiciously absent on the U11 product pages vs the in-your-face promotion on the U Ultra and HTC 10 pages. That was more of a nice-to-have perk vs a necessity, but I'm definitely more concerned with the AT&T VoLTE and Wi-fi Calling. I saw the mentions of support on the product specs, but given that AT&T is particularly nasty about not supporting advanced features on phones they don't sell, I'm still a little worried. They could easily claim they "support" the features but that it's up to the carriers to allow it. :(
  • Yup I know, it's a bit of a messy situation with these sorts of "advanced calling" features. Unfortunately I can't properly test this right now because I have a Taiwanese dual-SIM model that won't have these features anyway.
  • When I spoke with HTC's camera engineers ahead of the launch, they said they like to aim for "true to life" photo reproduction, then kick up the punch just a little bit — and I found that to hold true. It was good enough that I didn't even turn on the tap-to-expose option in the settings, though in a few situations I felt HDR didn't do enough to brighten up dark portions of scenes — but of course that would've been unnatural looking, which isn't what HTC wants its cameras to do. ^^ Those things literally can't go together. If HTC wanted natural looking pictures they would not artificially boost the colors to make them look more punchy. I'm glad the camera performs well though. I just know I won't actually get true-to-life pictures if I were to get the phone.
  • The point is that HTC says it starts with the base line of trying to achieve true-to-life representation, but in understanding that people want to see more punch in the colors they also tune the camera to up the saturation just a little bit.
  • HTC went for a balanced approach. An accurate baseline with sensible enhancements is fine with me. If they left it as only being accurate, the results would have been criticized. By the way, thanks for the article Andrew :)
  • "punctuated by capacitive navigation keys on the bottom (whyyyyyyyy" Because it is actually better as it doesn't take any space on the screen
  • they're buttons that can't change, rotate, or respond to interaction. It's an old way of thinking and it isn't where the Android market is going.
  • Thats your opinion though. Its one thing on a bezel less phone. But another on a normal phone. I hate having to swipe up or from the side while watching a movie instead i just hit the key. When I'm scrolling the nav bar doesn't take up space on my screen. I get the full 5.5 display at all times. Its an even bigger deal when you have the G6 and it has an even thicker nav bar. It might be going that way with bezel less displays but when you have bezel capacitive keys are just better. I agree tho it would be nice to be able to switch them around.
  • I second everything you said. I don't understand people's objection to capacitive buttons. Could you imagine what every reviewer would have said if HTC made this same phone but went with only on screen buttons? The chin bashing would have been relentless. Even though the top and bottom bezels house the resonance chambers for the speakers you can't see them on the outside of the phone, leading the ordinary consumer to not understand why they are necessary. Also, I bet the thicker side bezels are there to house the sensors for the squeeze function. I also like that the fingerprint sensor is on the front where it is most accessible and the phone isn't so tall that I can't reach the top of the screen one handed. I hate when reviewers say something about a phone feature like another phone manufacturers way of doing something is the only way it should be done. Andrew should have taken a moment to actually think about whyyyyyy HTC included capacitive buttons so he didn't come off sounding misinformed/biased.
  • And with the front side fingerprint sensor, it makes sense to make it a home button and add the other controls alongside. (see Moto's 2016 phones...). There'd be complaints about wasted space if not. The big question, though, is does it support Verizon's CDMA? I'm still finding that there are some spots where that's all I've got.
  • People will complain about wasted space any time the bezels are over 1 mm. Yes it supports Verizon's CDMA. HTC shows full network compatibility of the U11 on its website, and has confirmed that it's designed for the big 4 U.S. carriers.
  • Andrew, I received a DM from Jeff Gordon from HTC and he said the U11 was LTE only on VZW and the VZW version is the unlocked phone despite what the website says. I am not sure if this a true confirmation but it sure sounds like it.
  • You know what makes me sad? This is another extremely solid flagship offering from HTC, but if history is an indication, it won't even sell in numbers that'll help them. It just makes me sad.
  • Yeah, because people are sheep and don't think for themselves. It's an Appsung world only, any other companies DARE try to compete should go kill themselves. Sad age we live in.
  • Well, not entirely. LG seems to be rebounding and OnePlus is also making a nice niche audience.
  • LG put out a terrific phone, timed it's release perfectly, and added a few things no one else was doing but implemented them perfectly. Everything LG did wrong last year, they learned from. One Plus gives it's customers premium specs and superior performance for a bang for your buck price. HTC releases solid phones every year. Admirable, but not enough anymore except for those who seek them out.
  • Best audio bar none, and smoothest performance on Android. Oh, and LG give us a **** deal in the UK. No wireless charging and no quad DAC. You have a point re OnePlus.
  • I walked into sprint a few days ago and they basically shoved a Samsung s8 down my throat. This is why Samsung is so far ahead.
  • Another reason is that the display on the S8 tends to be showing demonstration videos aiming to make potential customers attracted to it. Coupled with its design, it also seems to just attract customers to it. The U11 requires more hands-on time to really "get it", aside from the striking glossy finish on the back. It's definitely a very solid phone, but like Chris said below me, it needs to get the attention from the hardcore enthusiasts first before they can focus on the mainstream again. The latter ain't coming back anytime soon, so HTC needs to start small again.
