The U11 looks stunning thanks to HTC’s unique Liquid Surface Construction design, which sandwiches two curved Gorilla Glass panels around a color-matched aluminum frame. Unlike other rear glass smartphones, the U11’s glass rear curves symmetrically around the corners, rather than just at the top and bottom. In a first for HTC, the U11 is now IP67 dust and water resistant, though still not as good as IP68.
What sets the U11 apart is Edge Sense, a unique combination of hardware and software that uses eight super-thin, pressuresensitive strain gauges in the lower half of the frame (four on each side), to let you squeeze the U11 to register input. By default, a short squeeze on the frame will launch the camera app, while a long squeeze can launch a different app. Edge Sense can also be configured to work with any app, where short or long squeezes can replicate a single or double tap at any position on the screen. For example, you can set up Instagram so that every time you squeeze, Edge Sense will replicate a tap on the screen over the Instagram shutter button to take a picture.
The U11 has a 5.5-inch QHD 2,560 x 1,440 Super LCD 5 display (~540ppi). The display is bright and vibrant with plenty of contrast, but unfortunately it does not support Mobile HDR.
The U11 has HTC’s BoomSound Hi-Fi edition design, which uses the earpiece speaker and a single downward-firing speaker on the bottom of the phone for stereo sound. The internal speaker design has also been improved, with the entire body of the phone now acting as a resonant acoustic chamber, resulting in louder sound and deeper bass. There’s no 3.5mm headphone port here, but you do get a pair of HTC’s USB-C USonic earphones and a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter in the box.
On the back of the U11 is a 12MP, f/1.7 camera with 1.4 m pixel size, optical image stabilization and HTC’s UltraPixel 3 technology. It also has UltraSpeed AF and improved HDR. The front camera is a 16MP, f/2.0 shooter with UltraPixel technology. The U11 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor with 6GB RAM. The phone has a 3,000mAh battery.
Gorgeous Liquid build. Unique Edge Sense input. Display is not Mobile No headphone port.
The only port on the U11 is a USB-C port.
Four pressure-sensitive sensors are hidden on either side of the U11’s frame.