HTC announced its first smartphone running Google’s Android One operating system, the U11 Life, late last year. Today we’ve received word that the phone will be coming to Australia on March 14, exclusive to Vodafone.
Android One ensures the phone will always be up to date with the latest version of Android and the latest security patches, in line with Nexus/Pixel devices.
The software update commitment for Android One devices is huge — 3 years of updates, including two major Android versions. This is more than most manufacturers commit to for their own flagship models, and will ensure that the U11 Life sees not only Android Pavlova (c’mon people) but also whatever next years Android Q release brings. It’ll also be on the front line for those releases and always kept up to date with the latest security patches.
The U11 Life could be considered a little brother to last year’s excellent HTC U11.
It’s a smaller screen, clocking in at 5.2 inches with a Full HD (1080p) 16:9 display and features capacitive navigation buttons below the screen on the front. There’s a Snapdragon 630 processor running the show internally, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage built in.
The cameras are slightly different to the original U11 as well, with 16MP rear and front facing f/2.0 cameras.
You’ll also get HTC’s stunning Liquid Surface finish on the back of the phone, a gorgeous treatment that reflects light and mirrors many properties of water in doing so. HTC debuted the look last year and the industry has quickly aped it, with many phones at Mobile World Congress this year emulating the look.
While the phone comes in black and blue internationally, the Australian U11 Life will only be available in Brilliant Black – that’s okay though, because HTC’s black makes for a shiny, sexy finish. Like its big brother, the U11 Life makes for one great looking phone.
Like its big brother, there’s no 3.5mm audio output on the U11 Life. Never fear, though – HTC’s USB-C U Sonic earphones will be included in the box, along with a USB-C-to-3.5-mm adapter so you can still use your older headphones.
The local launch of Android One is a big deal, and we expect to see a fair amount of noise made about it by both HTC and Google. We’ll also see Android One devices from other manufacturers launch locally in the coming months.
Vodafone will offer the Australian version of the U11 Life on $30, $40, $50, $60, $80 and $100 Red Plans available over 12, 24 or 36 month terms. The phone can also be purchased outright for $599 from HTC Australia from March 21.