HTC U11 unboxing and first look!

So, the HTC U11 has been announced. The company's 2017 flagship is super-shiny, houses the Sense Companion AI assistant, hums with the latest-and-greatest in smartphone hardware, and can launch apps for you with just a squeeze.

The phone is up for pre-order right now, but we've managed to snatch a review unit. Come join us as we unbox it and see its perfectly clean, reflective back be spotless for the last time. Expect more impressions and the full review over the next few days!

Related phones

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



2. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

I personally can't think of any reason to buy the HTC U 11 over S8 or G6 when they are priced relatively similar. I guess if you really hate the 18/18.5 : 9 ratio then.

4. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

I can think of a few. No gamble with UFS storage, guaranteed 2.1 Both are great looking, HTC from the back, S8/G6 from the front. None are ugly Much better speakers, a true multimedia experience. I watch so much YouTube on my phone and I couldn't stand having another tinny phone speaker after using the HTC 10 for a few days. Great camera on all phones, probably the edge goes to HTC at this stage with dxo rating and S8/G6's oversaturation on photos I do prefer having 3.5mms, but I really have only used one pair of earphones in the past years and including a spectacular out of the box audio exp is great for me. Battery life we shall see. If it's enough to last a heavy day of use, then I would be more than happy to keep the capacity lower. This means more charges out of my battery bank.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4302; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

How does this look like s8/G6 from the front with those dinosaur bezels? More like s4/G2 on the front.

7. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

Cool. Complain all you want about dinosaur bezels like it destroys the whole experience. To me they're fine, I've been using phones with 70% bezel since I got a smartphone, and I'm not going to be all whiny and crying over a few millimeters of space. Just my personal feel. And fyi yes I do prefer smaller bezels, like how I prefer anything to be better. But I ain't acting like it having it makes the phone any better. It's about the whole package.

10. disatrousrainbow

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 24, 2015

Personally, I'll take a bigger bezel if it means having the fingerprint reader on the least until they figure out how to imbed one under a screen. I have an S8 and I'll be the first to admit the screen is amazing, but if someone walked up to me and said "Would you like to exchange it for this brand new Google Pixel?" I probably would.

11. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

Functionality > Aesthetics to a degree. What's the point of a beautiful phone if it's less ergonomic to use than regular phones? One step forward, two steps back.

13. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

yep, plus the curved edges make it harder to protect so it's easier to damage...not really that great but people find out the hard way...ask Jaime Rivera

19. Furbal unregistered

I'm on board with you. Been using a g6 for about a month now. The new aspect ratio is nice but it doesn't bring much actual improvement to the phone since it is not used for most things.

9. disatrousrainbow

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 24, 2015

Well if you basically want to get the same specs as the S8 but pay $100-$150 less then you'd go with the U11. If you want current generation specs then you'd pick it too over the G6. There's actually a lot of reasons one would pick the U11 over those two phone's but the "no-bezel" look is obviously not one of them.

5. letosaw

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Are you serious? You'd choose G6 with last year specs over the htc U11?

8. Mixkhata1

Posts: 162; Member since: Feb 26, 2017

I personally hate 18:9 ratio so I like HTC but i already have S7 Edge so I don't think it would be a great idea for me to upgrade. S7 edge is already working great

14. Hyperreal

Posts: 361; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Against s8 - better audio, active noise cancellation headphones in the box(!), 4 mics, possibly better cameras both front and back, traditional aspect ratio appropriate for majority videos without black bars, fingerprint sensor on front, not in a weird inconvenient position (I don't think Iris scanning is convenient and fast enough also), edge sense squeeze feature, which actually seems cool and useful, clean, light Android skin, no curved screen, cheaper then s8, much cheaper then s8+. G6 - last year specs for the price of u11, nothing special besides wide angle lens. I think its all about personal preference and u11 is actually an interesting device.

16. jimjam unregistered

Wider screen Supposedly better camera. Hopefully no oversaturated photos. Its newer and shinier

15. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

please get rid of that music, it's annoying and please stop using "guy" when talking about a phone...sound like a Kindergarten teacher, thank you.

