Friday, June 30, 2017

HTC U11 Review

HTC has struggled to keep pace with Samsung and Apple -- usually playing catch-up on significant tech specs -- but that changes with the U11.

Introducing new tactile functionality along with an elegant two-sided glass form factor and shimmering 5.5-inch, 2K resolution display, this smartphone vies to be the center of attention rather than a wallflower.

Exemplary battery life -- intense use after a full work day will not deplete your power bar -- a staggeringly impressive 16/12 megapixel camera set and impressive multitasking and processing speeds make the U11 tough to put down.

The most intriguing new feature is the squeeze input. Rather than hunt for buttons, you squeeze the phone to launch the camera app and snap pics. While the functionality initially seems incongruous, it quickly becomes second nature, even going to the point of making it feel archaic to go back to another device and snap pics the traditional way.

If you dig the squeeze input, you can take a deep dive and set other apps for squeeze activation. If it doesn't work for you, you can ignore it and rely on the preset inputs.

The Pixel-style Google assistant fills the Siri/Bixby roll well -- riding high on a Snapdragon 835 processor -- and the dust-resistant surface keeps you from having to wipe it clean.

Most importantly, the U11 just feels right. Engineered for responsiveness, ease of use and an appealing ergonomical feel, this gem of a device puts HTC into the unfamiliar -- for the past few years -- spot at the head of the pack in the ever-evolving smartphone arms race.

While there's nothing here to make iPhone or Galaxy die-hards give up their cult-like devotion, fence-sitters looking to upgrade should give this one a long, hard look -- and not be shocked if it's love at first sight.

HTC provided a device for review.

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