The HTC U11 is the company’s brand-new flagship smartphone and one that it’s calling the first “squeezable” phone.
Four pressure sensors on each side of the phone allow you to squeeze the phone, letting you take selfies, activate the voice assistant and more.
Using the same liquid glass design that debuted on the HTC U Ultra and U Play, the U11 builds on both phones by adding water-resistance, Hi-Res audio and a powerful new BoomSound speaker system.
The display is a 5.5-inch Quad-HD panel and while it doesn’t cover all of the front of the phone it is extremely bright and boasts Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 meaning it should survive the odd fall.
On the back you’ll find a 12MP UltraPixel 3 camera that HTC confirms is the first smartphone camera to achieve a DxOMark rating of 90.
While that’s something that Google liked to push with their Pixel, these scores don’t always translate well into real-world usage so for now just be assured that it’s probably very good.
On the audio front HTC has been quietly making some serious progress in improving the quality of music on people’s smartphones.
The HTC U11 is the pinnacle of all that work. Not only is the U11 Hi-Res audio certified but it also comes bundled with a pair of USonic USB-C headphones that feature noise-cancelling.
As there’s no conventional audio jack, HTC have also bundled an adaptor for your normal headphones too. This would be handy anyway, but HTC has gone one step further.
Its actually built a tiny DAC into the adaptor boosting the quality of the audio going to your conventional headphones.
In addition HTC claim the U11 has some of the most powerful speakers on a smartphone thanks to its new version of BoomSound. This time the company has literally turned the entire smartphone into a resonance chamber for boosting the volume.
Finally there’s the big squeeze itself. Four sensors on either side of the bottom half of the phone allow you to squeeze the U11 and activate a number of features.
It’ll take pictures with the camera, or a long squeeze will swap the camera over to front-facing.
Alternatively a long squeeze from the home button will launch Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Is it a revolution in how you interact with your phone? We’ll have to wait until we get some more time with the phone but for now it looks like it could be a useful, if not essential, feature.
Now you may have notices that earlier we mentioned Amazon’s Alexa. That’s because the U11 is one of the first smartphones to have Amazon’s personal assistant built directly into the phone alongside Google Assistant.
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That means you’ll be able to choose from the start whether you want to use Google’s version or Amazon’s.
It sounds like it could be confusing but it looks like you’ll be able to choose to use one without accidentally launching the other.
Other features include 4GB/6GB RAM or 64GB/128GB storage.
The HTC U11 will be available in the UK around June for £549 and £649 respectively.
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