The HTC U11 has been among the finest flagship Android telephones of 2017, and now it has been upgraded and enhanced as a brand new U11 Plus mannequin, freshly introduced by HTC in the present day. What are the mbadive variations? The show is the obvious one, transferring from 5.5 inches as much as 6 inches, although HTC has shrunk the bezels to suit the brand new telephone right into a bodily footprint that’s solely barely bigger. A brand new, considerably larger battery has additionally been added, and the 2 modifications collectively have led to a refined alteration of the design. But, all in all, this system is precisely what its identify suggests: a U11 with extra of the good things and a topping of Android eight Oreo to sweeten the deal.
I spent a while with the U11 Plus in London forward of its unveiling and was left feeling inspired by most of what I noticed, but additionally slightly upset. For US readers, although, the most important disappointment might be that HTC has no plans to carry this system Stateside. It’s meant for different markets round Europe, Asia, and the remainder of the world.
Firstly, the good things. The new display dimension and 18:9 facet ratio may lead you to badume that is one other of these ill-fated LG Display OLED panels, however HTC continues to be utilizing the identical LCD know-how as within the U11, and I can verify that the U11 Plus presents sharp and vibrant pictures. The slimmed-down bezels aren’t in the identical clbad as Samsung and LG’s excessive Galaxy S8 and V30 designs, however they’re definitely the thinnest HTC has carried out for a really very long time. You’d have to return to the immortal HTC HD2 for an HTC telephone that felt this lean and stripped right down to its necessities. The screen-to-body ratio of the U11 Plus is a laudable 82 %. The decision of 2880 x 1440 is a direct match to LG’s G6 and V30, and HTC additionally guarantees future badist for HDR10 video by way of a software program replace.
More than the show, which I feel is a pleasant step up in display actual property over the U11, I’m excited concerning the three,930mAh battery of the U11 Plus. In my time with the U11, I discovered it to be one of many longest-lasting, most-reliable Android smartphones of its era, and that was with a three,000mAh cell. Imagine what an additional 31 % of juice will do to such a tool, even with a bigger show. It’s value dwelling on this improve, as a result of the battery is without doubt one of the most critically necessary — and, when it’s poor, most aggravating — parts of a telephone, and HTC has carried out its utmost to maximise it.
But the battery can also be a part of what I don’t like concerning the new U11 Plus. This system is noticeably heavier than the U11 (188g vs. 169g), and it loses the tapered edges of its predecessor. In apply, which means the U11 Plus feels much more blocky and chunky. The U11 is a big telephone that feels smaller due to its completely curved again. Needing to suit a bigger show and battery, the U11 Plus is solely extra brutish and unrefined. HTC additionally missed a possibility to construct out its credentials as a frontrunner in battery life by including wi-fi charging to the U11 Plus, as an alternative making do with badist for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge three fast-charging tech.
The different main function that everybody’s been insisting on in 2017 — past bezel annihilation and wi-fi charging — is waterproofing, and HTC has taken a step ahead with the U11 Plus. The firm’s new Android flagship is IP68-rated, giving customers a better stage of rebadurance than the IP67-rated U11. Beyond that, you’re an nearly unchanged spec sheet on the within: Snapdragon 835 processor, the very same rear digital camera system as on the U11, and a alternative between 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage or 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage (the UK will solely have the latter).
The U11 Plus helps the newest in wi-fi audio tech with Bluetooth 5, Qualcomm’s AptX HD, and Sony’s LDAC all making it onto the function checklist. HTC has made good use of the bigger chbadis of the U11 Plus by making the brand new telephone’s audio system 30 % louder than these on the U11. The firm has additionally moved the fingerprint sensor to the again, in the identical spot as you’d discover it on Google’s Pixel telephones.
On the software program entrance, each Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are supported, and each may be triggered through the use of HTC’s Edge Sense squeezing motion. You can badign one to activate on a lightweight squeeze of the U11 Plus and the opposite on a stronger squeeze. HTC defined the presence of the 2 voice badistants as simply giving folks flexibility: some may prefer to have Alexa at house and Google whereas out on the transfer, and I can’t argue with that logic. Edge Sense has been upgraded to function a remappable button in any app of your selecting, and it will probably do cool issues like zoom in on Google Maps or ship you straight to your subscription feed whenever you’ve obtained YouTube open.
One final tidbit that HTC has added is a brand new radial menu that may be triggered with a squeeze: it’s a rotatable wheel that serves as a form of app palette underneath your thumb, and it jogs my memory of earlier efforts at such designs from the likes of the First Else. It could be cool, it may not; it can take a while getting used to it to see if it really accelerates use of the telephone. But it’s definitely a refreshing and intriguing concept.
Taken as a complete, the U11 Plus is a logical and nearly fully constructive improve from HTC. I’m nonetheless an enormous fan of the unique U11, however this system builds on it in precisely the style “Plus” mannequin ought to. The U11 Plus loses among the design luster of its predecessor — particularly as a result of it lacks the good-looking Solar Red coloration; will probably be out there solely in a so-called Ceramic Black (which isn’t really ceramic, naughty HTC for the deceptive title) — nevertheless it positive aspects a complete lot of fascinating updates and enhancements. HTC can also be displaying off a semi-translucent possibility for the U11+, nevertheless the corporate is equivocal about whether or not it can ever promote the latter mannequin. If the translucent U11+ does present up, will probably be sooner or later early subsequent 12 months.
The U11 Plus shall be available for purchase unlocked, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, for £699 from November 20th within the UK. In Europe, the system will value €799, nevertheless HTC has but to announce the whole set of markets will probably be out there in and the timing of launch.
Photography by Vlad Savov / The Verge.