RAPID REVIEW

The HTC U11 is squeez-ily one of the best Android smartphones right now

By Lee Bell 7 August 2017
The HTC U11: an Android smartphone with some rather tactile features that you've never seen before
SUMMARY

The first squeeze-able smartphone it easy-peasy to use.

The short of it

In a bid to rival every major Android smartphone on the market, HTC has loaded its latest flagship – the U11 – with a slew of innovative features to “change the way we use our smartphones forever”.

That includes squeeze-able sides.

Why do I care?

This so-called “Edge Sense” allows you to launch apps – and perform actions within those apps – simply by squeezing the sides of your smartphone like you would an avocado.

It’s a tactile and intuitive new way to help you gain greater control of the technology in your palm.

Trust us, it’s hard not to enjoy a phone that’s putting the physical back into digital.

The HTC U11: an Android smartphone with some rather tactile features that you've never seen before

The Good

With a snazzy blue exterior, the U11 is a total head-turner.

Its mirror-finish rear panel is topped with a steely blue glass (that sometimes gives a subtle violet tone). Sexy.

Our favourite feature however, has to be the device’s rear camera – the 12 megapixel snapper delivers some of the most glorious shots we’ve taken on a phone all year.

And what better way to snap a pic (or selfie) than with an easy-peasy side-squeeze?

The U11's camera is one of our favourite smartphone snappers

 

The Bad

The flip-side of the HTC U11 is that its flashy casing is hugely susceptible to finger marks. Bad news if you’re a little OCD.

And the 5.5in screen slightly lets down the device that otherwise performs to a high calibre.

As ever, an Apple iOS devotee will point to the U11’s main downside being that it’s running an Android operating system.

But then again, Tim Cook doesn’t yet do squeezable sides…

 

Let's hope if you like the U11, you don't mind unsightly finger smudges

Who’s it for?

Those that appreciate the importance of touch. You know who you are.

It might even be enough to lure away those who are feeling a bit bored of their now ‘bog standard’ iPhones.

Price?

Costing £649, the HTC U11 does come with an iPhone-level price tag.

But it’s much less expensive than some of its rivals, such as the Google Pixel XL (£719), or the Samsung Galaxy S8 (£689).

 

Overall, the HTC U11 is a very decent smartphone indeed

Our take

The HTC U11 might seem gimmicky, but it’s won our heart.

It’s a head-turner with a great camera and snappy performance. And in a world that’s too often cold and hard, it’s great to see HTC trying to do something different.

Just remember to carry a pack of tissues to tackle pesky finger marks.