  • It won't sell as much as the big hitters but HTC needed to convince the hardcore android community that they can still build a great phone. It will take a lot of small steps to rebuild their lost confidence in their brand. This is a first great step in the right direction. Well done HTC
  • I have to agree. If this phone at least gets the attention of geeks, it should pave a better path for them
  • Wow, this is such a solid phone! Great review.
  • Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!
  • The phone is a no-go for me because of the 3,000 mAh battery. I need bigger batteries in a phone. Otherwise, a solid device.
  • Get off your phone and live a little!
  • Then what phone would meet your requirements? Sure there are phones out there with slightly higher capacity batteries, but that doesn't directly translate to better battery life. This reviewer said the U11 has above average battery life and quick charge capabilities. Sounds good to me!
  • And bigger screen, my Mate 9 battery life is superior to many phones and it has big screen, why HTC can't make both too? 4000mah shall be the minimum, heck low end phones got more battery than this.
  • Great review, congrats. I will never buy a glass made phone which makes me use a damm case but that´s just me. That´s why I just bought the HTC 10. Cheers
  • Your choices are very less this year then, may be OP5, Moto since they are sticking to metal.
  • Also ZTE Axon 2 and iPhone 8 will probably be metal.
  • You're quickly running out of options then.
  • I know. I hope this is horrible trend ends quickly. It's the stupidest design decision I have ever seen. Create an item we are almost certain to drop on the concrete floor someday almost entirely made of glass. Clap, clap. Genius. Then it costs hundreds of dollars to repair.
  • Yet people continue to buy the glass phones in droves when there are cheaper tougher phones available.
  • So you agree with me or are you just being sarcastic?
    What I mean is: why design a smartphone that cannot safely be used without a case? Why make it super pretty if it's just to be seen and not felt or touched? Notice that HTC even offers a case when you buy the phone, basically admitting that it wasn't made to be used without it.
    I truly don't understand. :(
  • I'm being serious. The market likes these beautiful, glossy, shiny glass phones. They're buying them in droves. I think it depends what your definition of "safely be used" is. Lots of people use these phones without cases, or are happy to buy one understanding that it'll live in a case. I don't think they're doing it reluctantly a majority of the time. This is just another example of not every phone being made perfectly for every type of user.
  • I'm with you about this. I'll never touch a glass phone unless no one makes anything but glass. Metal and even non-glossy(like the one with rubbery texture) plastic with metal frame are the only phone that will get my money. I don't like covering my phone and glass phone simply won't survive my daily grind.
  • How does the U11 handle screen off notifications? I'm coming from a Moto X Pure where waiving your hand over the phone or picking it up shows notification.. and the Pixel where I can double tap or lift to see notifications. Without an "always on screen" or some type of notifications like this, I'm not sure I'd be entirely happy. Thanks!
  • HTC kicks it old school still. You get an LED notification light at the top of the screen, and you can double-tap to wake the phone to the lock screen to manage notifications. There's no "ambient display" type of situation.
  • double tap works on htc 10, so in u11
  • Seems like a nice phone but it won't sell squat in the US until they get the price down to about $399.
  • HTC can't sell a phone of this quality for $399. No company can, if they want to make money.
  • Thats for sure. No corners cut here
  • The problem is that people in the Market for a flagship phone are only looking for an Apple, Samsung, or maybe a Pixel. They simply aren't going to pay that type of money for an HTC. HTC needs to stop trying to compete with Apple or Samsung if they want to sell any phones.
  • HTC just made a very competitive flagship product that undercuts Samsung by $100-$200 depending on the model you're comparing to. I know the market is heavily skewed to Apple/Samsung, but I don't think that means HTC should just give up. As HTC has continually shown, it can't compete on the super-low-end price range, either. It has to get these high-end high-margin phones out, too.
  • ^^^👍
  • I'm selling my Note 5 for one.
  • $306 on Sprint with loyalty discount. Already ordered one. Probably will get 3 more for the rest of the family, who are on Sprint free leases, which expire next month. I currently am on M8, and rest of my family on M9s.
  • I wish this phone would be available in carrier stores. I also understand HTCs reasoning for not caring about how the front of the phone looks. They want people to see the gorgeous back during a phone call and say, "dang, what phone is that?" My last HTC phone was the M8. I wish I could easily purchase this phone. But it's getting harder not to justify buying a pixel as my next phone. If you want the cool things that Google is doing, you have to have their phone.
  • I get the carrier store angle from a marketing and customer availability perspective, but if you're here reading this review and are aware you can buy it unlocked — why would you care about wanting to buy from a carrier?
  • Lack of the cash right now. And I won't be able to finance through the manufacturer either currently.
  • Well ... not sure what else to tell you then. Both Amazon and HTC offer financing that uses the same credit ratings and often the same companies that the carriers use for financing. Most people who can use one can use the other.
  • Unfortunately I can't buy an unlocked phone and use it on Sprint, unless I read their web page incorrectly.
  • The unlocked U11 is designed to work on all 4 major U.S. carriers.
  • Admittedly I don't have the statistics in front of me, but at least in the USA I believe the overwhelming majority of people obtain flagship phones through carriers. So, umm...that's why. All snark aside, I am on T-Mobile Jump On Demand and have no intention of dropping it in the near-term. That means one fewer U11 user here (I definitely would have upgraded my HTC 10 for this). Multiply that by the legions of people who get their phones thru carriers that are not Sprint, and you begin to see why HTC has shot themselves in the foot. (Or maybe the carriers shot HTC in the foot, and HTC is letting the foot get gangrenous out of spite.)
