If you are an HTC fan, then U11+ can be your new handset to try. It surely isn’t cheap and then there are other steeply priced phones too and they justify the price tag in manifold ways. The U11+ too justifies its price tag too with its fresh design, seamless and powerful software performance and impressive camera shots. It lags in here and there but then you can hardly come across phones which are devoid of any shortcomings. U11+ is a breadth of fresh air in the era of iPhones and Samsung.
HTC launched two new U-series smartphones last year, U11+ and U11. Priced at Rs 56,990, U11 Plus is available only on Flipkart. The Android smartphone market is teeming with high-end phones that did not make noise or grabbed attention. HTC has never been a company with high sales record though it has always been consistent in its superior make and style and good performance. The U11 Plus is HTC’s first handset to join the ranks of edge-to-edge display smartphones like iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Huawei Honor View 10. U11 Plus is quite an overhaul for the company considering its design and software. So, is it the new must-have for people with a bigger pocket? The U11 plus has an excellent design and high-end hardware specifications with ‘squeeze your phone’ feature. HTC has made Edge Sense available to this phone in an attempt to widen its market awareness and experience. Let’s go through its features and see what this phone can do for you.
Design & Display:
The U11 Plus has a powerful octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor coupled by Adreno 540 GPU and 6GB RAM. The combination is certainly high-end and is expected from such expensive smartphones. The processor is a beast and has meat enough to deliver superb performance. The U11 exudes a feel of class and excellence with its suave design, something HTC has always been good at. It has a contemporary feel with its translucent body that is slippery and shimmery. Fortunately, HTC has provided a guard case with this phone which I will recommend putting on as soon as you unbox it. The phone is not at all grippy and can fall from your hand any moment. Also, if you just keep it op table top that glass body can slide down with just a nudge of your hand. The phone has a dimension of 158 x 75 x 93 mm and weighs 190 grams. The slim and sleek body sits snugly in your hand and HTC has software enhancements to make it easily operable with one hand. The slight bezel on its edge is not as pronounced as its competitors but is glorious enough to marvel at. The right edge has the lock and volume rocker button and bottom edge has USB Type-C 3.1 port and microphone. The USB Type-C port is handy to charge the phone faster and for data transfer. HTC has joined the ranks of iPhone and omitted the headphone jack. This might put off some potential buyers or cheer up patrons of no-headphone jack. It has its usual HTC BoomSound HI-Fi edition stereo though. The phone includes an IP68 water and dust resistance rating. The phone has an internal storage of 128GB which is expandable up to 2TB with a microSD card slot if you are not using the second SIM slot. So yes, it has dual-sim options and runs with any GSM provider. The phone comes with HTC USonic earbuds which create a fascinating sound experience. The highly reflective back houses the camera with flash and the fingerprint sensor below it. HTC has always crafted beautiful phones and U11 Plus is a delight.
The HTC U11 Plus features a 6-inch QHD+ Super LCD 6 panel with 2880 x 1440 resolution at 537 pixels per inch with Gorilla Glass 5. The screen has an 18:9 aspect ratio, the new feature for high-end phones. The screen has rich color with amazing saturation. If you are looking for more vibrancy, then switch to the vivid display option which also comes with color temperature adjustments. The TFT capacitive touchscreen has no lagging and you can navigate with a brisk. The ultrawide 18:9 aspect ratio of the screen makes for a great movie watch and the audio quality seems pretty right even if you use without a headset. Sadly, in direct sunlight the phone does not have bright enough display for it to be completely legible. The display is dim and for such expensive phones this is somewhat irksome. The viewing angles are good with decreasing luminosity as you go off the center.
HTC U11 Plus is powered by 3,930 mAh battery. With an average use throughout the day the phone is left with a decent amount of charge by end of the day. It takes a little over 2 hours to charge fully up from zero and can run for more than 24 hours on average use.
When you play games, the appearance is sharp and intense as well as there is no lag time while playing and the phone runs smooth. Even when you play for long the phone does not have any heating issue. The phone performs well with good network connection and calls are clear and loud. It has a video playback time of 4 hours and music playback of 30 hours and web browsing over LTE for 4 hours.
U11+ has an impressive camera which nails the basic features. The rear is a 12-megapixel UltraPixel camera with autofocus, BSI sensor, OIS, f/1.7 aperture, and dual LED flash. At the front, there's an 8-megapixel camera with BSI sensor and f/2.0 aperture, but no image stability. The smartphone supports 4K video recording. The phone does not offer any bokeh mode which is present practically in any phones you see today, no matter how cheap or expensive the handset is. There are several popular features missing in this camera like dual camera, post-focusing, portrait mode or other depth effects, and motion photos or AR effects. HTC has been severely criticized in the past for most of these features and henceforth the company has stayed away from providing any effects. Apart from this the camera produces good pictures. Steady hand is not a necessity for this phone to take clear shots. The camera uses dual pixel PDAF which locks on to the target fast and the result is crisp and vivid. There is more control in manual mode and options like RAW and 32-second long exposures are interesting to explore. In auto mode the camera can create effective shots in most environments and lighting conditions and has good noise cancellation. There is AE/AF slider which can be used to compensate exposure. The camera shoots high-resolution videos and 3D spatial audio recording. The videos can be shot in 4K video at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 and 60 fps, and Full HD slow-motion video at 120 fps. The front camera produces mellower shots unlike the rear and lacks the vivacity which its contenders have. In good light conditions both the cameras perform at par with any high-end cameras with intense color capture and right saturation. It does a commendable job in color enhancing and night shots are not bad compared to other similar priced phones in market. The camera can pull off excellent results in varied conditions and tells us how remarkable single camera lens can be.
Software & Ui:
Software has always been HTC’s stronghold. U11 Plus runs on Android Oreo out of the box with Sense UI on top. With 6GB RAM the UI runs at lightning speed. All the Oreo features can be seen in this phone and the experience is more stock Android. Anyone who is familiar with Sense UI knows how his functions and is easy to get on with. There are a couple of standout features of this phone that needs mentioning. The Sense UI gives you one-handed experience which is made possible by intuitive gesture on home screen. If you are into fiddling around with your phone, then there are many explorations that you can indulge into and surprise yourself. Sense UI gives you a plethora of interesting features over and above stock Android. You can toggle around and open notification and homescreen with these gestures and do not need much hand work to move around this hefty phone. With one swipe you can open the app drawer. You can squeeze any sides of your phone to open the Edge Launcher that helps you access app, take pictures or videos, launch voice assistant. The Edge Launcher reminds of Samsung’s circular Edge panels. You can work around the launcher’s position as it suits you. You can also set the launcher as your Edge Sense shortcut to create customized in-app shortcuts. But getting used to this feature does not come easy and requires some mind training to operate smoothly. The Edge Sense has a wonderful intuitiveness of launching photos and Assistant. The software comes preloaded with Blinkfeed and other apps that thankfully you can wipe out if you please. The overall experience is very clean and snappy, and you will enjoy Sense UI if you are not very pleased with Android skin.