As rumoured last week, HTC is opening 2018 with the U11 EYEs, a selfie specialist that may hint at whats to come with the company’s next flagship – assumed to be the U12.
The phone brings a few firsts to HTC’s product line, with the now-common 18:9 6-inch screen aspect ratio and the fingerprint sensor moved to the rear of the device – we’re hoping that this holds for the U12, although those bezels could still do with a bit of a trim.
It’s not quite a flagship powerhouse, opting for a Snapdragon 652 processor instead of an 8xx series, but it’s packing 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage. The 6″ 18:9 screen is a 1080p resolution (1080×2160 in keeping with the aspect ratio), which is a little disappointing on one hand but also should ensure that the phone sips power from its huge 3930 mAh battery. It’s also likely an important factor in keeping the price down.
The U11 EYEs’ party piece is dual front camera system, with HDR Enhancement (excellent for bringing out vibrant colours and low light photography), Bokeh Mode (sure to be popular for selfie portraits) and Skinny Mode (nuff said). On the rear is the same fantastic single-lens camera that adorned the company’s original U11 in 2017.
The new dual front-facing camera setup also brings an opportunity for some Snapchat-style fun with live stickers, and adds (brings back?) facial recognition for unlocking the phone.
The phone also keeps its forebear’s squeezeable edges (officially Edge Sense, but “squeezeable” is a word we so seldom get to use on Ausdroid) and the stunning Liquid Glass Surface that still dazzles onlookers to this day, its IP67 rating, and … its reliance on USB-C for audio with HTC’s USonic system.
It’s also running Android Nougat out of the box, so we’re hoping to see a swift update bring that up to Oreo.
HTC’s Taiwanese site is showing U11 EYEs in Sunny Red, Huyun Blue Silver (finally embracing the fact that the U11’s official “silver” colour was really a bit bluer than you might have thought?), and Goggles Black. If the phone makes it to the Australian market we might expect some changes to those colours.
According to HTC’s Taiwanese store, the phone will go on sale later this month for NT$14,900 (about AUD $640), just in time for Chinese New Year gifts in HTC’s home market. There’s no other availability information on offer, but we’ll be checking with our local HTC representatives tomorrow about Australian availability. Don’t hold your breath, though – last year saw the U Play and U Ultra released early in the year which had the net effect of limiting the U11’s availability on Australian carriers, and we’re pretty sure that’s not a performance HTC wants to repeat.
Are you interested in the U11 EYEs, or will you be waiting for the main show – the U12 – later this year? Tell us in the comments!