HTC's new selfie phone announced: dual front cameras, currently exclusive to China


HTC is no stranger to selfie-oriented smartphones. Back in the final months of 2014, it launched the HTC Desire Eye — an upper-tier midranger that had identical 13 MP cameras on both front and back, each supported by their own dual-tone LED flash. With the flagship HTC 10, selfie fanatics got a different type of treat — an OIS module for the front camera, making for less blurry shots and stable video for vlogging.

Now, the company is launching a brand-new selfie-centered handset — a new member of the HTC U family, called the HTC U11 EYEs. Yeah, that's eyes plural, since the phone has a dual camera module on the front. Let's see what it's about

Design and display

The HTC U11 EYEs looks a lot like the U11+ up front — it has a 6-inch display with an elongated 18:9 ratio, with a resolution of 1080 x 2160. Its back has the same shine that other HTC U phones over the past year have been known for. To make the package sweeter, HTC offers the new midranger in three different colors — red, silver, and black.

Hardware and camera

The U11 EYEs is a bit perplexing in terms of hardware. It's powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 — a.k.a. Snapdragon 620, which was unveiled almost three years ago. Still, it has 4 GB of RAM, and a massive 3,930 mAh battery, which may last quite a bit, considering the processor it's pushing.

On to the camera, the main snapper of the U11 EYEs is a 12 MP one — the resolution is the same as the one on the flagship U11 and its U11+ update, but it's not the same camera. Its aperture size is listed as F1.9, which is quite big for a smartphone, but still smaller than the F1.7 on the U11 and U11+. Still, HTC has shown that it finally gets cameras over the past couple of years, so we are hopeful that the U11 EYEs' snapper would be a good one.

On the front, we have, as we mentioned, a duo of sensors. Both are 5 MP in resolution and work in conjunction to deliver depth effect for some artsy selfies.

Extra features

You can rest assured that the Edge Sense feature is on the U11 EYEs. This means that, just like on the new Pixels, you can squeeze the phone to activate something. Unlike on the Pixels, you are not tied to just the Google Assistant and can actually remap the squeeze's function to do a ton of different things, without much of a headache.

We've also got face-scan for unlocks now, since that is a thing. And no headphone jack, since that's also a thing. The HTC U11 EYEs comes with its own pair of USB Type-C earphones, which also offer smart noise cancellation and EQ response that's tuned to your unique ears.

Price and availability

The HTC U11 EYEs is currently exclusive to China and is priced around the $510 mark. It's not impossible that the phone would come to the USA as well — the original Desire EYE was first launched in China, then later entered the US as an AT&T exclusive. However, it might take a while before that happens.

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