HTC’s smartphone business might be struggling, but the Taiwanese company continues to amaze us with exciting new phones. The latest from HTC’s stable is the U11 Plus, which is set to go up against Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. The iPhone X pre-orders are off the charts, while the Note 8 has been selling well since launch. Here’s our detailed HTC U11 Plus vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8 comparison to help you determine which phone is a better buy.
HTC U11 Plus vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8: Design
Samsung was the one that started the bezel-less design trend. The Galaxy Note 8 has the same design philosophy as the Galaxy S8. It has an all-screen front with curved edges. There are only small bezels at the top and bottom. On the back of the Note 8, there is a dual camera system, an LED flash, a heart rate sensor, and a fingerprint reader. The Note 8 users are particularly frustrated about the fingerprint sensor being placed next to the rear camera setup. The Note 8 measures 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm and is a bit heavy at 195g.
For years, Apple’s devices were known to have thick bezels. But things have changed with the iPhone X. The 10th-anniversary iPhone features a bezel-less OLED display, though it is not curved on the sides like Galaxy Note 8. Another major difference between the two is that the iPhone X has a notch at the top to accommodate the front camera, ear speaker, and other sensors. The iPhone X has a dual camera on the back at the top right corner. It measures 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm and weighs 174g.
HTC has also joined the edge-to-edge display club with the U11 Plus. The new phone measures 158.5 x 74.9 x 8.5 mm and weighs 188g. The screen on the U11 Plus isn’t curved on the sides, and it still has slim bezels at the top and bottom. But it looks far more beautiful than the regular HTC U11.
HTC U11 Plus vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8: Display
For years, Samsung had an advantage over Apple. Samsung’s flagship phones featured OLED panels, while Apple was still using LCD screens. The iPhone X features a 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display with a resolution of 2435 x 1125p, which gives a pixel density of 458ppi. Interestingly, the iPhone X uses OLED screens made by Samsung. It means the anniversary iPhone would offer better contrast and more vibrant colors compared to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus that use LCD panels.
The Galaxy Note 8 has a giant 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED screen. Its display resolution at 2960 x 1440p is higher than the iPhone X. At 521ppi, the Note 8 also has a higher pixel density compared to the iPhone X. However, the iPhone X has a True Tone technology that allows it to adapt the display brightness to the lighting around you.
Unlike Note 8 and iPhone X, the HTC U11 Plus has a 6-inch Quad HD+ Super LCD screen. Yes, HTC continues to use LCD panels, but it looks sharp and vibrant, as The Verge points out. It has a screen resolution of 2880 x 1440p, and comes with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
HTC U11 Plus vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8: Processing power
The iPhone X comes with Apple’s custom A11 Bionic chipset, which includes a neural engine dedicated to the Face ID technology. Apple never reveals the RAM size in its flagship phones, but unofficial reports suggest the iPhone X has the same 3GB RAM as the iPhone 8 Plus. While the iPhone X hasn’t been tested thoroughly, the iPhone 8 Plus has outperformed every Android smartphone including the Galaxy Note 8 in benchmark tests. We can expect a similar or better performance from the iPhone X.
The Galaxy Note 8 comes in two variants, both of which pack 6GB RAM. The US version is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset with a clock speed of 2.35GHz. In other countries, Samsung sells the device featuring its in-house Exynos 8895 processor.
The HTC U11 Plus runs the same octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor as the Note 8, though it has a slightly higher clock speed of 2.45GHz. The device comes in two variants: one with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage for the European market, and another featuring 4GB RAM and 64GB storage for other markets. The U11 Plus also has a microSD card slot.
The iPhone X is available in 64GB or 256GB storage options. There is no microSD card slot. The Note 8 has 64GB internal storage and a microSD card slot for further memory expansion.
HTC U11 Plus vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8: Camera
The camera is one of the most important features you look at when buying a new smartphone. After facing the heat from the iPhone 7 Plus’s dual camera, Samsung added a dual camera system to the Note 8. The phablet features a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/1.7 aperture and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with an f/2.4 aperture. Both the lenses have optical image stabilization (OIS). The Note 8 is capable of capturing 4K videos at 30 fps.
