We wouldn’t say HTC surprised us with the announcement of the new U11+, in terms of design and feature-set, but in terms of it’s appearance, we think it’s fair to say it wasn’t exactly expected!
In terms of the differences between the regular HTC U11, which we’re actually very fond of, the U11+ takes what it had, adds an unnecessary but totally welcomed bit of flare, and naturally, the screen has become a bit less bezelly.
Before we get to the display however, let’s focus on the back. You’re probably thinking that right image of the U11+ is a printed design on top of the back, but no, this thing is slightly see-through! What you’re actually seeing are the wireless charging coils, and this see-through design continues through the entirety of the back. It’s not completely see-through, just ever so slightly to continue that sleek look, compared to what we’d see as tacky if it was 100% so.
This see-through variant of the HTC U11+ is limited edition, the regular black and blue versions will likely see more availability, but it’s great to see HTC haven’t lost that sense of wow-factor they’ve had historically with their hardware. Unfortunately, however, we’re not getting it, only Asian markets, but we will still get the regular black and blue options, running you up at £699. That’s still better than the US market, which as of yet ain’t getting any of them. To see what you actually get for that price, probably best to start by turning the device around.
Yes, those are on-screen buttons on an HTC, wonders never cease. Whilst the reason why may not strike you at first, perhaps due to it’s lack of curves like most flagships, that’s a 6 inch (up from 5.5 on the regular U11) 18:9 display. Normally that spec would deliver a mostly bezel-less design, but this is HTC and the bezels, whilst much smaller, are still there! We’d usually forgive such design on devices like the Pixel 2 XL, due to its front-facing Speakers, though on the U11+ there’s only one front-facing Speaker which the second bass-focused Speaker on the bottom next to the USB-C port.
You won’t see the word OLED anywhere on the spec sheet, this is a 6 inch IPS LCD display, though supports the usual 18:9 aspect resolution of 2880 x 1440, there’s no doubt that this is still a very commendable display. Due to this larger display, as you may have already noticed, the Fingerprint scanner is no longer on that awkward looking HTC home button, but now on the back, and, Samsung, it’s in a decent placement.
Camera wise, the front facing speaker actually drops down to an 8MP affair, though HTC promise this won’t affect your Selfie, as it has a much wider view and various software tricks to make your Selfies look their best! The rear Camera remains unchanged, the same 12MP UltraPixel Camera with HDR Boost.
The U11+ comes running the latest Android 8.0 Oreo, out of the box, which with it brings a new look for the HTC launcher, which is now a lot more squircle-like. HTC still have their Theme Store, and Oreo can change icon shaping in Settings, but definitely an interesting change made by HTC there. We’re just happy to see a update for once.
You can still squeeze the device to get the HTC Sense Companion, of shortcuts in Apps which works a good two times a day, though options galore for changing that.
Other than that the device literally is the U11, only slightly taller and bigger, with a display more adhering to 2017 standards. That’s certainly not a bad thing, and the only £50 more starting price than the U11 saw at launch, is very commendable. But, as we mentioned, the same usuals remain, Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage with microSD Card Expansion, no headphone jack though included adapter and USB-C headphones, this remains a very good Smartphone.
What do you think of the HTC U11+, whilst not a dramatic departure from the traditional U11, and we’d like to see that Orange reflective variant come to the U11+, it adds near everything people complained it missed, and boosts that with Oreo out the box and a fresher look to the HTC launcher.