HTC U11+ is Official, looks absolutely wonderful with bezel-less display

Alyssa Bailey
November 5, 2017

The HTC U11 Life isn't quite the same deal in terms of specs but offers some of the flagship's design and features in a mid-range handset.

Whether or not it can compete with great value phones like the £379 Honor 9 is another question, though.

The latest version of HTC Sense is present on the U11, but it is such a light "skin" that you can not really distinguish it from stock Android. It has the same lovely color-changing blue finish as the U11, though the U11 life is made of acrylic instead of glass. Still, it's enough of a difference to make one-handed use more practical, without sacrificing screen real-estate too considerably. The U11 Plus is the first HTC phone to feature a fingerprint sensor on the back for a long time, maybe as far back as the HTC One Max in 2013. The phone runs Android 8.0 Oreo with HTC's Sense UI. We'll test out performance including benchmarks soon. We do know, however, that the Plus will be made available in China, where the handset with ship with Baidu's DuerOS, the company's Alexa like connected smart assistant. The smartphone eliminates the 3.5mm audio jack from the phone, and earbuds are USB type-c.

There might not be HTC's BoomSound speakers here but there are still some features for audio fans.

Also like a lot of flagships, there's no headphone jack.

The phone has 12 megapixels UltraPixel 3 rear camera with Dual LED flash, Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF), BSI sensor, OIS, f/1.7 aperture, 1.4μm pixel and 4K video recording. On the one hand, you have made-for-segment phones like the HTC U11 life, competing with astonishingly priced rivals from modern upstarts like Huawei's Honor. The Sapphire Blue HTC U11 Life is attractive and the price is right.

At the front is also a 16Mp camera with f/2.0 and HDR Boost.

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We won't know how good it is until we test it properly, but the signs are promising. This is a lesson for all those manufacturers that are attempting to shred the bezels of the phones but refusing to incorporate a larger battery underneath the hood.

All of this is powered by an impressive 3,930mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.

Thoughts on the U11 Life?

When it comes to software the U11 Life comes with Android 8.0 Oreo. Unfortunately, it is not officially going to be sold in the US which is disappointing since this is the first HTC flagship in a long time who's specifications on paper sound very impressive.

This means that instead of coming with the HTC Sense interface, it's pure stock Android.

If you recall, muskie was initially rumoured as a codename for a third Pixel device to alongside the walleye and tamien devices that went on to become the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

You also get monthly security patches for up to three years and guaranteed OS updates for two years.

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