HTC has officially unveiled its newest flagship smartphone, the U11 Plus. The device upgrades the standard U11 that was announced earlier this year in each way it can and brings over features like Edge Sense and 12MP rear camera to round things off.
For starters, the most noticeable change with the U11 Plus is the display: it now measures in at 6-inches rather 5.5-inches. However, HTC was able to cram it in a relatively similar body by shrinking the surrounding bezels and opting for an 18:9 aspect ratio. The resolution of the panel sits at 2880×1440, the same pixel count as on the LG G6 and V30. It even supports HDR content playback which the company says will be activated in a future software update.
Because the bezels have shrunken, HTC moved the fingerprint sensor from beneath the display to the back on the U11 Plus. This is a smart move as it doesn’t force HTC to try and integrate it into the screen itself or put it somewhere awkward like on the side or directly next to the camera (*cough Samsung). Besides, fingerprint sensors placed in the middle on the back of smartphones have received nothing but praise (the LG V30 and Pixel 2 XL are prime examples). In a nutshell, this was a great move on HTC’s part.
Other features of the device include a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. HTC says the U11 Plus will be sold in the UK with an option to upgrade to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Additionally, the same 12MP camera with f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilization, dual-LED flash, and 4K 30fps video capture is also included alongside an 8MP selfie shooter.
As for the battery, HTC is including a much larger 3,930mAh battery which dwarfs the U11’s 3,000mAh cell. Reviewers have stated the U11 has great endurance on its own, so the U11 Plus should only improve on what’s already been brought to the table.
For software, HTC includes Android 8.0 Oreo right out of the box with its Sense UI placed on top. Both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are on board, and so is Edge Sense which lets users squeeze their phone to perform actions such as zoom in on Google Maps or bring up a voice assistant. A new Edge Sense feature in the U11 Plus’ software is a wheel that you can bring up to access apps and other functions. It’s presented on the side of your device for easy access with your thumb. It reminds me a lot of those pie control panels we saw a lot of back in the days of Android Jelly Bean and KitKat. Whether users will find it useful or not remains to be seen, but I’d imagine some might like the nostalgia factor.
To round things off, the U11 Plus doesn’t have a headphone jack but ships with USB-C-connected earbuds and a 3.5mm to USB-C dongle for your existing headsets. Qualcomm’s AptX HD and Sony’s LDAC audio components are also packed in the phone, and so is Bluetooth 5 and 30% louder speakers. Finally, the entire U11 Plus body is IP68 rated over the U11’s IP67 rating.
HTC will sell the U11 Plus starting November 20 in the UK unlocked for £699. European regions will also get the device for €799. As for the United States or any part of Amerca, prepare to be disappointed: HTC says they have no plans on bringing the device to the west. Of course, if some miracle happens and the device does launch in other parts of the world, we’ll let you know.