HTC U11 hands-on: all the color options, noise-cancelling earbuds, and more

Last week, HTC stepped up to join companies like Samsung, LG, and Sony with a new H1 2017 flagship smartphone, as it introduced the HTC U11. While for years the manufacturer's stuck with its favored aluminum unibody design for phones like the One M8, M9, and last year's HTC 10, it's finally time to break from tradition and head out in a bold new direction, with a colorful glass-backed look for the U11 that's earning the phone a lot of attention.

We already brought you an early hands-on with hardware, but that didn't provide us with a lot of time to really check out the U11 in the full range of color options HTC's making available. After traveling to Taiwan to witness the big launch event, we quickly seized upon the opportunity to get an even closer look at this new phone, including the full range of color back panels.

The shades we saw before sure offered a lot of potential, and gave us hints of the neat color-changing effects possible when viewing the U11 from various angles and under shifting light sources. But this was to be our first run-in with the “solar red” HTC U11, and it might just put all the rest to shame. While unmistakably red when viewed head-on, as the phone turns in your hands it shift into a warm, golden yellow.

Of course, a top-shelf phone like the U11 is about more than just looks, and our time at the launch event also afforded us the chance to more thoroughly investigate the rest of the handset's features, including giving its cameras a spin, and finally getting the chance to check out the active noise cancellation of the phone's USB Type-C USonic headphones in person.

You can check it all out for yourself, in our extended HTC U11 hands-on video:

Related phones

  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 16 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 64GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(24.5h 3G talk time)



1. danny_a2005

Posts: 366; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

Where is a smaller version of this? I need a 5" phone.

2. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Am torn between dat Silver with a dash of Blue and dat White color variant, they look so clean yet gorgeous, am nearly speechless! But why still no wireless charging, why only Bluetooth 4.2, why only 3000 mAh battery, and is the display HDR ready like Sammy, LG and Sony?

12. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Glad you like the color options but to me they are meaningless as they are only on the back of the phones, unlike say the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge where the front bezels were the same color as the back - loved the coral blue one but wouldn't have cared for it at all if the front bezels had been black.

13. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Just recently too I found out the white variant is indeed not white on the front but black (was too distracted of the back's look) *sigh* bummer much

4. phonenut

Posts: 1; Member since: May 22, 2017

You think it has the stuff for t mobiles 600 MHz network coming out

5. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The device looks bland. The mirrored finish on the back is nice in a way but the back looks extremely dull. It seems to be hard to make a plain rear to a phone that actually looks good

6. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

The microphone hole on the back is actually quite noticeable. Lol

7. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

The device is too big. Same size as the Pixel XL apparently which was too big last year.

9. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Bezel XL?

11. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Actually looks pretty awesome, maybe the first HTC design that impressed me, I like the glass back and liquid finish looks way better than samsung or LG, but it need smaller bezels​ and AMOLED.

14. Cheezel83

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 02, 2017

While some reviewers may compare the U11 to the S8 or an iPhone, HTC have definitely come out as the clear leader as the U11 boasts not only impressive looks, but also the internal tech to back itself. The HTC U11 comes fully equipped with the best camera giving amazing quality photos even in low light environment, futuristic audio, great battery life and an unmatched new squeeze technology that is unrivaled to its competitors in the current market place.

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