Lee HTC U11 with a decent competitor to other flagships and a worthy successor of popular devices of this manufacturer? We will try to give an answer.
You are reading a review from the portal Phonearena.com, Original material was published on June 1, 2017 of the year.
There is no single proper way to create smartphones, this year it is especially obvious thanks to the large selection of new models. Apparatus with unusually wide screens, smartphone with hardware keyboard, smartphones with multiple cameras. The company HTC returned for the drawing board and began to develop a new design, re-coming up with a metallic monolithic case, which was so popular in its flagship smartphones before.
Compared to competitors, the new smartphone HTC seems more traditional. For a manufacturer who fights for the return of the two-digit market share of the smartphone market, the risk is now a non-disabilities. However, it is also impossible to produce boring smartphones. The company did not surprise users of the screen with the ratios of the parties 18: 9, as LG and Samsung, while the digital sound came to exclusively, offers a new interaction option with the device, uses the components of the highest level, so the HTC is not going to give up.
At the end of the spring, the Announcement of the flagship smartphone HTC U11 took place. Observers managed on the same day to receive him at their disposal and for several weeks we worn with them, photographed, listened to the music and performed other action familiar to smartphones. Will the new HTC smartphone become a worthy competitor of the flagships of other manufacturers and the best smartphones of this company in the past?
HTC U11 is quite different from smartphones like HTC 10, HTC One M9 and other previous flagships, but this is an evolutionary development, not a revolutionary leap. Instead of creating another metal smartphone, HTC opted for curves and glass. The bezel remains metallic, with gently curved edges stretched along the entire border of the bezel, which now serves as the base for the glass cover on both sides of the case.
Like the HTC 10, this smartphone has a fingerprint scanner located on the front below the screen, next to the capacitive Back and Recent Apps buttons. On the right side of the case there is a volume rocker and a power button, at the bottom there is a USB type C connector and a speaker grille. There isn't much more to say about the design. At the top there is a compartment for a SIM card, various holes for microphones are visible, but in general the appearance of the smartphone is rather ascetic.
Part of the reason is that HTC continues to stand its ground and did not include an analog headphone jack here, as well as the use of the new Edge Sense input option, i.e. hand pressing on the case. By pressing, you can run various commands, which will be discussed below. As a result, the developers were able to get rid of extra buttons on the case.
Central to the design of the HTC U11 is the glass back panel, which the developers call "liquid surface". Special materials inside this glass give it a unique color and reflective properties, due to which this color changes under different angles of view and under different lighting conditions. Available in black, blue, cyan and silver, red color options.
Fingerprints quickly accumulating on the body spoil this beauty. Because of them, HTC included a cloth for wiping the smartphone and a case in the package, but they do not completely solve the problem.
Surely the developers intended to provide seamless accuracy, but in reality the tolerances turned out to be more than we would like. For example, on the two specimens of the smartphone under consideration, at the junction of metal and glass of the back surface, one could feel for sharp protrusions with a finger, while there were none on the other side. At the same time, on one smartphone, sharp edges were on one side of the case, on the other on the other. This may be a minimum problem, but when the manufacturer offers a new design, it is considered under the microscope and the results of this inspection cannot be called perfect.
In any case, HTC U11 is a major update compared to the past flagships of the Taiwanese manufacturer, moreover, the IP67 water protection appeared here. As for the size of the housing, the thickness is 7.9 mm, the diagonal of the screen is 5.5 inches. A framework of a rather impressive thickness is preserved around the screen, as a result of which the device is felt great that the owners of small palms should be taken into account.
If not from the point of view of the selected materials, then in terms of the location of the elements and the assembly of HTC U11 reminds the Google Smartphone Pixel XL, which was also engaged in HTC. The new device is thinner and easy, but if Pixel XL is too big for you, the HTC U11 will be too big.
The screen of 5.5 inches on this smartphone caused a certain concern about the browsers. This is a liquid crystal panel with the aspect ratio of 16: 9 and a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. By itself, this is a good screen, but competitors in 2017 were able to offer much more interesting options.
The main problem is that the screen makes the smartphone too large. Compared to HTC 10 with a screen diagonal 5.2 inches U11 on a half-meter wider and the centimeter is longer. LG and Samsung this year also gave their flagships long screens, but the unusual aspect ratio allowed them to make smartphones narrower and comfortably lying in the hand compared to U11. It helps to work with them not the longest fingers, which you can not say about the new HTC smartphone.
If there was a screen from the edge to the edge, there would be no such problem. The smartphone uses a 2.5D glass curved on the edges, but the borders of the screen are so far from the edges of the case that this bend does not play the role.
Externally, the screen looks good, it gives a high level of brightness. Color reproduction can not be called excellent, but various software settings are available, such as changes in color temperature. By default, items on the screen are also large, so you should spend time on its setting and decrease the font size.
