HTC U11 Life assessment

HTC isn’t an organization afraid to attempt new issues. In the previous few years a number of of those haven’t panned out too properly, just like the HTC U Extremely’s second touchscreen, however the HTC U11 Life is a cellphone with an idea we are able to respect instantly.

It’s a mid-range cellphone with an accessible value that makes use of Google’s new Android One program. This implies you get an nearly untouched model of Android, with the goal of getting a lot quicker updates than different mobiles. That’s, until you are within the US, during which case you get HTC’s Sense pores and skin on prime.

There are notable shortfalls to match the cut-down price ticket, like poor low mild photograph high quality, comparatively weak audio system and a physique made from plastic. However it’s a stable alternative for these on a mid-size funds.

HTC U11 Life value and availability

The HTC U11 Life prices $349/£349 (round AU$460), half the value of top-end alternate options and lots lower than the full-fat HTC U11.

It sees it rub shoulders with the likes of the Honor 9, Moto X4, Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact and Samsung Galaxy A5. These are some critically robust mid-range contenders which make sure the U11 Life will not have a straightforward trip.

Key options

  • Stress-sensitive sides assist it stand out
  • Good compromises apart from the battery

There are two fundamental methods to view the HTC U11 Life. It’s a less expensive different to the unique HTC U11 that will get you a roughly related expertise, with some components reduce right down to decrease prices.

It’s additionally an Android One cellphone in most areas, which means it makes use of the usual Android interface, making it somewhat like a Google Pixel cellphone not made by Google.

Core components it inherits from its larger, costlier brother embody a shiny, curved rear and pressure-sensitive sides that allow gestures not seen in different telephones.

That is HTC’s try to face out. It might not change how you utilize a cellphone, however HTC has made it customizable sufficient to allow you to dig deep and make the characteristic your personal.

Value compromises are, for probably the most half, not too obvious. The display screen is 1080p moderately than ultra-high decision, and the HTC U11 Life’s chipset is a mid-range Snapdragon 630 moderately than a top-tier chipset. Main enchancment within the graphics chip means it performs properly in actual life, although.

As is frequent amongst mid-range telephones, the digital camera can’t fairly compete with one of the best in all conditions. Nice photograph processing makes day-lit images typically look implausible, however it falters at evening and superb element isn’t as sharp or clear as that of a higher-quality, lower-resolution sensor.

The construct isn’t fairly on-par with the HTC U11 both. That cellphone has a glass again, the U11 Life an acrylic/plastic one. The most important distinction in really feel is that whereas glass is chilly to the contact when there’s the slightest chill within the air, plastic isn’t.

You’ll must resolve whether or not that issues to you or not.

After utilizing the cellphone for some time the one compromise that we predict may annoy some is battery life. Whereas not flat-out poor, the Moto X4 and Honor 9 last more between expenses. The HTC U11 Life’s 2,600mAh battery is simply not all that huge.


  • Clean plastic/acrylic again
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Squeezable pressure-sensitive sides

From arm’s size the HTC U11 Life seems lots like the traditional U11, which is a costlier cellphone. The again is curved and glossy, reacting to mild as if the stuff will get it excited.

Nonetheless, the HTC U11 Life’s again is made from “acrylic glass” moderately than precise glass. And what’s acrylic glass? Plastic.

There’s not one of the cool hardness that comes with steel or glass, and because of this the HTC U11 Life doesn’t really feel notably costly. The Moto G5S Plus, Moto X4 and Honor 9 all really feel extra spectacular.

The HTC U11 Life’s construct is nice sufficient, although. HTC has made certain there aren’t any laborious, flat surfaces. Every little thing is easy and curvy, whereas the ultra-accessible 5.2-inch display screen welcomes palms of all sizes.

This isn’t, nonetheless, one of many new breed of telephones with an ultra-narrow display screen encompass. There are a few clean millimeters to every aspect, and about an inch above and under the display screen.

It appears petty to make an excessive amount of of a problem of this proper now, although, when the development is just growing, not fairly the norm but. Let your eyes resolve whether or not you’re bothered or not.

Different components of the HTC U11 Life {hardware} are sound too. The cellphone has IP67 water resistance, which means it could take being submerged, and there’s a superb fingerprint scanner on the entrance.

Some variations of the HTC U11 Life have a superb 64GB storage too. Ours has “simply” 32GB, however purchase from HTC and also you get 64GB. Ours is the European mannequin, the place the US and UK get the 4GB RAM/64GB version.

The {hardware} characteristic that units the HTC U11 Life aside, although, is Edge Sense. This makes use of strain sensors on the perimeters of the cellphone to allow gestures when these sides are squeezed. As normal, a fast squeeze launches the digital camera and a protracted one fires-up the Google digital assistant.

Nonetheless, Edge Sense might be personalized too. It might probably zoom in Google Maps or Google Photographs, snooze alarms, or reply calls. These are sensibly disabled as normal as a result of HTC doesn’t need you to by chance hearth off these options and begin considering your cellphone is haunted.

You may even create your personal macros by going into an app and “recording” instructions. We doubt whether or not many HTC U11 Life consumers will put the hassle in, however HTC is clearly attempting laborious to squeeze probably the most out of Edge Sense.

HTC launched Edge Sense with the U11: it’s not an previous characteristic.

One omission might kill the enchantment of the HTC U11 Life for a few of you, although. It doesn’t have a headphone jack, only a USB-C port. An inexpensive pair of USB-C earphones is included, however there’s no 3.5mm adaptor.


  • 5.2-inch Full HD LCD display screen
  • Good picture high quality

The HTC U11 Life has a smaller, lower-resolution display screen than the U11. Nonetheless, it’s a punchy show that, in most circumstances, doesn’t look a lot worse than any cellphone on the market.

It’s a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 Tremendous LCD. There’s not an excessive amount of brightness loss at an angle, and coloration is well-saturated with out wanting overdone. The picture additionally seems very near the highest floor, an indication of a complicated super-thin display screen structure.

You need to take the HTC U11 Life right into a extra excessive setting to see its limits. We’re not speaking Bear Grylls fodder, simply that you simply’ll see very barely raised blacks in a darkened room, and the brightness is shiny however not fairly the 1000 nits of the brightest. That mentioned, we took the cellphone out on a reasonably shiny day and the display screen was nonetheless clearly seen.

HTC’s web site claims there’s a characteristic that allows you to customise the show coloration profile, however it’s not within the software program of our mannequin.

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Present web page:

Introduction, key options and design

Subsequent Web page Battery life and digital camera

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