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HTC U11 Review UK


HTC U11 Review: Overview & Price

In this HTC U11 review UK we will be going over the ins and outs and showcasing some of the UK’s best HTC U11 contract deals for the UK.

The HTC U11 was released on the 16th May 2017 but was released to for sale on June 1st.

Check out some of the best HTC U11 deals…

The HTC U11 price is £649.99 in the UK, the phone gives users a solid spec, packed full of features.

Networks in the UK are offering some incredible HTC U11 deals, meaning you can pick the phone up for less than £30 per month.

The phone aims to compete with the likes of the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8, but in 2019, it’s a little behind the times.

The HTC U11 specs are impressive, that being said now in 2019 their are certainly better value for money options.

Let’s take a look at what makes this phone special…

HTC U11 Review: Design & Display

The HTC U11 design is rather impressed, however, it does take some getting used to. Right out of the box you will notice that it has the same ‘liquid surface’ design as the previous HTC U Play.

The phone also feels rather slippery; thanks to its polished Gorilla Glass, which offers a little more protection, should you drop it.

We were lucky enough to review the Solar Red colour phone, you do have the options of; Saphire Blue, Ice White, Amazing Silver and Brilliant Black should the Red not be to your taste.

You should note that the phone is an absolute fingerprint magnet, and using the phone for even a couple of seconds will get it covered in grubby fingerprints, a case would be a good investment for anyone with this device.

You will also notice that the HTC U11 has some serious bezels, which in 2019 not ideal, the phone has a 71% screen-to-body ratio.

You will be glad to know that the phone is IP67 water and dust resistant, we did, unfortunately, end up dropping the phone a couple of times, but found that the plastic design actually held up rather well and didn’t leave a mark on the phone.

HTC has also decided to drop the headphone jack with the release of the HTC U11, although they do include a solid pair of headphones in the box to compensate a little for this.

htc u11 deals
Image: Gilly

At the bottom of the phone is where you will find the HTC U11’s un-clickable fingerprint sensor, the fact that the button is not usable is slightly irritating but the speed of the fingerprint sensor more than makes up for this.

We found the sensor to be extremely responsive and allow for quick access to your phone without having to fumble around typing in a code that you barely remember.

HTC U11 UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Sapphire Blue
  • HTC Edge Sense: Squeeze for the Brilliant U - Take photos, open apps, activate voice control and more. All with a simple squeeze.
  • Design that reflects U: HTC U11 brings you a 5.5” Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front screen with curved edges that flow seamlessly to a strong metal frame and around to its rounded glass back.
  • Tuned to U –Active Noise Cancellation and HTC Sonic earphones inbox.
  • Captures U: A stunning 12MP camera with Auto HDR Boost and Do Mark 90, the highest Domagk rated smartphone cameras ever
  • Three brains are better than one, so inside every HTC U11 you will find three intelligent companions devoted to you: HTC Sense Companion, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa

Across to the right-hand side of the phone is where you will find all of the buttons; you have a volume rocker and power button that have a soft squidgy feel to them, almost like a marshmallow.

Then down at the base of the phone, you find the USB-C port that doubles as a speaker for the phone, it works surprisingly well and we found music to be loud and clear.

The HTC U11 has a 5.5-inch super LCD display that is 2560 x 1440 resolution with 534ppi.

We were extremely impressed by the phone’s display as a whole, viewing angles were good and colours were bright and clear.

That being said we did find that there was a strange pink tinge to the phone when the brightness was moved all the way down, not that the majority of users have the brightness all the way down but we thought we should make you aware.

We did notice that the display was rather reflective too; we found that when in direct light it was hard to view the display and we had to dim the lights a little. For the most part, the screen was great;

it allowed us to watch lots of Netflix and YouTube videos uninterrupted by any annoyances.

Colour temperate is good and we found that the RBG spectrum was just right making for some superb media experiences.

The display is not the brightest in the world, and we did expect a little more, especially when the phones competitor is the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the likes.

HTC U11 Review: Performance

So without a doubt the main headliner of the HTC U11 is called ‘Edge Sense’, this allows users to set a custom shortcut to launch any application of your choice, this can also be set for screenshots, the camera or assistant, or literally anything for that matter.

HTC has managed to do this by putting pressure sensors on the sides of the phone, mainly on the lower half, so simply give the phone a squeeze and that can enable you to load Instagram, record video and more.

This is very similar to what Google did with its Google Pixel 2, in the sense of their Google Lens feature.