Interface and Functionality
The interface of this smartphone will seem familiar with the owner of other HTC models, but There is one important innovation called Edge Sense. It uses sensors of pressure along the edges of the case next to the screen. They feel when you press the edges, and allow you to perform various actions with the operating system.
By default, the camera starts, after that the re-pressing allows you to take pictures. You can also configure clicking on creating a screenshot, turn on the flashlight, opening any application. You can install two different actions: there is a short press and long press.
At first, this functionality seems only marketing fad that does not carry Special meaning and practicality. Over time, the Edge Sense can be used to. For example, if you take pictures under an uncomfortable angle, it is difficult to reach the shutter button on the screen and then pressing comes to help. At first, such functionality seems unusual, but you can adjust sensitivity, which improves convenience.
also help to get acquainted with the operating system Visual tips on the screen, which is displayed by pressing the body. At first they will be useful, then they can be disabled.
processor and memory
HTC U11 uses the best currently in Android smartphones Processor Snapdragon 835, which found an application in other flagships, like SAMSUNG GALAXY S8. As a result, it is among the leaders in performance.
Volume of RAM is 4 GB, 64 GB flash memory. The international version of the smartphone offers 6 GB and 128 GB.
In everyday work, the device quickly copes with all tasks, no problems with speed were noticed. 64 GB of flash memory should last a long time, otherwise you can install memory card microSD.
HTC U11 supports a wide range of communication standards. The review considers versions of smartphones for the USA and Taiwan; there were no problems with operation in LTE networks.
For wired communication, the USB type C interface is used, as in previous HTC U series smartphones. Through this connector, you can transfer data, charge your smartphone and connect headphones.
Like Samsung did with the Galaxy S8, HTC didn't make big changes into the camera. Like the HTC 10, it uses a 12MP UltraPixel sensor. The size of the sensor has become smaller, which causes concern for image quality, since the light-sensitive surface area has decreased.
The description of the camera is not limited to the size of the sensor and resolution, this year there are real innovations. The developers abandoned last year's laser autofocus in favor of the Dual Pixel system, as did Samsung.
From the front, the changes are even more noticeable as the camera resolution has increased to 16MP from 5MP on the HTC 10. These changes have resulted in the HTC U11's cameras being some of the best smartphone cameras around.
Taking photos with this smartphone is very easy. The interface is clean and without any unnecessary effects and modes of shooting, while manual settings are quickly available. If you use EDGE SENSE, there is enough pair of press on the smartphone: the first starts the camera, the second presses the shutter button.
However, the main thing here is not the convenience of the camera, but the quality of the photos issued by it. Quality is at a very high level. The third generation of Ultrapixel cameras easily copes with a complex exposure, quickly focuses and relieves clear images. The camera works with different modes, from shooting close objects to distant landscapes.
This also applies to filming in rooms and with weak lighting, which does not interfere with the reduced pixel size. Even in the dark, you can see what is removed in the photos, the image is obtained like a high-quality camera with a film.
The front camera also manifests itself well, the resolution here even exceeds the capabilities of the rear chamber. It lacks only the option to reduce the permission to increase photosensitivity.
By default, auto adjustment HDR is enabled, as a result of which HTC U11 removes high-quality photos without any participation of the user. They do not reach the Google Pixel level, but the level is still very high.
Naturally, with such a high level of photographs, the shooting video is also not lagging behind. Permissions are supported up to 4k, however, the stability of the videos leaves much to be desired, unlike Full HD format. With any resolution, the camera quickly changes the settings, sets up the exposure, copes with a change in lighting and focuses on moving objects thanks to Dual Pixel technology.
The strongest side of the video is the quality of sound. The choice is given the sound of High-Res or 3D. The first option provides an impressive value of 96 kHz and 24 bits, the sound is saved in FLAC format without loss of quality. Such characteristics can be redundant, but it's nice to know that you get the best.
3D sound uses a set of microphones HTC U11. The presence of four microphones over all corners of the body allows you to catch the sound from all directions. After that, the sound is recorded in a two-channel stereo.
The difference between High-Res and 3D is difficult to notice, but the quality of both options is at a high level, so not to complain about what.
The last version of the record also refers to 3D and is called "acoustic focus". When this option is selected, when working with the screen you get a round volume meter that shows the sound from the center of the object. When you perform zoom with gestures, the smartphone must isolate the sound from the object and eliminate all foreign hot noise.
Similar features work perfectly under certain circumstances, but usually they are difficult to appreciate. Testing has shown that extraneous noise and truth are reduced, it sounds quieter than usual, but it is not compared with the visual zoom when you see the desired object and nothing else.
These non-standard capabilities will be useful or not, the sound quality when recording video in any case is high.