  • I totally understand that somewhere around 2/3 of people in the U.S. still buy from carriers. And from a business perspective I understand why HTC (or any other company) would want to be in carrier stores. But from a consumer aspect, if you're sitting here reading the U11 review there's little reason why you couldn't manage to buy one unlocked if you like it.
  • Andrew
    I have and will continue to use Sprint as my service provider. Is there a physical difference between the unlocked and Sprint HTC U11? I couldn't see it in the specs. I seem to recall a mention there is a difference in internal antennas which accomplish 1 GB MIMO aggregation (or something like that) when Sprint builds out this year and next.
  • The Sprint-specific model I believe has the network bands available for Sprint's future network rollout. The unlocked one does work on Sprint, but I think is missing that crucial part. TBH I'd rather just have the unlocked one and be able to seamlessly switch carriers in the future than have a phone ready for a future network that doesn't yet exist.
  • Thanks Andrew
    Not sure but I think both versions have the same bands. Although the previously stated rumor about a difference in antenna build may be misinformation or an unlikely alternative manufacturing scenario. Yet could be true. I'm going to check with Sprint for their scheduled build out in my region, San Diego near Qualcomm. I believe the unlocked version used on the Sprint network will likely receive more frequent and thus more timely updates. Based on the color variants currently available in the US, which is your favorite? Would you wait for the Red?
  • Moreover, I would surmise that when one 'unlocks' a Sprint version, it should work on any carrier. Seems logical. Can this be confirmed? Andrew, I just noticed your color preference response below.
  • Yeah I wouldn't go so far as to put my foot down on that.
  • Nevertheless, on the HTC Website the Sprint HTC U11 and the Unlocked HTC U11 have 'exactly the same' specs. My 'guess' is the only difference would be the SIM card and of course color availability with that installed SIM. At what point do carrier specific protocols get invoked? Wish someone with direct contact with HTC or indepth technical knowledge would clarify. Perhaps I have to query a site like Anandtech or forums like XDA & Sprint or even HTC...or if Hildenbrand had the inclination and time.
  • According to XDA Sprint HTC U11 Forum it's the ROM which can be changed, unlock, root, & rom. If I (novice) understand correctly it's better to start with a Sprint version because of potential whiteboarding of IMEI to make an unlocked Sprint compatible. Sprint to unlocked no problem except for required skills.
  • Top of that HTC has always updated the unlocked devices quickly compared to carrier versions unlike Samsung and LG.
  • I would take the HTC U11 over the Samlag any day, and this coming from a S7 owner "bought it used to try Samlag Pay". I use the S7 as a backup to my LG Nexus 5X, Samlag has lost the plot with that idiotic aspect ratio, the bar of soap design and that idiotic curved glass display, and with rumors that the Note 8 will have the same idiotic design screen and at 6.4" will be a no go for me at least. The HTC U11 also comes with 7.1.1, while the S8 comes with 7.0 and who knows when they will update it to 7.1.1.
    You can also find pictures taken with the HTC U11 on phandroid which look great, especially low light images, pictures where uploaded from Flickr, what's going on Android Central how come you can't post these pictures.
  • We post our own pictures that we took alongside our own analysis of the photos.
  • The pics are great. I think the best one is the pic of the ceiling with the various incandescent lights in the foreground. Old HTC camera firmware would have murdered that scene. Here, it looks fantastic.
  • Can we get the full resolution pics to pixel peep?
  • 16:9 is out, sorry bro. Use an ~18:9 phone for more than a day and you'll understand why.
  • Speak for yourself, let me guess, you own the soap bar called the S8.
  • Please tell what makes it better? I've heard that the thinness is nice but that the black bars on videos make it feel small. I've been torn on that shape. I'd love to hear someone tell me advantages.
  • Seems like you used the Amazing Silver to review Andrew. What's your favorite color out of all the ones HTC launched?
  • Yup this is the silver. I personally like the black one, but the shiny silver and deeper blue are also growing on me. The red, of course, is tops — but it's not available yet.
  • HTC U11 "with pre production software" vs S8 camera shootout https://youtu.be/15NnR0WyPPY
  • I'd take this over a mongaloid s8 any day. I like the 16:9 aspect and curved screens are so nauseating. It's a straight up phone with no trickery or deceit in tow and I respect that! It's great just to be a phone with no window dressing and stylized, short lived gimmicks. I returned the s8+and got a g6. Sorry g6, I love you, but the u11 may just be my soulmate lol.
  • Display tech, among other attention-grabbing features, absolutely IS what's holding competition back. You have to have a gimmick that leads the pack, and HTC has zero gimmicks to offer that lead the pack. Squeezing to do something vs an edge to edge almost wrap-around screen as well as watches and VR headsets? This race to the middle isn't going to get any of these companies anywhere.
  • Huh? I'm not following that logic. Whenever HTC did try and come out with gimmicks, everyone trolled them to death for being gimmicky and having useless features (kinda like u just did with the squeeze functionality). No different than when HTC did the first OIS FF camera and no one cared. Xiaomi had the small bezel display and Sharp with their Aquos Crystal, prior to Samsung. As for the display that curves over the edges, Sharp had that implementation already https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2016/10/7/13197354/sharp-corner-r-..., yet it wasn't viewed with the same awe as Samsung's galaxies with the curved display. Remember whe HTC had wireless charging in the Droid DNA and water resistance (Butterfly, Desire Eye), etc. before Samsung did and no one cared? Once Samsung started using that technology, then it became a note worthy feature. The general public looks at it the same way, so I'm not understanding what good your suggestion would do. HTC having standout gimmicks won't help them garner more desirability from the public in general.
