HTC has offered many mid range phones in the Android One category. Google’s aim to spread the popularity of pure Android was taken seriously by many brands. This trend is expected to continue next year too. More Android One phones will be good news for the consumers and the market. The HTC U11 Life is a little pricey, but it has a great technical card of excellent level and it has pure Android. HTC is an important and historic brand and good technical card and pure Android looks like a good combination. So, did the combination work out well? Let’s find out in our HTC U11 Life review!
The phones comes with a USB Type-C cable, a battery charger, and good quality U-Sonic headphones that are wired with Type C-input. They are ideal to work with the background system noise reduction that is integrated into the phone.
The phone has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, a medium range that is made at 14 nm. It is a SoC which derives a lot from the popular Snapdragon 625. It has inherited attention to consumption and performance characteristics from the Snapdragon 625. The RAM is 3 or 4 GB, depending on the version you get. The internal memory is 64 GB. It is expandable up to 2 TB with microSD.
The sensors of HTC U11 Life are pretty good. The phone has gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity, light sensor, and magnetometer. It also has a notification LED. The phone also has a fingerprint reader that is quick. It is at the front of the phone and has two backlit soft touch keys. The phone also has the Sense Edge technology. It makes pressure sensitive edges of the phone and let’s you activate some features merely by squeezing the phone in your palms.
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The connectivity includes Bluetooth 5.0, the LTE data exchange of Cat. 11, NFC, GPS, and WiFi ac. The phone lacks the FM radio. The phone functions are great. HTC U11 Life has great signal reception. There are no issues with the Bluetooth or the WiFI. The GPS navigation is also great. The audio from the ear capsule is good but not from the speaker.
A lot of devices in the market in the same price range as HTC U11 Life are faster than the phone, particularly devices with the same hardware. The phone is a little snappy and not steady. It is not so reactive when you try to open applications. The flaws are not too pronounced but there is a potential for much better performance. The phone slows down sometimes. However, most of the times you can browse the web and play games without any difficulty.
The phone could have benefited from better material. Even though most of the devices are opting for glass or aluminum, HTC has come up with a phone made of plastic. The phone is pleasing aesthetically. It looks elegant, simple and clean. The design is similar to that of HTC U11, bu the dimensions have been reduced to improve ergonomics. The phone weighs just 142 grams which is great. The phone also has the IP67 certification against dust and water. However, the touch and the feel of the phone is not so good. The back cover feels slightly bent in the central part, which gives you a feeling that it is an empty space with creaks. All in all, the ergonomics of the HTC U11 Life is excellent and the design is good, but the touch and feel is not that of a premium smartphone.
The display is 5.2 inch SLCD IPS and has FullHD resolution. The display is pretty good. There are shallow blacks and the backlight is not all that powerful. However, this is still a beautiful display overall. It is easily readable no matter what the light conditions. Another plus is the olefobic treatment of the Gorilla Glass 3 with 2.5d processing.
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The audio compartment is just OK. The loudspeaker leaves much to be desired. However, the integrated U-Sonic system sorts of makeup for it gives you a unique and personalized sound experience. The U-Sonic was also there on HTC 10 and HTC U11 so it is great that it is there on this phone too. However, the 3.5mm audio jack is not there which does not make sense as the phone neither has a large battery nor has it been optimized frontally.
The phone has a 16 MP back camera with non-stabilized F / 2.0 optics. It has a 16 MP front camera with F / 2.0 aperture and no AF. The photographic sector is classic. The performance is good during the day. The photographs are calibrated perfectly on the white balance and are detailed. The automatic HDR function works well and gives excellent results. The dynamic range is also good. The macro is beautiful and so are the portraits and the views. However, the results are not the same when the light reduces. The pictures are not bad at night, but mid-range level. Sometimes details are lost at night and uncover a flashy shake. The white balance is always good though. The selfies are good both at night and day. The videos do not go beyond the FullHD at 30 fps. The digital stabilization works well.
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The battery of the phone is 2600 mAh. The capacity is a little disappointing. The phone is not optimized in terms of size. However, the autonomy is surprisingly good. You can use the phone continuously for 5 hours. With moderate use, the phone will last you for more than a day. The standby consumption of the phone is almost nil. This means the Android 8.0 Oreo is working well. The hardware seems to be adjusted for a conservative configuration instead of performance.
The phone comes with Android 8.0 Oreo. Th Project Treble is activated which means the updates will be timely and simple. This is an Android One phone, so it has a pure version of Android. The development is followed directly by none other than Google. HTC has added some things such as U-Sonic and Sense Edge, which have definitely added value to HTC U11 Life. Sense Edge has been implemented on the phone in a intelligent way. You can customize actions for prolonged and quick close, and also assign customized functions app by app. A simple configuration will let you choose what will a ‘squeeze’ do. For instance, you can use it to send an email or send a voice message. Android 8.0 works great on most phones. It has interesting features such as dynamic icons, postponements, and autofill text fields.
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HTC U11 Life is available for 395 eurors. You can get a discount of 40 Euros if you buy the phone from the official website. The phone is likable overall. It is technically complete and concrete. It has a nice software because of the additions of HTC on Android 8.0 Oreo, which is already great. Updates for the next two years are guaranteed with the Android One project. The price of the phone may fall in the coming weeks.
The constructive quality of the phone could have surely been better. The touch and feel are not so good. However, this is not much of a problem. Perhaps the phone should have been launched earlier. This is because most of the top features of this year have already been discovered. The top phones have already been devalued. The phone has nothing extraordinary to offer which will attract the consumers at this stage.
Will you consider buying HTC U11 Life? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!
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