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HTC U11 Unboxing And First Impressions

HTC once held the top spot of Android phone manufacturers and it is clear that they want to take it back with their 2017 line of pretty impressive smartphones!
HTC U11 Unboxing And First Impressions
Meet HTC U11

In recent years, HTC has struggled with maintaining their once dominating market share with a steady decline. They have since tried to reverse it, but it is only the latest 2017 line do we promise.

Related: HTC U11 Got The Highest DxOMark Camera Score Yet!

The latest flagship, the HTC U11 not only has the bleeding edge in specs but it also has water resistant IP rating, and a completely new and unique design with its colorful reflective backplate!

It also offers a new way to interaction by adding pressure sensors along the sides of the phone that can be customized to how long or how hard you apply pressure on the sides.

The phone itself is beautiful. The screen is bright and saturated with minimal side bezels that curve all the way to the corners. It's pretty but it is prone to cracking should the phone fall on one of its corners.

HTC U11 Play Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch QHD SuperLCD5 2560 x 1440 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass and Gorilla Glass 5 protection at 534 ppi
CPU: 2.4 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 835 octa core processor
GPU: Adreno 540
RAM: 6 GB
ROM: 128 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 256 GB
Back Camera: 12 MP f/1.7 w/ Dual Pixel, OIS, and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16 MP f/1.7
Battery: 3,000 mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0
OS: d 7.1 Nougat w/ HTC Sense UI
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Edge, gyroscope, accelerometer, light, proximity
Others: Fingerprint sensor, Hi-Res DAC, 3D audio recording, USB Type C, Amazon Alexa, Colors: black, silver
Dimensions: 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 169 g
Price: PHP 36,990

Disclaimer: This is a loaned unit from HTC Philippines but rest assured that our review will be honest and unbiased.

Unboxing / Accessories

Accessories included
Accessories included

The phone did not come in a box with accessories. It came to us packaged with the phone, the USB to USB Type C cord, USB Type C earphones and the power plug. The wires of the cord and the earphones are matte textured but are standard.

Build Quality / Design

Shades of black!
Shades of black!

The phone is solid from all sides. Sure there are pressure sensors the side but this one of the phones this year that feel good on the hands. The back plate has a nice curve to it that makes this so easy to hold. We'd say it would be under the Moto Z2 Play and the LG G6.

Solid and feels good in the hands!

The curve to it also makes it slimmer looking than it really is. We don't mind that it is thicker than most phones today because we would rather have a thicker phone with a bigger battery that is big to make it pass safety standards.
Speaker, mic, USB Type C port
Speaker, mic, USB Type C port
Speaker, mic, USB Type C port
Volume rocker and power button
Antenna bands
Antenna bands
Fingerprint scanner in front
Fingerprint scanner in front

The black plate has wide number of colors our favorite is the blue and the green one. It has this shine that changes the shade of the color depending on the direction of the light. It is pretty and eye catching. It is also surprisingly scratch resistant. We've never had a scratch in the 3 weeks we've had it.

Our only gripe with the back plate is that it is fingerprint magnet! Much more so than other phones! This pay press the buttons on some people. We recommend bringing a microfibre cloth.

The buttons solid but have a soft feedback that was enough but may be too soft for some. There are 4 microphones on this phone to help with noise cancellation and the speakers are really loud. One of the loudest phones this year that has high clarity.

HTC has brought their game back!

In front are the display and above it are the earpiece, microphone, secondary camera and the sensors while the fingerprint sensor and capacitive keys at the bottom. 

There are 7 antenna bands and all are spread across the metal frame inbetween the curved glass and the curved back plate. 

At the back are the dual tone LED flash, main camera, HTC branding, regulatory logos and a microphone.

On top are the sim card tray, a microphone and an antenna band while at the bottom are the boom speakers, USB Type C port, a microphone and antenna bands.
Initial Findings

Initial Findings

It's a stunning flagship phone
It's a stunning flagship phone

1. Build and design are excellent. Screen is crazy sharp too. Best speakers this year. Hands down. Loud with amazing clarity with little distortion and a decent sound stage. We miss the headphone jack but HTC argues that the USB-Connected earphones are better because it connects to the DAC better.
2. It has one of the speediest specs right now. Snapdragon 835, 6 GB RAM, and 128 GB storage. 3,000 mAh battery is a little lacking in space but it does have the fast Quick Charge 3.0!
3. HTC Sense in its early versions were the best skin for Android at their time but now it stays fairly unique with its icon theme and unique app drawer. Otherwise this does look and feel like Nougat. We did experience some forced closure with some apps. We hope this can be fixed.
4. The main camera looks great when in daylight and good in low light. In fact we tested this with the P10 Plus and the OnePlus 5 and it beats the regular P10 in 4 out of 5 pictures we've taken. However, the OnePlus 5 beats this phone in all photos we've shot with both. The selfie camera is also quite competent and it has a wide panorama selfie mode that can get really wide to fit a lot into the frame.
5. It is IP67 rating meaning that it can be submerged in water for a short period which is standard now for most flagship phones!

Related: HTC U11: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

This phone is very promising for the price of 36,990. The camera is sharp and saturated with a wide field of view that make it very useful. Sure it isn't dual camera set up but it can take better photos than the P10 in our initial testing so we find this phone a true competitor to the flagships of 2017!

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