  • THIS ^^^^^!
  • How does Edge Sense work with car mounts that squeeze the phone?
  • Only the lower part of the phone senses the squeeze. So you just have to mount the phone from above that.
  • The power button is just above the half-way mark so I don't think that'll work.
  • You can turn off the squeeze function if you are planning to use such a phone mount.
  • Yes, that was covered in the review. Doesn't answer the question though.
  • You can adjust the pressure sensitivity
  • I put my phone in a car mount and it never triggered edge sense. You have to put a pretty notable amount of sustained pressure on the phone to trigger it.
  • Thank you.
  • You're welcome :)
  • Well... 1) I will confess that I don't like the back of the phone, too glossy. The sides of the phone however, are amazing. 2) the display seems great too. IF, it's worse than the LG g6 or Samsung Galaxy s8, I would say it's Not because of colors, but rather the fact the phone has bigger bezels. 3) I'm glad the battery is good, the camera in particular; that was a big issue a few years back. The zooming capabilities Should be great on this phone. 4) sense UI has always been good, I never liked the pixel, but there is one thing you can't deny about it: the thing is virtually lagless, the fact this phone compared to it in terms of smoothness is a great thing. 5) that "squeeze your phone" seems interesting. who knows, it might just become a standard in the future. Bring water resistant is always a great thing to have 6) no 3.5mm headphone jack. This bothers me a lot, to the Point it makes me not crave the phone at all. Overall...8/10 (which means excellent. I hardly give higher than a 6.5/10)
  • Being water resistant*, sorry.
  • Just attach the included dongle to whichever pair of head phones you like. Presto Chango, they all work now!
  • I'd say that if you don't like the glossy nature, consider looking at a black one. It's glossy, for sure, but doesn't have the same sort of mirrored finish the other colors have.
  • im still using my m8 works like a charm still after 3 years or so...camera was never all that great but usable... battery still fine...I still have a thunderbolt that works also...like HTC's quality. But its time for a new phone I think. Been looking at Sammy s8+ but never used them before and read some pretty bad crap about it..I like sense and used to that....the thing that sux is looking for accessories always limited I need a case and belt clip holster who cares if the back is nice shiny glass gonna cover it up anyhow..but options are limited..all kinds of fancy cases for Sammy...nothing yet for htc 11...im sure seido make one eventually...which im using now on m8....HTC needs to make themselves more known
  • Be wary of the curved screen. Super easy to break and most all of the cases leave the curved edges exposed. If you bang into/lean against stuff while the phone is in a belt clip you could be asking for trouble. More trouble than they're worth in my opinion.
  • yea pretty sure if I get a new phone this year probably will be the 11..wait and see what cases they eventually do make..I've never broken or scratched a screen and never use a screen protector...the seidio cases have been raised around the edges can lay phone on its face and not worry about the glass but that's an HTC phone no experience with a Sammy phone
  • The U11 does come with a clear case in the box...
  • I thought this was a well thought out review. If I had a spare $1000 to spend, I wouldn't be buying a U11 with it, as much as I loved my 10. My extra dollars this year will be going towards Moto Mods(got a Moto Z, gave my wife the HTC 10).
  • I'm getting it. I love my 10 and an even better camera and improvements in battery life are perfect for me. The polarization of the 10's screen is an irritation for me in landscape but not a deal-breaker. If the 11 has a similar issue I'm fine. If it doesn't, even better. I'm a little disappointed that the front-facing camera does not have OIS like the 10 but that's minor. I know Sense seems a little stale at this point but I am sure this will have no problem running the next version, probably next year or with Android O updates. And the theming engine on the 10 was absolutely awesome so if the 11 keeps that, I'm set there. I've loved BoomSound since the M7 and was very impressed with the redesign on the 10. Not quite as powerful sounding as the M8 but really close, with bass I could actually feel coming from the bottom sub. It sounds like the 11 bests the 10 in sound so that's another plus for me. If I had a thin-bezeled device I'd want on-screen buttons but if I'm going to have the fingerprint sensor and speaker drivers there anyway, I'm happier to have the buttons there vs. taking up screen real estate. I'll miss the 3.5mm jack, but that may be more out of nostalgia at this point. I usually only use them when my BT headphones die and are charging. I am wondering if it's really using BT 4.2 instead of 5.0 and if so, are they planning on utilizing 5.0 down the line with an update. I like that they've priced it right, included an adapter, headphones and a case, added IP67, and ship w/ 7.1.1. I think I'll be getting the black because they way it transitions to emerald green is mesmerizing to me. I do wish we could get our mits in the 6GB RAM version, but maybe next year.
  • The U Ultra has a great camera, almost the same as the U11. How can you say that it has a sub-par camera? How can you justify it? Why are you lying?
    The U Ultra is a great smartphone and many people love it. You also said that its battery life is not good, but this is another lie. Please try to stay objective and stop lying. Whose interests do you represent? Should I guess? Maybe Samsungs?
    As far as the U11 concerns, this is the best phone of the year. It is blazing fast, has an amazing design, great features and zero bloatware (hello Samsung). I believe that you couldn't bury the phone as you did with the U Ultra, but you also couldn't say the truth about how great it is. Pathetic.
