HTC U11 life Review

HTC U11 life

Interface and Functionality

Edge Sense is growing on us, and returns with all its features intact

HTC's interface on the U11 life is much as we got on the U11 proper, with Android 7.1.1, pretty minimal skinning, and the presence of HTC BlinkFeed. Also like the U11, there's HTC's squeeze-to-use Edge Sense feature. Thankfully, it's fully intact here, with customizable actions and the ability to set up separate shortcuts for short-squeeze and long-squeeze interactions – unlike the Pixel 2 and its limited Assistant-only squeeze shortcut.

Processor and Memory

Mid-range specs may not wow, but deliver all the performance most users will need

While the full-sized U11 gets a high-end Snapdragon 835 chip, the life is designed to maximize value, and that means going with a less powerful, but simultaneously less expensive processor: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630. Like the 625 and 626 before it, that means we're looking at a nice balance between adequate speed to get through common tasks, while also keeping power consumption to a very battery-friendly level.

The phone's Snapdragon 630 gives it performance similar to the Snapdragon 626, as we've seen in other 2017 mid-range relatives of flagship phones like the Moto Z2 Play. While there's the occasional stutter here and there, for things like social media, video playback, and web browsing, this chip is more than adequate for meeting user needs. And while the 3GB of RAM won't set any records, the use-cases we expect for this hardware really don't demand anything more.

With 32GB of storage, the U11 life may not be as generously equipped as pricier phones, but you're not going to find too many 64GB options at this price level. And with microSD expansion, you're free to augment that as much as you'd like.


There's noting really special going on with connectivity for the U11 life, and the most noteworthy feature (or lack thereof) is the absence of an analog headphone jack – we'll talk about that a little more as we discuss the phone's multimedia setup in just a moment. And as we already mentioned, the off-center USB Type-C port takes a little getting used to.

As far as wireless connectivity goes, the U11 life is launching on T-Mobile, but it will be also available directly via HTC. Keep in mind that it is not made to operate on Verizon or Sprint.


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PhoneArena rating:
Display5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (424 ppi) S-LCD
Camera16 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Octa-core, 2200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
3 GB
Size5.87 x 2.87 x 0.32 inches
(149.09 x 72.9 x 8.1 mm)
5.01 oz  (142 g)

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