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HTC unveils the new U11, A flagship with more sense

Edge Sense, UltraPixel 3.0 and 360-degree real-life recording takes the center stage
cjmagowan  —  2 years ago ( May 17, 2017 )    |    Featured, Mobile, News

HTC takes a new direction in innovation through personal touch and a new way of interaction for the next generation smartphone. It unveiled the new HTC U11 from a special event in Taiwan and livestreamed on the internet. The U11 took the familiar look of the HTC 10 and the innovative features from the company’s U series slapped with the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset and a whole new designed Ultrapixel 3.0 camera.

Edge Sense + Sense Companion

While all other manufacturers are focused on improving their screen-to-body ratio of their flagship devices, HTC took  the other way around and focus on a feature that is calls as Edge Sense. The new Edge Sense feature enables users to squeeze the device for specific actions. It comes with micro-sensors embedded on its frame in which users can assign specific actions to different level of pressure acted on the edges of the device. Users can customize the settings for the Edge Sense and have them associated with different supported apps from the device.

HTC demonstrated how convenient it is for users on utilizing Edge Sense on the camera app. Users can squeeze the edges of the device and the camera would take a picture eliminating the need to use the screen to take a photo and do naturally like on a dedicated camera.

It comes with Sense Companion, software that gives users suggestions based on how they use their device. U11 users may also choose between Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa o both as their virtual assistant where these features are available.

Design + Power

The HTC U11 has the same physical features as the company’s flagship the HTC 10 with a 5.5-inch QHD Super LCD 5 display and is covered by a curved Gorilla Glass 5 panel on top. It comes with a top and bottom bezels that houses the earpiece and the front-facing camera on top while the bottom is where the physical home button is fixed. Turning on the back is a glass laminated minimalistic cover that the only thing one would find is the camera lens and its accompanying LED flash. The handset comes with a single piece of aluminum frame that continues HTC’s commitment on unibody design.

Underneath the shell is yet another marvelous thing that graces on flagship devices on 2017. starting off with its processor, the HTC U11 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset and comes with 4GB of RAM plus 64GB of storage as standard. HTC will also be release a more powerful variant of the U11 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage but the company is yet to unveil which countries will get the upgraded variant.

Camera + Entertainment

With U11, HTC refines its long-standing commitment in innovating its camera technology. HTC at the event is proud to announced that the camera on the U11 got mark of 90 for the DXOMark Mobile score, the highest score ever given to a smartphone device. Unlike many of its competitors jumping into the dual-camera hype, HTC’s new flagship instead incorporates a single sensor of 12 Megapixel camera and poured its effort in fine tuning on its UltraPixel technology. It features a 1.4um pixel size and an f/1.7 Aperture which performs brilliantly in low-light. It also includes the latest default standard in a smartphone camera with Optical Image Stabilization, 4K video recording, 1080p recording, Slow-motion video capture in 1080p at 120fps.  HTC also ditched laser-assist AF in favor of Dual Pixel AF technology which are way faster than the former.

On the front, it isn’t just a regular snapper as HTC acknowledges how important front-facing camera is in this Selfie generation and for that, the company includes a 16 Megapixel sensor with a 150-degree wide-angle lens.

There’s also a new and improved way on video recording with the U11 and that’s what HTC calls as Acoustic Focus, a technology dubbed as 360 Real-life recording which the company teased back before the event that refers to the way the HTC U11 records sounds on videos, working together with its camera zoom functions, the U11 would filter our audio based on how far or near the camera is focus on the object. From its presentation, HTC show a violinist in which the audio is focused more on the sound produced by the instrument as the camera zooms in on the subject.

Other Features

One of the things that are more practical today is how things are brought out in any given situation. The HTC U11 can virtually go anywhere regardless of the weather condition, it comes with an IP67 certification for dust and water resistance so user can use the device even when it rains. It also carries a custom Hi-Res DAC coupled to HTC’s proprietary BoomSound Hi-Fi technology for unparalleled sound experience.

It comes with a standard connectivity features including Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and USB 3.0 compliant with USB-C connection. One thing is missing though is the 3.5mm Audio jack. The U11 is utilize its USB-C audio support for headphones for much richer audio quality but users won’t have worry about using their own set of headphones with 3.5mm cord as HTC also includes an adapter for that. The handset will be available in a Single and Dual SIM variants which support 4G/LTE connectivity.

Finally, the HTC U11 runs Android 7.1 (Nougat) with HTC’s Proprietary Sense UI on top and comes with a 3000 mAh embedded battery and supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 with two power saving mode options.

Price and Availability

The new HTC U11 will be priced at $650 and given its flagship status, it is way more affordable than its competitors which usually starts at $700 to almost $900. According to HTC, the U11 will be available next week in selected regions while the rest will get the handset by June. The handset will be available in these color options: Amazing Silver, Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Ice White and Solar Red.