As already understandable, there is also the strongest side of the sound, and not the visual component. Of course, the screen is large, bright, with high resolution, but not as interesting as with the ratio of the parties 18: 9, with which SAMSUNG and LG introduced us.
To improve the sound of HTC, improved speakers and headphones presented. The speakers have become noticeably louder than on HTC 10, the sound here is more balanced, which is helped by two predetermined settings of the equalizer for musical and theatrical modes. The latter sounds a little better, but for listening to music is not suitable in the best way, losing as bass.
HTC no longer offers the front speakers, but here the ears are used as the front speaker, which helps the main dynamics in The bottom of the housing. A similar combination has become decent, the speaker in the ear shell is traditionally quite quiet, but its presence helps to improve the sound quality compared to one speaker smartphones.
Even more interesting, the presence of insert headphones. There is no analog connector for their connection, HTC began to refuse it back in last year's smartphones and not going back. The package includes an adapter between analog connector 3.5 mm and a USB connector type C, so that you can connect any headphones.
EDGE SENSE is the main new feature of HTC U11, but the most useful can be active noise reduction in USONIC headphones. The device uses a microphone for the headphone settings process, scanning an ear shell to create a sound profile for you.
In addition, the HTC U11 uses a smartphone digital interface to create an overwhelming signal noise, which in real time enters the earphone. There is no such thing in low-cost smartphones, with the proper level of work, it can give a great advantage of HTC U11.
However, how exactly to use this noise reduction capability remains a question. In separate headphones, you can turn on noise reduction when you are not listening to music, then the headphones work like earplugs. This feature shows how well developed noise reduction technology is.
However, on HTC 11, you cannot simply turn on noise reduction without listening to audio. Noise reduction is tied to the user's audio profile. You can turn on custom EQ and active noise cancellation or keep them off, but you can't turn them on independently.
For this reason, it is difficult to evaluate their quality separately, but if you create sound files that consist only of silence, the quality of noise reduction can still be assessed.
It is at a high level and avoids the intrusion of extraneous noise. Playing audio complicates the process and makes the feature less attractive overall. Perhaps HTC will be able to fix this situation in future software updates, but you should not count on it too much. Thus, the quality of the noise canceling headphones is good, but not great.
The sound quality during telephone conversations does not cause any complaints, the sound is clear and loud enough on both sides of the line.
Like last year's HTC 10 and the current HTC U Ultra, the new device has a 3000 mAh battery. If the large screen and the not-so-modern processor Snapdragon 821 on the HTC U Ultra smartphone consumed this battery in less than 7 hours, then here the more compact screen and energy-efficient Snapdragon 835 on process 10 nm give 2 extra hours of battery life. Tests with the screen on showed a value of more than 9 hours.
This is a good result that outperforms the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6. Given the high performance and thin body, this value is even more impressive.
Charging time is also good, from zero to 100% the smartphone charges in 98 minutes. Support for the Quick Charge 3.0 standard contributes to this. The only drawback is the lack of wireless charging, but you can easily live without it.
quite a useful digital assistant, advanced features like active noise reduction. However, the smartphone looks and felt a little outdated, although this is a matter of taste.
Perhaps this is not an error from HTC, because on the market only a few months ago, smartphones began to appear with unsuccessfully wide screens. Most likely, the design of HTC U11 was created before this. In addition, no one claims that the appearance of Galaxy S8 and LG G6 like everyone and that such screens will become standard in the future.
In any case, HTC U11 is similar to many 2016 smartphones. Its diverse colors and the brilliant rear panel are not able to change this perception. If HTC was a market leader, it would not have such a great value, but without a large group of fans who are ready to buy any device with the HTC logo, this smartphone will be difficult to pierce their way.
Bonuses like a free case are pleasant additions, the same can be said about an adapter for analog headphones, but they will not cause this smartphone. Noise reduction headphones can be more attractive advantage, but at the moment this noise reduction is not too practical. It works, but the difference as a sound with noise reduction and without it is not radical.
Attractive can be called the price of this smartphone, which is about $ 650. It is cheaper compared to Galaxy S8, although in this case the advantage of LG G6.
As a result, the main problem is that the smartphone is not perceived by such stylish and fashionable, as its strongest competitors. You buy a smartphone with the highest performance and advanced features that look like a device of several past years. Surely for some buyers it will be what it is necessary. If HTC wants to remain competitive, she needs to operate bolder and the next time to offer a more unusual design.
- high-quality chamber;
- Fantastic performance;
- Autonomous work;
- Color variants of the case;
- New BOOOMSOUND speakers.
- Outdated appearance;
- Noise reduction headphones are not as much as they could;
- Instead of EDGE SENSE technology, it was possible to simply make an excess button;
- Sound recording technology is difficult to evaluate.