Unlike other smartphone manufacturers, HTC has actively teased information about its upcoming HTC U 11 flagship Android device. As such, much of its abilities are fairly well known, however, what is the big picture, will it be able to stand up the Galaxy S8‘s? Or will it be just another metallic handset from the Taiwanese company? Let’s take a look at what is known, including release date, price, specs, and features ahead of today’s announcement.
HTC U 11, What We Know
At last, we’re nearly there, with just hours to go until the HTC U 11 is revealed to an eager press core and consumers, it’s clear, it’s different. The company has been working on some innovative features for this year’s flagship, in fact, the company has been using the tag #BrilliantU on Twitter. This has helped it push its teasers to a wider audience, and as such garnered even greater enthusiasm for it. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what is known.
As the device is due to be announced today, the consensus is, that HTC will not make consumers wait. Apparently, the handset is ready and waiting to hit the shelves, which means May 19th is a likely date. Yes, that’s right, this coming Friday.
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As for where it will be available, it’s thought that Taiwanese consumers will get it first, with other markets seeing it in early June. Now, unfortunately, this is not 100% certain, so keep an eye on the updates either here on Valuewalk, or on social media.
This new feature is often referred to as Sense Touch, as for which is correct, that is to be seen. As for what it will enable a user to do. That is to squeeze the sides of the HTC U 11 to interact with it. What are these interactions?
They could be for launching applications or for changing settings; however, it could be as simple as having a customizable button. This information comes from a recently leaked set of images, which reveal a user will be able to do two things. That’s a long press and a short press, the information on exactly which does what is not available.
However, other leaks suggest, that a third action; a swipe is also possible. This could mean swiping to the edge for whatever reason, and context-sensitive interactions are possible.
Additionally, other leaks have pointed to Edge Sense being a direct replacement for some physical buttons. Could this mean no home button? We do not know, however, chatter has pointed to it more than likely replacing the volume buttons.
360 Degree Recording
As we mentioned earlier, HTC has not held back from publishing teaser about the HTC U 11 and its features. As such, it came as no surprise recently when a teaser appeared on the company’s official Twitter. In the form of a silent video, it showed dirt bikes circling a lone person. Additionally, there was what appeared to be visual references to sound waves coming from all directions. Along with this, was also a caption, which read “360 real-life recording.”, which was a little vague.
As for what it is, the visual representations of audio coming from everywhere does indicate some new audio recording feature. However, not everyone agrees with this assumption; some assume it’s just a 360-degree video recording feature. However, it has been pointed out by those who do not agree, that the HTC U 11 isn’t rumored to be sporting any new camera tech. So, maybe it is just an audio feature.
One leak which kind of backs up the Audio Only speculation of that last is about microphones. TechRadar, recently, pointed out that the HTC U 11 will have 4 microphones. What does that mean?
It means that the smartphone will continue the long tradition of quality audio on HTC devices. However, this will take it that step further, giving it the ability to record audio in 3D. This will give recordings a surround sound feeling, which we think directly refers to the last feature.
Liquid Surface Design
Going back to the early day’s of Android with the HTC Desire, the Taiwanese company’s handsets have featured gorgeous design. So, it’s no surprise that the HTC U 11 carries on this tradition. Some leaks have suggested it will be buttonless and feature an updated version of the liquid surface body found on the U Ultra and U-Play. Which, will ultimately mean, it is far more than a metallic handset, just the next in line.
A recent GeekBench leak, which showed the complete specs for the HTC U 11 has revealed the following specifications.
- 5.5-inch QHD display, 565 ppi
- 4GB and 6GB RAM variants
- 64GB and 128GB variants
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Chipset
- Rear facing 12 megapixel camera, with OIS and HTC’s UltraPixel 3 and UltraSpeed AF technologies
- Front facing 16 megapixel camera
- Android 7.0 Nougat OS with HTC Sense 9 UI
- Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
While traditionally, HTC’s flagship smartphones are not as expensive as Apple’s handsets, or even Samsung‘s, they still cost a lot. A recent leak by Mobilexpose went some way to confirming this. It believes that the HTC U 11 retail in its 64GB form for around $659 USD. As for the possible 128GB, we don’t have any figures for that, but, we approximate somewhere between $760 and $800 USD is likely.
Based on what others and we think we know about this next HTC flagship, it does seem to follow in the footsteps of others. By, that we mean with the possible move away from physical buttons in favor of touch-based controls. However, so far there’s been no leak about its bezel. Could this be an area which HTC leaves alone unlike Samsung with its S-Line and Apple with the rumored iPhone 8?