22. killer7D

Posts: 551; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

looooooool Agree

17. Itiskonrad

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 22, 2013

Ok, this is not directed at the people who simply don't like the HTC U11 (to each his or her own), but this is for those who seem to be unable to IMAGINE ANYONE wanting this phone over the G6 or S8. On behalf of those of us who really like the U11, let me explain why for some of us this is the best option: 1.) Software support: HTC is the only company that explicitly states it still respects the warranty if you unlock the bootloader. Additionally, HTC themselves make it super easy to unlock. This is really important to some of us who want root and to be able to flash roms. If you don't understand why some people like root access, it's still the best/most thorough way to get ad blockers (without the stupid VPN key icon), modify the system, change performance, etc, etc. The first thing I do when I get a new phone is unlock the bootloader, get the SystemUI, decompile it, and make all the mods to it that I like, ie, changing the icons to what I want, popups, notification behaviors, etc. Yes, I'm a nerd. There are quite a few of us. Anyway, as I said, to us, root is important. And no, it doesn't stop you from passing SafetyNet and using things like Android Pay. With Magisk, I've hidden root on my HTC 10, and I use Android Pay and still get Netflix updates from the Playstore no problem. An unlocked bootloader is also important to some of us for the ability to flash roms and extend the life of our phones long after the manufactuerers have given up on them. Thanks to the unlocked bootloader, my Galaxy S4 (my backup phone) from April 2013 is still running nougat like a dream. I'm on AT&T. Both the G6 and the S8/S8+ for AT&T are locked down tight. If I get the international version of the S8 (the exynos-based, bootloader-unlockable/rootable version), I'm looking at around $160 more than the $599 for the HTC U11. The S8+, more like $250 more. And with either, no warranty. And as a less-important sidenote, I also appreciated that my HTC 10 got Android updates pretty quickly (Nougat in the very beginning of December of last year vs the AT&T G5 and S8 getting Nougat in February of this year). Not critical for me, but nice. 2.) The screen: I like the larger 5.5" screen AT 16:9! The vast majority of my media is 16:9, and I appreciate it using the entire screen. My 16:9 content blackbarred on the G6 or S8 will appear about as large as only a 5" screen, and no, I don't want to crop my videos. Additionally, I'm not a fan of the curved screen. I (briefly) had an S7 edge and thought I could grow to tolerate the curvature of the sides, the warping of the video on the edges, and the additional glare. I couldn't. To get a similar size video, I'd need the S8+, but then we're talking about a phone with a screen a full 2cm longer than the HTC U11. I'm pretty talented with one-handed use of large phones, but reaching the notification bar on the S8+ is pushing it, even for me.

18. Itiskonrad

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 22, 2013

3.) The camera: I hate the oversharpening Samsung slathers on its photos. There. I said it. Colors and saturation are less important to me and can usually be applied to your taste after the picture is taken. But details can't be added after the fact. The HTC 10 has exceptionally clean details WITHOUT oversharpening artifacts, especially in low light, which is typically where I take most of my photos. Based on the 10 and the DxO review of the U11, I'm pretty confident the U11 will be good for me in that respect as well. 4.) Front fingerprint scanner: I like being able to unlock my phone while it sits on the table or is locked in a car holder, etc. Scanners on the back aren't bad, but I still prefer ones on the front. And, as everyone already knows, the placement of the S8 scanner isn't optimal. Before anyone suggests the retina scanner, it's not feasible for me. 1st- I wear big glasses which tend to lower the speed/success rate, 2nd- in my job, often times the only time I have to check my phone is while running to the bathroom, so I can't stand still and hold the phone 10-14" from my eyes to allow it to scan. I need to, while running, reach in my pocket, unlock it with my thumb, have it unlocked in front of my face, check, respond with one hand, and put it back in my pocket within a period of 3 to 10 seconds. Fast fingerprint scanning with 99.9% success rates is critical for me. 5.) Audio: the audio that comes out of my HTC 10 is superb and is worlds better than that which I heard from my previous Galaxy and LG phones. Hands down. The vast majority of reviews will confirm this. I expect nothing less from the U11. I'm not thrilled by the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, but it also doesn't really bother me. If it adds active noise cancelation and better audio, I'm game. The only issue I have is not being able to charge my phone while listening to music (which, if I'm being fair, I actually only did once last year, while on an international flight), but honestly, that's not a huge deal either. On the exceptionally rare occasion that I need to do both, during the 60-80 minutes it takes to fully charge the phone, I'll just use bluetooth to send audio to a little bluetooth audio adapter into which I can plug my favorite 3.5mm headset. I can get those adapters for 20 bucks on Amazon and keep using my favorite earphones over bluetooth while charging for that brief time. Not a big deal for me. 6.) Skin: Least importantly, I really prefer as close to stock Android as possible. If you've used a Pixel, Google Play Edition, or the HTC 10 for a while, you'll notice the tiny little micro-hiccups skins (pretty much ALL skins) introduce. Maybe you don't see it. Good for you. It bothers some of us. The HTC 10 has virtually no skin and runs like a Pixel. Sense is basically an app you can uninstall (which I gleefully did). I expect the U11 will be similar. There. Commence HTC hate in 3, 2, 1...

20. mayor

Posts: 18; Member since: May 06, 2017

y are y'all hating on a humble OEM...dis phone is a straight forward as a pixel or iphone

21. det_bradlee

Posts: 163; Member since: Jun 08, 2015

Only one question matters. Is that fingerprint sensor also a physical home button!?

24. perfectnine

Posts: 201; Member since: Mar 11, 2016

yes it is. not a button but more of a capacitive key.

23. fario

Posts: 11; Member since: Apr 21, 2017

HTC U 11 for me over any phone on the planet right now unless a phone is made of gold or diamond. U 11 seems like the perfect phone of 2017

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