HTC Middle East has officially unwrapped their latest smartphone iteration called the HTC U11 in Dubai, UAE.. While the new smartphone is powered by the latest Snapdragon 835 mobile processor, it also features the new Edge Sense technology that lets users interact by simply “squeezing” the lower sides of the device. HTC mentions that the announcement of the U11 marks the completion of 20 years of their smartphone business.
HTC says that users will only need to assert a certain pressure level while you hold the smartphone. The Edge Sense panel will then detect the level of pressure and accordingly trigger the assigned application. The Edge Sense panel consists of eight super-thin strain gauges that are always ready and consumes very low power. The HTC Edge Sense also responds when users wear gloves in situations like snow.
Users will also be able to calibrate and fine-tune the level of pressure and assign different applications. For example, a short press can activate the camera application or the Google Assistant AI. A longer press can activate other applications like Amazon Alexa. Speaking of Alexa, while the latest HTC U11 runs on the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system, users will be able to enjoy using two different voice-based assistants that will run side-by-side on the device. Alongside the Google Assistant, HTC will be including the U11 with the popular Amazon Alexa AI. The company says that users will be able to assign their own custom wakeword instead of “OK Google”.
HTC will also be preloading the device with the HTC Companion application that tracks your steps, highlighting the latest weather forecasts, restaurants recommendations, places of interest, the performance of your device and more.
HTC U11 holds a large 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 for great detail and sharpness and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to resist accidental scratches and bumps. The smartphone comes in two memory storage configurations to choose: 64GB internal memory with 4GB RAM and the other is the 128GB internal storage model with 6GB RAM. However, HTC Middle East stated that they will only be launching the 128GB ROM/6GB RAM model in the UAE.
The smartphone is IP67 certified for dust/water proof and also includes a biometric fingerprint scanner on the front side of the smartphone. The device also packs a large 3000 mAh battery onboard with Quick Charge 3.0 support. Charging is done by using the built-in USB 3.1 Type-C port.
Regarding the camera department, HTC U11 has the 12MP Ultra Pixel 3 image sensor on the rear side with the support of ultra-speed phase detection autofocus (0.03 seconds), HDR boost enhancements to highlight more colors and optical image stabilization for blur-free shots. The wide and bright F1.7 aperture helps in low-light photo shoots and to produce neat bokeh's for close-up shots. The front 16MP camera features an F2.0 aperture lens for great quality selfies. HTC promotes the “Action Squeeze” that allows users to take selfie moments at ease by simply asserting the pressure on the Edge Sense for instant clicks.
HTC also mentioned that white balance level and the low noise level has been improved from previous generations. Another great feature is the Acoustic Focus which increases the audio while zooming further near a particular subject. This is a very good feature that can come quite handy while recording a video. HTC also officially declared that the 12MP Ultra Pixel 3 camera is currently the highest ranked phone camera till date by DXOMark with a score of 90 points.
To compensate for the lack of a headphone jack, HTC will be including a Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack converter with a built-in DAC chip for an enhanced audio experience. The HTC U SONIC headphones that come with the smartphone packaging is based on USB Type-C and features sonar-based technology and active noise cancellation for the best-tuned audio experience for the user. The HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition speakers offer louder and clearer front channeled audio signals than the previous generations.
Another striking feature of the HTC U11 is its back panel that is made of a special coating called the Liquid Surface which allows the smartphone to feature a second color while looking from a different angle. For example, the Solar Red model will appear to be gold to the user’s eyes while turning the smartphone at different angles. The smartphone will be sold in five different colors: Solar Red, Silver, White, Black and Electric Blue.
The 128GB HTC U11 will be releasing in the UAE by the first week of June 2017 and is priced at AED 2599 in Dubai.