The iPhone X sports a 12MP wide-angle and a 12MP telephoto lens on the rear panel. The wide-angle camera has an aperture of f/1.8 while the telephoto one’s aperture is f/2.4. Both of them support OIS. The anniversary iPhone can record 4K footage at 60fps. The HTC U11 Plus has a single 12-megapixel UltraPixel camera with an f/1.7 aperture and dual LED flash. It is also capable of recording 4K videos.
On the front, the U11 Plus has an 8-megapixel snapper for selfies. It includes a BSI sensor and has an aperture of f/2.0. The iPhone X has a 7-megapixel f/2.2 camera on the front. It is capable of taking images in Portrait Lighting mode. The Note 8 has an 8MP front snapper with an f/1.7 aperture.
HTC U11 Plus vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8: Battery
HTC has done a pretty good job with the U11 Plus’s battery. The regular U11 featured a 3,000mAh cell, which was enough to last a full day with normal usage. The company has bumped up the battery to 3,930mAh with the U11 Plus, which is a positive step considering it has a bigger screen than the U11. It comes with Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 support.
Apple does not talk about the battery size on the iPhones, but it claims that the iPhone X battery will last up to two hours longer than the iPhone 7, which had a decent battery life. It supports Qi wireless charging standard and fast charging. If you want to take advantage of fast charging, you’ll have to buy a separate USB-C adapter and a USB-C to Lightning cable. For wireless charging, you’ll have to buy an Apple-approved wireless charging mat.
The Galaxy Note 8 packs a 3,300mAh non-removable battery. Following the Note 7 debacle, Samsung has taken extra steps to ensure that the Note 8 batteries are safe. The Note 8 also supports both fast charging and wireless charging technologies.
HTC U11 Plus vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8: Special features
What special feature comes to your mind when you think of Samsung’s Galaxy Note line? Yes, it’s the S Pen stylus. Samsung has further improved the S Pen to make it more useful. You can now turn doodles into animate GIFs that you can send to your friends; and you can now translate entire passages of text from one language to another using the stylus. You can jot down quick notes without having to unlock the phone.
The Note 8 also has an App Pair feature that allows you to launch two apps side by side. The DeX lets you turn your Note 8 into a PC by connecting it to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
The iPhone X has got the Face ID facial recognition system, which is capable of telling apart between twins. According to Apple, there is only one in a million chance a random person will be able to unlock your iPhone X using Face ID. It means the technology is far more secure than Touch ID, which had an error rate of one in 50,000. The front TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X can also turn your face into animated emojis or animojis as Apple calls it.
Both the HTC U11 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 come with an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, while the iPhone X has an IP67 rating.
The U11 Plus offers support for both the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. You can activate them by squeezing the phone’s frame, thanks to the Edge Sense technology. You can configure the Edge Sense to trigger one AI assistant on a light squeeze and another on a hard squeeze. HTC has also improved the Edge Sense by making it serve as a remappable button. It means you can choose what Edge Sense will do in a specific app.
HTC’s new smartphone also offers BoomSound for an improved audio experience. HTC claims BoomSound is the loudest speaker it has ever used in a smartphone.
HTC U11 Plus vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8: Pricing and availability
The Galaxy Note 8 is already available worldwide. You can buy it online, in retail stores or carrier stores. The phone is priced at $950. Samsung also offers the option to pay $39.59 per month over a 24-month period.
The iPhone X is available for pre-order right now, and will go on sale on Friday, Nov.3. However, the device will be difficult to find in stores for the next several weeks due to huge demand and supply shortages. Delivery estimates for pre-orders have already been pushed back by 5-6 weeks. The iPhone X costs $999 for the 64GB model and $1,149 for the 256GB variant. Here are some of the best carrier deals on the iPhone X.
The HTC U11 Plus, unfortunately, would not be available in the US. It’s probably because of Google, which recently acquired part of HTC’s smartphone business. Google sells HTC-made Pixel 2 in the US and other markets. The U11 Plus will cost £699 in the UK and €799 in European markets. It will go on sale in the UK on November 20th. HTC is yet to announce the release timeframe for other markets.