  • Yeah Andrew. Why?
  • Great comment that shows they quality of this site in general
  • I wish this video showed up in the app.
  • Well, I reviewed the U Ultra — feel free to read my review: http://www.androidcentral.com/htc-u-ultra. I don't think I ever said the U Ultra's camera was outright bad ... it just wasn't worthy of a $750 flagship in early 2017. And the U11's camera is objectively better. Nothing crazy there. How can you say that I have Samsung's interests in mind ... when I just gave a VERY positive review to the U11? Sheesh.
  • Yes, how can I say that? Your video review of the s8 was like a marketing pitch from a Samsung salesman. Go back and watch it again.
    You mentioned so many negatives about the s8 but didn't even consider them when reaching a conclusion about the phone. The Ultra doesn't even have so many issues, but who cares? Right? It's not a Samsung, so let's bury it. I am sorry but I believe that if you want to call yourself a journalist that you should be more objective.
    The Ultra is definitely not perfect, but it is not what you said it is.
  • I get that you like your U Ultra, that's awesome. If it works for you, continue to use it and be happy with it! But you're being a bit dramatic.
  • This guy is going to lose his mind when he watches Mr Mobiles review of the U11 lol. I guess if I never see him comment again on these forums, I will know his head exploded.
  • This is one of the craziest comments I have read. Whose interests do you have in mind? HTC's 😀 C'mon the U Ultra had plenty of negative things for a $750 smartphone. People and reviewers were right to criticize. Heck I was in one of the HTC U 11 meet up events yesterday and speaking to some of the HTC folks even they kind of acknowledged they dropped the ball on the U Ultra.
  • People tend to criticize everything, especially when the manufacturer doesn't have the marketing presence of Apple. Just look at how many issues the S8 has, but the press wasn't bothered by them. Why? For me there can be only one conclusion.
    The Ultra is a great phone. Have you used it? The second display is not a gimmick, it's very useful. The camera is better than the one found in the HTC 10. The only criticism I understand is because of the size of the device. If you don't like phablets then the Ultra is not for you. I personally love it. As for the price, yes, 750$ is too much for it but this goes also for all phones out there. I bought mine for much less and I love it. People complain about the battery capacity but what they don't say is that it lasts at least for a day, just like any other smartphone out there. The battery life is good. The display is great and the design is amazing.
    Of course HTC will not sell a lot of them since it is not being sold from carriers, bit that doesn't make it a bad device. Look at jrwilliams YouTube challenge for am objective review. He even compares it to the G6 and S8 and finds it to be the better device.
    The U11 ist even better and I really don't understand the comments regarding its front. I personally don't like tall displays. I have used the S8 and I'm general I believe it is an abomination of a phone, exactly like its parent company.
  • It's too expensive. If it's $600 or even $650, then I would be much more lenient on it. NOBODY except die-hard crazy fanboys of another company has ever said that the U Ultra is horrible. It was never horrendous. It was a solid phone but with the price tag that just didn't make sense for what it had at the time. The price has indeed dropped, which makes it more palatable, but the $650 MSRP of the U11 makes the UU less enticing still. Basically, the U11 is the fixer, fixing many things that the U UItra did wrong. Honestly, I feel that the U Ultra should not have existed as it seemed to bring more bad than good things for the company, owing mainly to that price. And no, I'm not a fanboy of any company that I have mentioned above, if anyone is asking.
  • An unvarnished unbiased truth about the HTC U Ultra and opinion about the HTC U11. https://youtu.be/O8raHN5Czys
  • On one hand, I want to try the U11. It's gorgeous, and I've been happy with every HTC I've owned, including the M9. On the other hand, it's large and glass, which I know isn't a good fit for me.
  • I like this phone, I wish the battery was a little bigger, but even with that, I like this phone, a lot. Definitely going to check one out in person, and I'd love to see the white color available in the US, for something different. Looking forward to some hands - on time.
  • So Andrew, which shows fingerprints less... the Amazing Silver or Sapphire Blue? I'm drawn to the rich blue, but the silver is a bit more professional looking...
  • Hmm I'd say the darker the color the fewer fingerprints it shows.
  • Andrew, if I use a Spigen Rugged Armor on HTC U11, will the edge sense works ?
  • The edge sense is not capacitive, so it works with cases on just fine :)
  • So, in summary...
    Stunning back: Nailed it.
    Camera: Nailed it.
    Build quality: Nailed it.
    Speaker audio: Nailed it.
    Audio recording quality: Nailed it.
    Battery life: Better than expected.
    Performance: Nailed it.
    Quickcharge: Nailed it.
    Headphones with active noise cancellation and sonar ear mapping: Nailed it, unless you want to use them on another phone.
    Super LCD display quality: Nailed it.
    Super LCD display sunlight issue: Fixed it. Now, about the front, we know the technical reasons why HTC used a normal screen, and I'm fine with that. But you know what? The bezels on the S8 and G6 are huge when you're watching a movie. However, if HTC gets a through-the-glass fingerprint reader, and pushes the speaker openings to the edge to make their own full screen phone, and they marketed it properly... then I don't think they could keep up with demand.
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack, blew it.
    No wireless charging, blew it.
    Only one US carrier to back it, blew it.
    Single rear facing camera, probably blew it.
