HTC U11+ is announced with 18:9 HDR display, translucent back design, huge battery


HTC just announced what's quite possibly its best smartphone ever, and if you live in the US, you can't have one.

Say hello to the HTC U11+. As the name implies, this is a phone that has a lot in common with the company's flagship, the HTC U11. It isn't regarded as its successor, however. The HTC U11+ is more of a refined version, squeezing in a few extra bits and features that smartphone enthusiasts and fans of the brand would appreciate. This includes a larger battery, a rather unique translucent design, and a larger screen built around the increasingly popular 18:9 aspect ratio.

Bigger screen, same footprint


In a nutshell, the HTC U11+ has a taller display than the U11, thus filling more of its front side with screen space. The U11+ is only marginally taller as a result, but offers a screen that's half an inch larger in diagonal. And if all this sound familiar to you, it's because a number of other companies have already done the same. LG, Samsung, Google, and Apple all offer phones with screens "taller" than the traditional 16:9 ratio. The benefit? Well, having a huge display surrounded by minimal bezels not only makes a phone look pretty cool, but could also potentially allow more content to fit on the screen. On the downside, most online videos aren't made for these new display proportions, so you'll get black bars on the sides with most YouTube clips. The HTC U11+'s display is built on Super LCD 6 technology, supports a wider range of colors (DCI-P3), and can show HDR10 content.

Translucent, water-resistant, squeezable


The HTC U11+ will come in one of three colors: Ceramic Black, Amazing Silver, and Translucent Black. Without a doubt, it is the latter that is going to raise the most eyebrows – it literally lets you see the innards of the U11+ through its semi-transparent glass back. It sounds like something that only a geek would be drawn to, but then again, the U11+ is a phone made with geeks in mind.


On the topic of design, HTC has bumped the water and dust ingress protection rating to IP68, which is great news. Edge Sense, allowing you to trigger various actions by squeezing the phone, is also present. In fact, the feature is more functional now, even though it is still standing solidly in gimmick territory. A squeeze of the U11+ can be set to trigger the so-called Edge Launcher, which is basically a hub with shortcuts to favorite apps, contacts, and quick settings.

Fast, long-lasting


We've inevitably come to the point where raw hardware specs need to be highlighted. These include a Snapdragon 835 system chip and two memory configurations – 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage or 6GB/128GB of the stuff. Needless to say, we expect this phone to handle any task with ease. For those who need extra storage, a microSD card slot is available. Power is provided by a hefty 3,930mAh battery, which is a greater energy reserve than what most phones of this caliber have.

Clearer photos, louder sound


The HTC U11 is already a very capable shooter, and the U11+ is going to outperform it, HTC promises. Though the improvements might come as a result of software enhancements, as the 12MP single main camera – with OIS, F1.7 aperture, and 1.4um pixels – appears to be identical on a hardware level. At the front is a new 8MP selfie camera that can pull off some nifty HDR tricks without lag.

And on the audio front, the HTC U11+ comes with 30% louder BoomSound speakers. Dynamics range and distortion have also been improved, which is great to hear. Alas, there's still no headphone jack on board, but it might not be missed all that much. HTC's active noise-cancelling earphones promise great sound with their ability to adapt to the user's ear anatomy for greater fidelity. 

HTC U11+ price and release date


As we stated in the beginning, the HTC U11+ is shaping up as the company's best phone to date. Too bad that it won't be launched in the US. Instead, it will be released in markets across Europe and Asia. Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but we'll update you when we learn more. In any case, do not expect this one to be cheap.

UPDATE: The HTC U11+ is going to cost £699 in UK and 799 euro across Europe. Pre-orders begin on November 20 at HTC's web site. 

Related phones

U11+
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3930 mAh(25h 3G talk time)

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69 Comments

1. Shubham1221

Posts: 153; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

Looks like a great phone!!!!!Well done HTC!!!!

11. Rishi17

Posts: 98; Member since: Sep 22, 2016

This should have been U11, great phone though, definitely getting this.

29. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2488; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

It indeed is a great phone and I wish HTC would reconsider launching it in the US.