See Related:

*HTC U11 Life Review*
*Huawei P20 Lite Review*
*Huawei P Smart 2019 Review*

When reviewing the phone we used the Edge Sense feature primarily for screenshots, we found it extremely useful and when the feature is configured and customised to your liking, it’s extremely cool to use and works really well.

The pressure sensors on the side of the device also have 10 different pressure levels, meaning if you’re a little heavy-handed you won’t just set the thing off un-knowingly and start spamming pictures all day, instead you can set it to a higher pressure meaning you really have to give it a good go to get it to launch.

Another cool feature of the HTC 11 is ‘BlinkFeed’, this feature works by simply swiping left on your main home screen and will recommend news articles or updates that it feels will be of interest to you, we found this super useful as breaking news articles would pop up on the side of our phone and grab our attention from time to time.

The HTC U11 runs of the Snapdragon 835 CPI, couple this with 4GB of RAM and you’re onto a winner, the U11 literally powered through everything we threw at it.

We tested a couple of our favourite games and even ran them in higher graphics and the HTC U11 breezed through with no issues whatsoever.

The HTC U11 specs are impressive, helping you glide through the UI without any lag or interference, gaming on the phone is a breeze and social media browsing and reading are all hassle-free for the phone.

htc u11 specs
Image: Gilly

We played Asphalt, Minecraft and even some Runescape that are undoubtedly some of the more graphically intense games, and the HTC U11 powered through, extremely impressive considering the phone is not by any means designed for serious gaming.

The HTC U11 also comes with 64/128GB of internal storage, giving you plenty of room when it comes to storing music and photos on your device.

The sound quality wasn’t the best we have seen in some 2018 flagships, however, it does the job and we were disappointed at all.

We actually found that the headphones included with the device are really good, and overall sound quality is crisp and clear, so no complaints in that department.

When it comes to software the HTC U11 runs Android 7.1 Nougat, this is a very easy UI to get used to with plenty of features to customise and play around with.

The phone blitzes through the UI effortlessly, however when multi-tasking we did encounter some lag and delay but other than that we were joyed with the performance of this phone.

HTC U11 Review: Camera

The HTC U11 has a very impressive 16MP f/2.0 aperture selfie-camera that is more than capable of producing some excellent selfies. Pictures are clear with plenty of detail and we found them to be ready for Instagram the moment we took a snap.

Thanks to the huge f/2.0 aperture this means that the phone has the power to draw in lots of ambient light, removing the need for a flash on the selfie-cam, even in low light the camera performs exceptionally well and we had no issues in this department.

Video recording is also great too, video footage is clear and crisp and allows users to capture some stunning footage.

However, we did notice that it was rather shaky as the HTC U11’s predecessor had a brilliant optical stabilisation.

The rear camera is a 12MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, shots are well exposed with great dynamic range, and we found images to be fantastic even when blown up on a laptop or computer.

The HTC 11 camera was great overall and we were extremely impressed by the overall performance, there are plenty of modes to play around with; Pro Mode, Hyperlapse, Panorama and more.

Regular photos with the HTC U11 in good lighting conditions were ideal, plenty of colour balance and images were overexposed either like we expected due to HTC’s custom UltraPixel tech.

htc u11 specs
Image: Gilly

However, we did notice when in certain modes the shutter lag would get extremely frustrating, it would sometimes take around 1.5 seconds to snap the photo after a had pressed the shoot button.

When in low light situation the rear-camera performs well too, images turn out well above average and it’s nice to see the HTC U11 really being competitive in the camera space especially when there are phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Huawei P20 out there which offer great camera specs.

As a whole we didn’t have much to complain about in this department, the HTC U11’s camera performed very well and we were joyed to see that it can keep up with the 2018 flagships.

The camera is more than enough for the average user and will even help turn the most novice photographer, into an Instagram worthy pro.

HTC U11 Review: Battery Life

The HTC U11 has a 3000mAh battery, which we thought was going to mean we were reaching for the charger twice a day, however, we were joyed to see that the phone got us through a full day of usage.

Although the battery is a little on the smaller side, we did find that the HTC U11 would last us for around a day and a half of standard usage, this includes music throughout the day, watching a couple of YouTube videos and browsing social media for long periods of the day too.