    Same old software experience, blew it.
    Even with Marketing, I don't think this thing would sell good. It's just too average and doesn't try enough to best the Chinese competition.
  • Well, unlike other phones, HTC dropped the 3.5 because it did not provide power AND bidirectional data transfer. Apple dropped it because of money. And although we don't have the audio test results yet for the included HTC adapter with built in DAC, it will be a good one, and there would be no surprise if it sounded better than most common phones. To date, both Samsung and Apple have failed to produce a phone that could match the audio quality of even a three year old HTC. Samsung has gotten it better than Apple though. Wireless charging can be useful, except when you want to use your phone. It charges slower and heats up the battery, and you can't pick it up while charging, but it does provide another option for charging if your hardware port fails, and that's a good thing. It's also easy to flop your phone down on a pad after a tiring day, so point taken. The carriers have Samsung because everybody has Samsung. It's like a rental agency always carries Fords or Kia's, but rarely carry Ferrari's. It's the carrier choice and not HTC. Ferrari sells far less cars than Honda or Ford or Kia, but I know which one I'd rather drive. Ok, I'm biased because I learned how to drive in a 308, but still (lol). Single camera is a fail? Photos prove otherwise. And the Nikon and Canon cameras I use in professional photo shoots are single cameras as well. There are phones with GREAT dual cameras (LG), but the number of cameras does not make them great or terrible. Witness the Fire Phone. "Same old software" does the service of letting us know you are not an iPhone fan, so thanks for that ;)
    Seriously though, it works well, and UI speed has been an HTC hallmark for years. Having worked testing mobile devices for years, I know that HTC phones come out of the box running smooth on day one, and they are still running smooth on day 1,000. Compare that to other un-named phones that bog down and are laggy on day one, and unusable 6 months later until you do a factory reset/reload. Been there, done that. As dated as some claim it looks, HTC Sense it the fastest experience outside of raw Android, and I do not feel any sense of loss when switching back to it from other interfaces. Avereage is not how objective persons describe the U11, unless you are really taken by the non-standard format of the G6 and S8. I come right out and say the S8 is beautiful, as I did with the S7 Edge which I bought and still own. I recommend Samsung and LG products on a regular basis depending on the person's needs, and I'll even recommend an iPhone if the situation calls for it. The thing is, every person has their favorite devices, and that's cool. It's not necesarily a bad thing to make comparisons of pros and cons when doing discussions (like here) or making purchase decisions. But, there is no phone that does not have compromises (like removing a small button and adding a HUGE haptic sensor to simulate the feel of that small button that was just removed).
    Anyway, I'm just glad we have choices.
  • Again, when they had wireless charging and no one else did, no one cared. When they had the headphone jack no one cared. When they had dual cameras, no one cared. They have little control over which US carriers carry their devices. The US market is DONE FOR and is only viable for Samsung and Apple, so for them to be available on all major carriers would do absolutely nothing for them. Even if they had all of these "standout" features, it'd do them no good. Your assertions are so baseless that it's not even funny, and that makes me question your deductive reasoning skills. I do like how you conveniently ignored the fact that it has the best multimedia experience, cohesive software experience, camera, etc. So your agenda is obvious.
  • While this phone is not for me, the camera is Amazing. Great shots,
  • Will the unlocked version run on Verizon?
  • Yes
  • I saw there are coupon codes for $50 off if you pre-order this (LOVEU11, ONLY4U11 or JUST4U11) but I am not able to find a way to apply these codes on the HTC site :). Has anybody pre-ordered and used the coupons?
  • It's not easy to find; took me a few tries too. When you're on the check out page, where it shows the phone in your cart at the top, and the Recommended Products under it, there's a small "Have a Promotion Code? Enter it here." link between the two. It's not large or even bold text, but it's there.
  • THANK YOU for this, I searched all over and could not find the discount code entry, I Tweeted to HTC a couple of times, they had no idea, I sent an email to HTC support and even sent a screen shot of the checkout page and they didn't know either. Why are they making this so difficult? (I guess to hope that people don't enter the code and order anyway).
  • Once you add to cart and checkout you should see a coupon section
  • There isn't any, unfortunately
  • Are you on the US site? It worked fine for me. I wonder if it's US only
  • Dead phone, it has no change vs massive Sammy LG or even Huawei, still, i feel like this phone is 450 500$ at max and that stretching it. it just does not have anything special that will attract you to buy it.
  • Beautiful colours, best audio, best camera. Now get your S8 from out of your arse.
  • I'd say the V20 has slightly better headphone audio and best camera can sometimes be subjective depending on what you're after. Can't disagree that this is a nice phone, though. Just a shame that it won't sell in numbers that can help the company.
  • Again it can't compete with sammy lg and Hauwii among others, it's a shame cause the phone is decent but outside of audio aspect that HTC always known for, it has not much to offer. I don't think the s8 is thst great, it's good phone but overpriced
  • well it looks like it is the best phone out right now, but you consider it has nothing special: - best camera
    - best speakers among 2017 flagships (at least much better then S8)
    -best audio among 2017 flagships (again at least much better then s8)
    - noise cancelling headphones in the box
    - 4 mics
    - ufs 2.1 (not cheating like huawei, samsung - huawei eMMc is pitiful in 2017)
    - DDR4X ram instead of DDR4 in S8 and G6 and even sometimes DDR#3 in huawei!!