35. bucknassty

Posts: 1374; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

why... why is this not in the US.... i finally have a reason to go back to HTC!!!!!!!!!! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

55. FeloniusMonk

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 25, 2017

Because if Google allowed HTC to sell this in the US, Pixel 2 XL sales would die faster than Lindsay Lohan's career.

57. bucknassty

Posts: 1374; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

you right... no point getting a pixel 2 xl over this

30. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Happy to see almost all the major OEMs are nailing it so impressively in 2017. They have caught the right formula and the rhythm which Samsung only had up until now. Competition is always a good thing for us consumers. Still very disappointed about the Google though, they flopped this year so badly with their mediocre Pixel 2 phones. I expected more from Google.

33. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

This Christmas is rounding up to be a BLAST!!! So many sexy cool devices in the market right now and more to come soon. U11, U11+, OP5T, OP5, iPhone X, Razer phone, Note 8, S8/S8+, V30, XZ1, Mate 10/ 10 Pro, Z2 force. The only let down was Pixel 2/2xl but they've already become the past now, people will forget about those failed devices anyway.

66. amro99

Posts: 114; Member since: Nov 29, 2012

Finally a phone from HTC that has no compromise and almost perfect in all aspects! To me their last phone to consider perfect in all aspects was HTC one m7. Well done HTC :)

2. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Best phone became even much better and finally a beefy battery. With HTC’s optimization this thing will last a long time. Great job HTC.

34. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Best phone as in best HTC phone, yea.

61. jacky899

Posts: 431; Member since: May 16, 2017

Maybe not best phone but best camera phone. From all the comparisons I've seen, HTC U11 has the best overall camera. The few guys I know that owns HTC phones really love it unlike many that own Samsung phones that complain about bugs and slow performance after a few months of use. HTC's OS is lag free unlike other Android phones. Only Apple and maybe Google Pixel 2 can provide a slightly more fluid performance.

3. GrimJow

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 24, 2016

Can't wait to lay my hands on it.

4. waqarzec

Posts: 77; Member since: May 09, 2013

Now comes the Bosss

5. JesseJames

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 22, 2015

This isn't bad at all, funny thing is this is what we all wanted in the m9 a few years ago.

6. Lumia_Luigi

Posts: 173; Member since: Mar 22, 2017

Really? -__-

7. Billajr

Posts: 42; Member since: Jun 15, 2014

Why in the hell can't we get this in the US?

23. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Probably cause HTC has lost 3000 engineers to Google, they are bleeding money, they cant do s**t nowadays so selling and supporting devices across the globe will be harder for them. Smaller market to cover and support will be much better for them especially when HTC in USA is almost non existent in terms of sales.

43. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

I'll just get it through an online retailer sometime in Q1 or Q2 2018

39. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

What happened to the article about it not being released in the US?

8. peace247 unregistered

Squeezing edge is gimmicky but squeezing ("3d" touch) screen is amazing?

10. Lumia_Luigi

Posts: 173; Member since: Mar 22, 2017

You’re really reaching

31. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Yes. You sad? LOL

44. ph00ny

Posts: 2069; Member since: May 26, 2011

Maybe because squeezing the edge is limited in functionality and pressure sensitive screen can be more flexible in functionality. Btw I'm all for these "gimmicks". How else would we end up with new ideas?

9. androiduser

Posts: 523; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

Wow damn this phone will s**t all over the competition.

12. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1476; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

It's a great looking phone and personally I kinda love the translucent black back. Nicely done, HTC. Better late than never.

13. Rager722 unregistered

Htc logic: Finally comes out with a device that has every feature to compete and will please customers Does not release it in the U.S...

14. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1476; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

And why don't they release it there? Because HTC has a very limited marketshare there and stands a better chance at good sales in other places in the world. Why bother promoting their product in the US knowing it won't do good, when their financial situation doesn't really allow for a gamble like that? It's just a sound business decision.

15. Rager722 unregistered

Yes this is true but maybe if they marketed their phones better in the U.S they would stand a chance against Samsung. HTC used to dominate pre 2014

20. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

When will HTC fans realize that marketing is not the issue. It’s the fact that they suck ass is the issue. I never owned an HTC device that I didn’t have to exchange or return, ever. That is their issue.

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