HTC U11 in hands-on: Smartphone to press

HTC U11 tried: Smartphone with frame for pressing

The combination of the new U-series from HTC and the successor of the 10 is called U11. The smartphone is the new top model from HTC for the second half of the year 2017. As a special feature, it is equipped with a touch-sensitive frame called HTC Edge Sense. The market launch is planned for June 1 at the price of 749 euros.

Table of Contents

  1. 1 From U and 10, U11
    1. Technical specifications of the HTC U11
  2. HTC Edge Sense to press
    1. Intensity freely selectable
    2. No revolution, but practical
  3. 2 5.5 inches and Snapdragon 835
    1. Camera with Always-on-HDR
    2. Headphones with Noise Cancellation
  4. Price and availability
  5. Conclusion

From U and 10, U11

HTC is launching its new U11, its spring-loaded U-Series and its flagship 10 (test), a new model. It combines the glassy liquid surface design of the U-series, which is characterized by several layers of colored glass, with a high-end equipment, which was not yet available in the spring. This is primarily the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (test).

Technical specifications of the HTC U11

HTC U11 HTC U Ultra HTC 10
Software:
(upon publication)
Android 7.1 Android 7.0 Android 6.0
display: 5.50 inch
1.440 x 2.560, 534 ppi
S-LCD, Gorilla Glass 5
5.70 inches
1.440 x 2.560, 515 ppi
S-LCD, Gorilla Glass 5
variant
5.70 inches
1.440 × 2.560, 515 ppi
S-LCD, sapphire glass
5.20
x 1.460 x 2.560, 565 ppi
S-LCD, Gorilla Glass 4
Service: Touch
fingerprint sensor, status LED
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
4 × Kryo 280, 2.45 GHz
4 × Kryo 280, 1.90 GHz
10 nm, 64-bit
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
2 x cryo, 2.15 GHz
2 x cryo, 1.59 GHz
14 nm, 64-bit
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
2 x cryo, 2.15 GHz
2 x cryo, 1.59 GHz
14 nm, 64-bit
GPU: Adreno 540 Adreno 530
624 MHz
R.A.M: 4,096 MB
LPDDR4X
4,096 MB
LPDDR4
Storage: 64 GB (+ microSD) 64 / 128GB (+ microSD) 32 / 64GB (+ microSD)
Camera: 12.2 MP, 2160p
dual LED, f / 1.7, AF, OIS
12.0 MP, 2160p
Dual LED, f / 1.8, AF, OIS
Secondary camera: No
Front camera: 16.0 MP, 1080p
display flash, f / 2.0
5.0 MP, 1080p
f / 1.8, OIS
GSM: GPRS + EDGE
UMTS: HSPA +
↓ 42.2 ↑ 5.76 Mbps
LTE: Advanced Pro
↓ 1,000 ↑ 150 Mbps
Advanced
↓ 600 ↑ 150 Mbps
Advanced
↓ 450 ↑ 50 Mbps
WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: 802.11a / b / g / n / ac
Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast
Bluetooth: 4.2 LE
tracking Systems: A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
Other Standards: USB 3.1 Type C, NFC USB 3.0 Type C, NFC
SIM card:
Nano SIM
variant
Nano SIM, Dual SIM
Nano SIM
Battery pack: 3.000 mAh
permanently installed
Size (W × H × D): 75.9 × 153.9 × 7.90 mm 79.8 × 162.4 × 7.99 mm 71.9 × 145.9 × 9.00 mm
protection: IP67 IP53
Mass: 169 g 170 g 161 g
Price: 749 € From 549 € / 849 € From 459 € / –

HTC Edge Sense to press

The HTC U11 is advertised, but mainly on the aluminum-hidden touch-sensitive zone, which is not visible from the outside. Behind this is EdgeSense, a new control of the smartphone, which responds to the pressure on the frame.

The lower half of the frame is touch-sensitive and allows the user to create self-created and context-related links. How exactly the technology works, even HTC Germany can not describe exactly on demand. Whether and how firmly the user presses the frame should be determined by the microphones of the telephone. Exactly this probably only the HTC headquarters in Taiwan.

But: EdgeSense works and that leads to practical alternatives in the first test of the U11. With EdgeSense, the theory is even more realizable, as HTC has been released at the time of market launch in June.

EdgeSense is optional

First of all, EdgeSense does not have to be used. If you want to disable this feature, you will find a switch in the Android settings on the first menu level to deactivate all gestures in one go.

When EdgeSense is enabled, the default settings are factory-set, which can be customized by the user. At home, pressing the frame starts the camera in the last-used mode – the main camera or self-camera. When pressed again, the U11 takes a photo. Other actions can also be placed on the frame, such as the language input with the keyboard open, a specific app, a screenshot, the voice recorder or the flashlight.

Intensity freely selectable

The EdgeSense settings can be used to define how to press the button to trigger an action. In the middle standard setting, unintended error inputs are almost excluded, since the frame must be pressed significantly from this stage, so that this should only happen accidentally in exceptional situations.

The user does not feel any resistance when pressing, but there are visual indications on how the frame is pressed on the screen. When the function is triggered, the smartphone vibrates briefly on request – both can be switched off. The lower levels are hardly suitable for everyday use, since the smartphone starts with a little more gripping with the execution of the action. If the trigger point is pushed further up, the smartphone must almost be crushed. With the default setting HTC has found a good middle way.

It does not matter in practice whether only one side of the frame or both are pressed. EdgeSense does not have different zones that execute different commands. If you hold the smartphone with a pointing finger, a middle finger, and a thumb in front of you, you can press the U11 on one or both sides to take the picture.

Double occupancy possible

EdgeSense’s enhanced mode lets you define whether a secondary press is required for a longer press, as well as a simple press. Thus, two actions can be stored on the frame. On the test devices, briefly press to start the camera, while long holding starts the Google Assistant. Here too, the secondary assignment can be defined freely by the user. In July, a second assistant to the U11 is to come with Amazon Alexa (Test).

HTC wants to extend the capabilities of EdgeSense over time. Besides short and long press, double-tap is planned, which would occupy a third function twice. In theory, EdgeSense can be divided into several zones so that further links can be stored. The intensity of the print could also be used to execute different commands. HTC, however, first wants to discuss how practical these additional functions are.

No revolution, but practical

The revolution in smartphone operation is not yet EdgeSense in the first test of the U11, the display remains the primary input device. However, EdgeSense complements it well by enabling certain tasks to be handled faster and more securely. A selfie can be snapped over the frame with better hold of the smartphone. In addition, EdgeSense does not cause the silhouette of the smartphone to be scrambled, just like hardware buttons for special features. EdgeSense is also difficult to trigger accidentally from the middle level, which would happen much more frequently with keys. Compared to the display, EdgeSense also has the advantage that it can be operated with gloves.

On the next: 5.5 inches and Snapdragon 835

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Carey

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