    - edge sense which I consider a usefull feature
    - the fastest software besides Pixel.
    - fingerprint scanner placement (worst ever on S8)
    -much cheaper then s8 and s8+
    - no black bars while watching 90% of video content)
    - huawei? lol, tell me 1 thing that p10 plus is better at. yeah, nothing exciting at all.
  • It might have the best camera according to the marks, but i've yet to see it to judge, best speaker it might have, the Axon 7 had the best speakers, edge sense usefulness depends on the user, no black bars exist in any phone that is not s8, good fingerprint scanner exist in almost all the phones, IP rating is not unique to HTC, been made by sammy and LG before that. I would not buy any HTC phone for 600 or 700$, mine Mate 9 cost me 500$ and provide amazing features for the price, unbeatable battery life and great big screen, which both the HTC lacks big time, can't they add 3600mah battery at least and 5.7 screen?? too small on both front, which for me is big no no. And the Galaxy S8 might look amazing, but it's overpriced in my opinion and not really that great.
  • Looks brilliant; great screen, great sound, great battery, great camera, waterproof... OK it hasn't got the S8 mega screen... but it doesn't have the annoying fingerprint sensor location either. If only HTC could get stores to push this alongside the Sammy instead of dumping a dummy version in an old cardboard box behind the counter.... If the new iPhone isn't amazing I could seriously go for this - the HTC One (M7) was my all-time favourite phone. And please HTC keep the look and feel of Sense! it's unique and I love it!
  • Most pictures of this phone show the back not the front - which is so anonymous looking, bland and boring. Great colours on the back for those who like to gaze for hours on end at the backs of their phones.
  • It's better than those goofy looking long screens that Samsung and LG offer. I love physical buttons and a front facing fingerprint scanner.
  • Andrew, are you sure about CDMA working for Verizon? Because nowhere on the specs are the CDMA bands mentioned. At least as recently as yesterday, when I last checked.
  • Here you go https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kqzyfj.com%2Fcli... THE UNLOCKED VERSION WORKS WITH AT&T, T-MOBILE AND VERIZON.
  • Not the same thing. Many phones "work" with Verizon. However, no CDMA bands means that nothing but LTE will work with Verizon. And trust me, there are MANY places Verizon serves that still drop to 3G, so the CDMA bands are required for any data services. So unless there is actual documentation about CDMA bands being used, the U11 is not fully compatible with Verizon.
  • HTC's listing full compatibility for AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint on the unlocked model.
  • You should do some digging into that, because without CDMA bands, that is a VERY misleading statement. Lot of people are going to be pissed off when the time comes and their shiny new U11 craps out when the LTE signal disappears.
  • What don't you understand, it WORKS WITH VERIZON AND ALL IT'S BANDS, IT USES THE SAME CHIP AS THE S8, my Google Nexus 5X works with Verizon, and the 5X is not a Verizon phone,it also works when it drops to 3G networks, which is RARE.
    You must be thinking of the old Verizon.
  • I'm not really sure why you feel the need to come on here and yell at me, but you couldn't be more incorrect about Verizon and 3G. Get out of your bubble and actually travel somewhere using Verizon. It drops to 3G in plenty of areas. And again, if the U11 does not offer CDMA bands, then it is you that doesn't understand what that means. Because - and stay with me here if you can - that means it is NOT fully compatible with Verizon. There is a difference between "works" and "fully compatible." It's not that difficult to comprehend.
  • Why don't you call Verizon and ask them, apparently to you HTC is lying on their website.
  • I think the poster 'sangs' has legitimate reasons to be concerned. I also cannot find the Sprint band 800 among HTC’s specs. People with technical capabilities, for example, among the XDA forum contributors 'might' be able to clarify. Verizon and Sprint representatives that the consumer can speak with are not qualified to answer these questions. Neither are HTC's sales people. They follow a script. And contrary to Andrew's post in this forum, I cannot find on HTC's sales site any statement the 'unlocked' is Sprint compatible.
  • Um, it's for sale in Sprint stores... I think that implies that the sprint version will work with sprint.
  • You couldn't be more wrong cybertec69 I can't post a url but do a search on android central (this site) for unlocked htc u11 no cdma.
  • I don't mean to crap all over your rant but just having the same chipset doesn't mean it has all of the radios enabled. The chipset supports BT5.0 but HTC is still using the 4.2 protocol. Apparently this phone only works on a CDMA network if you get the Sprint variant. This isn't hidden anywhere, but they don't put it out there in bright lights either. Go to this page https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kqzyfj.com%2Fcli... and see this blurbage: "The hardware for the unlocked HTC U11 will work fully on the following US LTE networks:
    AT&T Alaska Communications Cricket MetroPCS NET 10 Straight Talk T-Mobile Verizon WalMart Family Mobile" Notice that it says LTE networks. Further down the pager you'll find all the bands for the unlocked U11: "4G LTE (up to 600Mbps download speed/with 2CA, 3CA Carrier Aggregation and 256 QAM, service dependent): FDD: Bands B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B13/B17/B20/B25/B26/B28/B66 TDD: Bands B41 with 2CA, 3CA, 4CA Carrier Aggregation 3G UMTS: 900/850/AWS/1900/2100 (B8/B5/B4/B2/B1 with 900/850/AWS/1900/2100 diversity), HSDPA 42, HSUPA 5.76 2G/2.5G - GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz" It doesn't show any CDMA bands at all.
