HTC’s flagship for season 2017-2018 – the HTC U11, has just gained two new siblings: the HTC U11 Plus and HTC U11 Life. Both phones have some similarities, but they certainly not identical twins as both are dedicated two different type of users. The Plus is an enlarged and updated version of the U11 sporting a generous battery, modern design and an 18:9 aspect ratio. Meanwhile, the Life is a mid-range offering with impressively good optics. Let’s take a closer look at both of them.
HTC introduced two more phones belonging to U-family. The HTC U11 Plus is the bigger and more beefier alternative to the flagship U11, whereas the more affordable U11 Life offers stunningly good camera for its price point.
HTC U11 Plus
To start from the HTC U11 Plus, the phablet has been equipped with a ginormous 6-inch display panel with Quad HD Plus resolution covered with Gorilla Glass 5. Except for being scratch resistant, the U11 Plus is also water- and dust-proof, as its glass and metal body has been tagged with IP68 certification. But the capability to survive water submergence comes at the price of the headphone jack. Another worth mentioning aspect concerning the U11 Plus design is the fact that, unlike other HTC-made smartphones, it arrives with significantly reduced bezels, translating to an 82 percent screen-to-body ratio, which is close to the Galaxy S8 series.
Furthermore, the handset packs a huge 3,930 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support that promises longer battery life than a vast majority of its competitors. By comparison, the Pixel 2 XL is kept alive by a 3,520 mAh cell, while the Galaxy S8 Plus is powered by a 3,500 mAh battery. Both units have been already considered pretty huge.
As for processing parameters, they are represented by the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor clocked at 2.45GHz and paired with either 6GB or 4GB RAM, dependently on the market. When it comes to storage, the phone will be available in two variants – the 4GB RAM model will pack 64GB of built-in storage, whereas the Europe-oriented 6GB version will offer 128GB of native storage space. Optics include a 12MP UltraPixel 3 primary camera with fast auto-focus and a dual LED flash capable to record 4K quality videos with 3D Audio, and an 8MP selfie snapper on the front.
The HTC U11 Plus will be also one of the very first phones to debut with Android 8.0 Oreo pre-loaded with the HTC Sense UI on the top. There’s also a fingerprint scanner and the feature called Edge Sense. The side squeezing technology allowing faster and even more convenient use of the device has been noticeably enhanced. The new functionality includes an Edge Launcher improving one-hand use with a wheel-like app selection tool. In addition, the Edge Sense also allows you to launch either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa with a squeeze of the phone’s frame. What’s more, right now you can use both assistants simultaneously. Other than that the phone also delivers immersive audio experience thanks to the loudest than ever BoomSound with 30 percent more volume than the U11, better dynamic range and less distortion. Meanwhile, connectivity options include: Wi-Fi, 4G LTE and NFC.
Switching to the HTC U11 Life, the device isn’t only smaller, but also more modest in terms of specs than the beefy U11 Plus. It is powered by the Snapdragon 630 octa-core processor paired with either 3GB or 4GB RAM, and sports a weaker 4.2-inch Full HD display. Fed by a 2,600 mAh battery the IP67-rated phone is also waterproof, but to a lesser extent. As for OS, the US model of the handset will arrive with Android Nougat, but it’s promised to get the Oreo update in the late November.
Although the U11 Life features pretty common specs, it delivers surprising good optic parameters – naturally as for this price segment. The phone packs two 16MP rear and front cameras. The primary sensor features PDAF and is capable to shoot 4K quality videos. The U11 Life produces high-quality vibrant images with true-to-life colors. The photos are sharp and detailed so they will look great on your social media or as your phone’s background. And even though the camera doesn’t sport any sort of a portrait mode it is capable to achieve a natural background blur.
Availability and pricing
Speaking of the availability, the more attractive HTC U11 Plus won’t be officially available in the US market but for sure you will be able to it from third-party vendors. On November 20th the phone will become available for pre-order in Europe and several other markets for something round $935. As for the HTC U11 Life, the device is open for pre-order starting today. Scheduled to be a T-Mobile exclusive offering, the phone may be yours for just $349. It is accessible in two color variants: Sapphire Blue and Brilliant Black, while the U11 Plus will be available only in Ceramic Black color.