HTC U11 UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Sapphire Blue
  • HTC Edge Sense: Squeeze for the Brilliant U - Take photos, open apps, activate voice control and more. All with a simple squeeze.
  • Design that reflects U: HTC U11 brings you a 5.5” Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front screen with curved edges that flow seamlessly to a strong metal frame and around to its rounded glass back.
  • Tuned to U –Active Noise Cancellation and HTC Sonic earphones inbox.
  • Captures U: A stunning 12MP camera with Auto HDR Boost and Do Mark 90, the highest Domagk rated smartphone cameras ever
  • Three brains are better than one, so inside every HTC U11 you will find three intelligent companions devoted to you: HTC Sense Companion, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa

The average user will find the battery life of the HTC U11 to be fine, however if you’re a gamer or someone who really does put their phones battery life to good work then we recommend bringing a power-pack to work with you or a charger just incase as the phone will run out of juice significantly quicker using it heavily.

Quick-charge is available on the phone, meaning you can grab a quick top up on your lunch if needed, the HTC U11 doesn’t offer wireless charging which would have been superb and it’s a shame it is not present here.

HTC U11 Review: Summary

So should you purchase the HTC U11?

Well, the phone has some strong attributes and we can see why HTC die-hards love this phone. The HTC U11 has a clean design with a stunning display too;

The HTC U11 specs are strong, however now being in 2019 we can assure you that there is a lot better value for money options out there.

it comes with a solid 64GB of storage and the processing power to storm its way through anything you throw at it.

It does feel a little cheap when in your hand due to the design, and in comparison to the Samsung Galaxy S8, we found that to feel a lot more premium and have a slicker design.

HTC U11 UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Sapphire Blue 

The HTC U11 price has dropped dramatically since its release, meaning that the phone is now a lot fairer priced than it was when it was first released.

This means that if you really do want the HTC U11, you may be able to grab a cheap bargain.

The fact that there is no headphone jack either was annoying too, although the camera is strong and has some great capabilities and features to play around with.

Overall we really enjoyed using the HTC U11 life and can understand why it is a very well-liked phone by HTC lovers, that being said when it’s up against the Samsung Galaxy S8, we feel the S8 offers users more value for money and a different experience altogether.

That being said the price of the HTC U11 has significantly dropped, so is now in the same bracket as the Samsung S8 if not cheaper.

We hope you enjoyed our HTC U11 review but before making any decisions whether to purchase the HTC U11, definitely check out our Samsung Galaxy S8 review and you can be the judge.

If you like this, then check out our HTC U11 Life review too, as it offers much of the same features at a cheaper price.

Check out the best HTC U11 deals at the top of this post, they are updated daily with the best packages that the UK networks have to offer.

HTC U11 Review: Full Specification

Launch: 2017, June

Body:

  • Dimension: 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm (6.06 x 2.99 x 0.31 inches)
  • Weight: 169g (5.96 ounces)
  • Build: Front/back glass, aluminium frame
  • Sim: Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
    – IP67 dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins)

Display:

  • Type: Super LCD5 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
  • Size: 5.5-inches, 83.4cm² (-71.4% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels, 16:9 ratio (-534 PPI density)
  • Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Platform:

  • OS: Android 7.1 (Nougat), upgradable to Android 8.0 (Oreo); Sense UI
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 (10nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.45 GHz Kryo & 4.19GHz Kryo)
  • GPU: Adreno 540

Memory:

  • Card slot: microSD, up to 512GB (uses SIM 2 slot) – dual SIM model only
  • Internal: 128GB, 6GB RAM or 64GB, 4GB RAM

Camera:

  • Primary:
    – 12MP, f/1.7, dual pixel PDAF, 5-axis OIS
  • Features: Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR panorama
  • Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, HDR, 24-bit/192kHz stereo sound recording
  • Secondary:
    – 16MP, f/2.0
  • Video: 1080p@30fps

Sound:

  • Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm Jack: No
    – 24-bit/192kHz audio
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic

Comms:

  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 4.2, A2DP, LE (5.0 after SW update)
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • NFC: Yes
  • Radio: No
  • USB: 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector

Features:

  • Sensors: Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Battery:

  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery

Misc:

  • Colours: Amazing Silver, Saphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Ice White, Solar Red
  • Price: As seen in the above post

Tests:

  • Performance: Basemark OS ||: 3877 / Basemark OS || 2.0: 2970 / Basemark X: 38399
  • Camera: Photo / Video
  • Loudspeaker: Voice 68dB / Noise 73dB / Ring 79dB
  • Battery life: Endurance rating 73h

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