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Mid-range HTC U11 Life with Android One scores official Pie update in Europe

Mid-range HTC U11 Life with Android One scores official Pie update in Europe
In case you hadn’t realized it, Google’s Android One program is a pretty big deal. In fact, it’s so important for combatting the age-old fragmentation issue that it’s currently allowing a mid-range phone from last year to receive the newest OS version before a 2018 high-ender.

Yup, the HTC U11 Life is the company’s very first device to leave Oreo behind in favor of a delicious Android 9.0 Pie update rolling out over-the-air as we speak in parts of Europe. Meanwhile, owners of the newer U12+ and faster U11 and U11+ from 2017 are still waiting.

The financially struggling company (that’s not looking to throw in the towel just yet) promised Pie updates for all four handsets several months back, and the only thing that recommends the U11 Life for a swifter OS promotion is its use of stock Android One software.

Unfortunately, the version that’s somehow still sold in the US at $349 comes with a proprietary Sense skin applied on top of Android, which requires a number of special customizations and optimizations.

This non-Android One HTC U11 Life actually ran Android Nougat out the box, jumping to Oreo shortly after its commercial release. Technically, the device manufacturer never vowed to bring this up to date, either in an unlocked or T-Mobile-specific variant, but hope springs eternal.

In the meantime, let’s just be happy for owners of “global” HTC U11 Life units, even though their massive update doesn’t seem so massive, merely tipping the scales at 720MB or so. It’s also time to add another company to the list of smartphone vendors capable of delivering an official Android Pie goodie pack before Samsung.

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