Now that the dust has settled, and the HTC U11 is finally official, you may be wondering how this squeezable handset compares to others. So, in the age-old tradition of phone comparisons. We’re going to take a look at how the Taiwanese manufacturers’ flagship stacks up against the Galaxy S8, Google Pixel, and iPhone 7. We will be looking at the design of each and be trying to determine which one comes out on top.
The first thing any consumer notices is how a handset looks, as you know first impressions count. So, with that in mind, has HTC tried to compete with the others in this comparison, let’s take a look.
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The squeezable frame is no doubt the most highly anticipated feature of the HTC U11’s design. However, we’ll talk about that later, as for its build, that’s made up of metal and glass, which give it a premium feel. As for colors on offer, they are unique, with a depth that is not seen on the Google Pixel, Galaxy S8, or iPhone 7. Furthermore, HTC’s designers, have this year decided to follow in Apple’s footsteps by removing the 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, users must use USB Type-C for all connections. Finally, there’s dust and water resistance with a rating of IP67.
Overall, design wise the placement of HTC’s fingerprint scanner, which is on the front. Is better than having it on the rear, like with the Galaxy S8. However, Apple’s Touch ID, we think is still the winner in both on handset design and functionality.
Samsung’s latest S-Line devices carry of its tradition of creating gorgeous looking smartphones. The Galaxy S8 is very slim, and its front infinity display looks to encompass the entire face of the handset. This is in part due to its size, but also because the side bezels have been significantly reduced. The result is a handset which looks like no other, in our opinion, it manages to surpass its older fantastic looking sibling the S7 Edge.
Compared to the HTC U11, Google Pixel, and iPhone 7, the two Android are good looking devices, although they do not compare. As for Apple’s handset, it too looks beautiful, especially, when in Jet Black or Matt Black. However, overall, the S8 wins in the looks department, as it does for A1 assistant functionality, for which there is a button for launching Bixby on the left-hand side. With regards to connectivity, there are both a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB Type-C ports, and for protection from dust and water an IP68 rating.
In 2016, Google caused a stir in the smartphone market by releasing its own branded devices. The Google Pixel launched at the right time and managed to pick up sales where Samsung had failed with the Note 7. However, while the handset by name was unique, design wise, it left a lot to be desired. Yes, like many smartphones today, it has a metal and glass body, but rather than having good looks. It has the feel and instant appeal of a functional device, which isn’t what it is.
Another negative is the absence of water resistance, why not include it? That is the question people have asked, so far with no reply. As with the HTC U11, and Galaxy S8, there’s USB Type-C connectivity and a fingerprint sensor. However, we just couldn’t get over how the design reminded us of what a prototype may look like.
Finally, in this design comparison, there is the iPhone 7, a handset which you either love or hate. Usually, a line can be drawn between Android users and those of iOS with obvious results. However, when it comes to design, Apple has found itself up against some negative press over the last few years due to a rigid design ethic. Meaning, it has kept roughly the same handset design since the iPhone 8 launched in 2014. As such it’s fans, and the press has, to put it politely, not been happy.
How does it compare to the HTC U11, Galaxy S8, and Google Pixel? Its design is different, yet just as premium, as the U11 and S8’s. It has a slim metal shell, with a gorgeous finish, which gives the illusion of being glass. Additionally, as you may already know, Apple courageously decided to ditch the headphone jack for its own proprietary Lightning connector. So, standard headphones are a, no, no, without an adaptor. Fortunately, one is currently supplied with the handset, as is dust and water resistance up to a depth of 1-metre for 30-minutes.
And The Winner Is?
From a pure design perspective, while the Google Pixel, is functional, a does what it say’s on the tin kind of design it’s not enough to win. As for the iPhone 7, yes, it is a gorgeous device, but it overall fails to inspire due to its seen it and held it nature. However, when it comes to the HTC U11 and Galaxy S8, things start to heat up a little. Both, offer the curves plus metal and glass designs which catch the eye. However, putting gimmicks aside, it has to be the reduced bezels and the Infinity display that win it for Samsung’s handset.
If you’re looking to dig a little deeper beyond pure aesthetics, here’s a spec sheet for you to ponder over. While you wait for us to bring you a hands-on performance comparison.