In this post, which will be updated regularly, we take a closer look at the latest rumors surrounding HTC’s upcoming flagship smartphone, the U 11.
Business hasn’t been great for HTC over the last couple of years. The company hopes to change that and get back on track with its U lineup of smartphones. At the beginning of the year, it officially announced the U Ultra and U Play. Soon, the company will also take the wraps off its flagship device, which will reportedly be called the HTC U 11. However, it is worth mentioning that the name hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, so the device might make its debut under a different moniker.
The upcoming high-end device will be an important one for HTC. In order to stay relevant on the market, the manufacturer desperately needs a smartphone that can spark consumer interest and go head to head with other flagships. This year has seen a number of impressive devices already, including the Galaxy S8, Huawei P10 and LG G6.
As you can imagine, there are a bunch of rumors going around regarding the HTC U 11 already. If you want to know how the device will look, what it will offer specs-wise, when will it be released, and how much will it retail for, you have come to the right place. You’ll find all this information and more down below (or at lest, our best guesses so far).
HTC U 11: release date
The HTC 10 was announced at a press event on April 12 last year and went up for pre-order right away in the US. However, customers had to wait for about a month to get it, as the device started shipping and officially went on sale in May.
This year, HTC has decided to unveil its successor a little later than usual. The company has already confirmed that it will take the wraps off the U 11 on May 16. The reason for this is probably because of supply shortages of the Snapdragon 835, which is rumored to power the device. Samsung apparently had first dibs on the chipset, which is found in the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. It now looks like Qualcomm’s latest processor is available in larger quantities, as the announcement of the U 11 is just around the corner.
— HTC (@htc) April 20, 2017
Unfortunately, there’s currently no word on when exactly the U 11 will be available for purchase. It’s possible that you’ll be able to pre-order it right after it’s announced in a few countries, just like last year with the HTC 10. Our best guess is that the smartphone will then probably go on sale within a month, so in June at the latest.
HTC U 11: specs
Being a flagship, the HTC U 11 will obviously sport high-end specs and will compete with devices like the Galaxy S8, LG G6, and Huawei P10, among others. According to the latest rumors, the smartphone will offer a 5.5-inch display with QHD resolution and will pack a 3,000 mAh battery.
As mentioned above, the HTC U 11 will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest chipset, the Snapdragon 835. The U 11 will reportedly be available in two variants, one with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage and the other with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of space. You’ll be able to expand the storage with the help of a microSD card.
On the back, you’ll likely find a 12 MP camera with Sony’s IMX362 sensor and HDR+ support, which offers real-time HDR processing in the viewfinder before a picture is taken. HTC will also reportedly equip the device with a 16 MP front-facing selfie snapper featuring Sony’s IMX351 sensor.
The U 11 will have a fingerprint scanner located on the front, below the screen, and include four microphones to allow for a surround sound effect when recording (called 3D Audio). According to LlabTooFeR, a noted HTC ROM developer and frequent leaker, the smartphone will also ditch the 3.5 mm headphone jack. This means you’ll have to plug in your headphones in the USB Type-C port with the help of an adapter, which we hope will be included in the retail box.
The upcoming flagship is also expected to be water and dust resistant thanks to an IP57 rating. Therefore, it should survive being immersed in up to one meter (3.3 feet) of water for a period of 30 minutes.
Moving on to the software, the U 11 will ship with Android 7.1 Nougat on board with HTC’s Sense 9 user interface on top. It brings quite a few features to the table including the Sense Companion digital assistant, which provides you with info cards containing reminders, a weekly step count summary, and restaurant recommendations around your location, among other things.
HTC U 11: Edge Sense
In order to compete with the big boys and capture consumer interest, the HTC U 11 has to offer something new and different than its competitors. HTC knows this, which is why it will reportedly equip its flagship device with a new technology called Edge Sense.
According to Evan Blass, the U 11 will have embedded sensors in its frame that will allow you to perform certain tasks just by squeezing and swiping the edges of the device. These include launching the camera, calling up a digital assistant like HTC’s own Sense Companion or Google’s Assistant, and turning on Wi-Fi, among a bunch of others.
It’s also expected that you’ll be able to squeeze the device for different lengths of time in order to perform different tasks. Blass has posted a video showcasing the feature on Twitter, which you can check out below.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 8, 2017
On paper, the Edge Sense technology does look promising and if it works as expected, it will make the U 11 a unique device on the market. Just squeezing it to open an app or something similar is a great idea that saves you a little bit of time and really does improve the experience with the smartphone. How Edge Sense will work with cases we’re not yet sure.
HTC U 11: design
Despite being critically well received, the HTC 10 wasn’t a big hit among consumers. Therefore, it makes sense that its successor will offer a new design that might be more popular with smartphone lovers. However, those of you hoping for a bezel-less design, like the one on the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, will be disappointed. Based on the first leaked image of the U 11, the flagship actually looks very similar to the U Play, meaning it doesn’t have small bezels on the top and at the bottom.
As you can see, it sports a fingerprint scanner on the front, while a circular camera lens along with a flash module is found on the back. Just like the U Play and the U Ultra, it is expected to have a metal frame and a glass black.
The device will be available in five different colors. You’ll be able to get your hands on a white, black, blue, red, and silver version of the U 11. Just keep in mind that not all colors will be available in every market.
It does make sense that the U 11 looks similar to the U Ultra and U Play (image below). For some, the design may be a bit too generic for what is being touted as HTC’s 2017 flagship device, complete with an expensive price tag. It almost feels like HTC is trying to play it safe, on design of all things. This may not be such a great idea in this current climate, with striking new phone designs hitting the market every month.
HTC U 11: price
Although not confirmed, the HTC U 11 will probably cost around the same as its predecessor did when released last year. This means you’ll be able to get if for around $700 in the US and £570 in the UK. In Europe, the retail price can be quite different from country to country, but it is expected to be somewhere between €700 and €750.
At this price point, the device will really have to offer something new and unique in order to compete with the G6 and other high-end smartphones in the same price range. It would probably be better if the U 11 would carry a more affordable price tag, as that would make it more appealing to a wider group of consumers. This still might happen, although the chances aren’t that great.
The U Ultra, for example, went on sale last month in the US for $750. HTC is already offering a $150 discount on the device, which suggests that it isn’t selling very well. The story might not be different when it comes to the U 11 if its price will be too high.
These are all the rumors we’ve heard so far regarding the HTC U 11. We’ll update this page as soon as we hear more.
In the meantime, let us know what you think about the upcoming flagship. Would you consider getting it over the LG G6 or Galaxy S8? Share your thoughts with us by posting a comment down below.