  • I don't think the current Android version Nougat supports bluetooth 5.0
  • You are correct, reason it is also not active on the S8.
  • It says it's fully compatible and has a 30 return... Sounds like low risk to me
  • I ordered it because of this. Good point
  • The HTC 10 unlocked was the same exact phone as the one Verizon sold and worked with all the Verizon bands. The only difference between HTC 10 unlocked and the HTC 10 Verizon edition was a software lockout, that people got around. You can verify this on xdadevelopers site for HTC10. Nowadays most manufacturers are making their phones to work on all carriers. There will be no difference for the HTC U11. You can get the unlocked U11 without concern as it will work on the CDMA 3G network.
  • Specs for each version available at this link http://m.gsmarena.com/htc_u11-8630.php#usa US unlocked, Sprint, and Verizon versions have the same specs.
    Andrew Martonik's information is correct.
    Order the unlocked. $599
  • You people complaining about the price but yet go buy $800 phones lol
  • Availability issues aside, this phone seems redundant in the face of the Pixel (ironic given HTC is the Pixel's ODM). I'll never forget how avant garde the M7 was back in the day, but I can't help but feel like HTC has nothing unique it brings to the table these days outside of the logo. The Galaxy S4 may have been a glossy plastic ****, but Samsung's transformation has completely shifted the market; a sleek and performant handset is nothing special now that Android has matured and the Chinese OEMs are constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to high end specs at entry level prices. It's extremely difficult to justify anything except Samsung's and Google's flagships in the $650 - $850 bracket. When one pits say, the One Plus against the U11, the only way that comparison favors HTC is if pricing is completely ignored. HTC still makes a streamlined and polished phone, but they're trying to iterate on the formula of the M7 while the landscape has rapidly and dramatically shifted around them. I hate to say it, but I think the best HTC can hope for at this point is being Google's dedicated ODM for the Pixel. And honestly, I see no shame in that.
  • The OnePlus is GSM only which eliminates Verizon & Sprint in the US. No carrier support, Oxygen OS is not mainstream, and what does one do for service when the device fails? That's the reason the less capable OnePlus is $100 cheaper. "Penny wise pound foolish."
  • I'll never go OnePlus again. Bad customer service, bad camera. Totally get what you pay for with them. Specs aren't everything.
  • lol, wut? this phone is better then pixel in every possible way. pixel seems like a redundant, overpriced, phone in the face of u11.
  • Agree. This phone makes the pixel (which I own) look and feel like an absolute shed. The pixel is worse in every possible way except faster updates.
  • I've not owned an HTC since the m7 and m8. Has the U11 got always on display or wireless charging yet? I'm quite interested but if not I'll hang off for the Note 8 or Pixel 2 as they'll have dual cameras too
  • It has neither but are those really the reasons you won't be getting it??
  • Absolutely. They're 2 must have features for me now I've got so used to them. Double tap to wake would be a big plus too
  • well it has double tap to wake...that's been a part of htc since the m7 or earlier
  • You can wake up U 11 and run your choice of apps by a quick squeeze. As for dual cameras, it's indeed a great feature. But somehow, U 11 beat all the current dual camera models by scoring a record high 90 according to DxOMark's rating. Many head-to-head reviews of camera performance also confirmed DxOMark's ranking.
  • Love the camera but not the design, and the home button drives me crazy haha, my brain can't accept that uncentered button haha
  • About the price, tell me how much is an Ihone? nobody ever complained about their price...
  • Apple has always targeted the premium market and there phones have never been cheap. It's not like the Nexus 5 that was $350 and then the next year the Nexus 6 was a staggering $650.
  • I'm liking this phone but a little worried about the 4 microphones spying on my voice full time so they can pump it to Google, Alexa (never used it, never will), Cortana and who knows what else. Any way of either removing Alexa or turning off the mics?
  • Andrew, I received a DM from Jeff Gordon from HTC and he said the U11 was LTE only on VZW and the VZW version is the unlocked phone despite what the website says. I am not sure if this a true confirmation but it sure sounds like it.
  • The Edge Sense is NOT a gimmick! Try it, play with it, and make your own judgment. Just share a small trick with Edge Sense and Amazing Silver model. The glass on the back served as an acceptable mirror. By a simple squeeze, BEST quality selfie shots can be taken by the rear camera. For selfie lovers, this is a subtle, yet great, feature of U 11.
  • The review mentions the phone doesn't have "proper" stereo speakers, so does that mean there is no stereo separation when listening to music? The stereo speakers on my Desire Eye are really good so I hope the u11 is as good
  • After reading the first five comments, it's apparent that no one read the damn review, or their comprehension is so poor, they never should have graduated. Mean really stupid questions from each one. Good grief.
  • That was a really helpful comment...smh
  • Glad to see HTC finally getting a proper shooter. I love the "liquid" metal look. I'm really sad to see the missing dac and 3.5 mm headphone jack. I know, I know that usb-c is supposed to be the "future", but my IEM and over ear headphones that cost in total $500 say other wise.
  • Anyone have real world camera performance information?
  • Go to DXO website for performance
  • Just got my Solar Red in the mail. Can't wait to set up after work!
  • Really proud of HTC; I did not expect them to come out with such a great phone after the U Ultra but they proved me wrong.
  • Just got the phone yesterday. Popped my Verizon sim card in and no problems. So nice to have a clean (no bloatware) Android phone.