With a 3D glass display and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, the HTC U11 looks stunning. The 5.5-inch screen with 2560x1440 pixel resolution offers a crisp and clear display. The reflective liquid glass rear, however, is a fingerprint magnet.
The most intriguing part of this new flagship from HTC is the intuitive Edge Sense feature. The U11 has embedded pressure sensors on the sides which when squeezed can launch an app. For instance, I could launch the camera app by lightly squeezing the part below the volume key, and even capture an image by squeezing it again. In the advanced mode, which requires a quick set-up to be enabled, you can launch two apps - one with 'short squeeze' and another with 'squeeze and hold'. You can use this to carry out tasks such as launching voice assistant, Facebook, taking a screenshot, turning on/off flashlight, activating instant voice recording or turning on Wi-Fi Hotspot. At 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm, weighing 169 gm, the U11 is quite a handful and this feature comes handy when the other hand is occupied or when you are under water - U11 is IP67 certified, water resistant.
The volume control keys and power button are placed on the right panel, whereas the Type-C charging port and speaker grill are at the bottom. HTC has done way with the 3.5-mm audio port, and added USonic headphones with active noise cancellation feature, which plugs into the Type-C port. There is also a USB-C Digital to 3.5-mm audio jack adaptor for connecting regular headphones. Another highlight is the 12-MP rear camera with BSI sensor, f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilisation that quickly locks focus and captures great images. Use the Pro mode to adjust white balance, exposure compensation, shutter speed and focus.
Its specifications, too, are top of the line. U11 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, paired with 6 GB of RAM with 128 GB onboard storage. Running Android Nougat with HTC Sense UI, the interface is pretty neat with access to Blink Feed - news, content, social networking, etc, at a glance - on the homescreen. It also comes with HTC Sense Companion, the company's AI assistant. It slacks a bit on the battery front. With a couple of hours of web browsing and calling, push notifications for two email accounts, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and about half an hour of camera usage, the 3,000-mAh battery just managed to last a day.
Priced at Rs 51,990, it competes against the bigwigs - Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Apple's iPhone 7.