The HTC U11 marks HTC’s latest installment in the long-running smartphone arms race. This brutal Darwinian struggle features the upcoming iPhone X and the recently-released (and rather impressive) Pixel 2 XL.
Now a new challenger arrives. How does the Plus stack up?
The Takeaway: Will the Plus be your main squeeze?
First, let’s get down to brass tacks. The two big takeaways from the Plus are the Edge function (which some publications have just labeled “the squeezy function”) and the translucent display option. The “squeezy function” is properly called “Edge Sense.” Basically, this means you can handle the phone by touch-sensors on the sides. You can use this feature to launch an app or some other pre-arranged action. Cool.
Let’s speak prices. The Plus rings in at $850, although some sites have it at $928. November 2nd would be the go-to date, according to whispers around the campfire. That means a release in China first.
How do we know all of this? A Dutch retailer mistakenly released the specs on the Plus before its premiere date; this led to a leak on Reddit, and after that, the cat was most definitely out of the bag. The color options and core specs were enough to send the online rumor mill spinning. Right now, the HTC U11 will be offered in shades of black, silver, and translucent.
The Plus will run off of Android 8.0 Oreo. No surprise there. Physically speaking, the Plus has dimensions of 6.24 x 2.94 x 0.33 inches. Word has it the HTC U11 wireless charging feature is also present, and it will possibly use NFC. In case you didn’t know, NFC means Near Field Communication. It’s a protocol that allows your smartphone to talk with other such devices in proximity. Trust us, NFC is your new everything in PDA technology.
How does the Plus stack up in the display category? For smartphone companies, it’s all about removing the bezel. On phones, the bezel is all that plastic and metal bordering the front of your device. The holy grail of current design is to cut out the bezel entirely–that is, to make it so that the front is all screen, all the time. The Plus features a thinned-down bezel; not vanished, but hardly in your way.
I’m pleased to report that the Plus delivers a six-inch IPS display. That screen comes with an estimated QHD+ display resolution of 2800 by 1440 smart pixels. The aspect ratio clocks in at an impressive 18:9, and Gorilla Glass will be provided as part of your entire viewing experience. Camera-wise, the Plus is nothing to scoff at. The Plus boasts a 12-megapixel main camera with 4K video recording, HDR too. Keep in mind this includes optical image stabilization. The tech package is the UltraPixel 3. We’re talking dual-SIM support, too. That’s in addition to the front camera, which is a not-too-shabby 8 megapixels. Plus, the entire package is water and dust resistant–with an IP68 certification.
Wireless Charging and Processing
The Plus sports a 4,000 mAH battery. Let me reiterate: HTC U11 wireless charging is part of the package. Of course, if you do choose to charge your device, you can use the Type-C USB port to fill the battery bar (or data transfer–ah, the beauty of the Universal Serial Bus). For your HD, the Plus brings to the table an estimated 128 GB of storage, expandable with a microSD card, if that’s your flavor. According to the specs we read, there are other storage options available. If you’re a speed geek, worry not! The chip option is a stellar installment of octa-core Qualcomm tech, packing the Snapdragon 835 processor, alongside the formidable Adreno 540 GPU. That, my friends, rides with 6 GB of RAM.
So after reading this HTC U11 Plus review, what do we think about the product? Although it’s not the jump-to-lightspeed experience you want from a smartphone, HTC has delivered a wowser of an item. The Plus’ innovations are a substantial step in the evolution of the PDA. If you can swing it, make this installment yours.
I love that the Plus will come with a rotary dial feature.