A few hours ago HTC launched the new HTC U11 Life. The U11 Life is essentially a mid-range phone that inherits most of it’s features and design from the previously launched high-end HTC U11. It offers a premium design and feel in a mid-range phone. There is a lot that can be said about the U11 Life – which I may leave here in a while – but one thing that’s new to HTC phones is the release of one of their phones under Android One project by Google. Android One is Google’s project that aims to bring pure unadulterated Android experience as Google intends it to be to devices manufactured by different companies that use Android. It the same Android experience we get from Google’s own phones, the Pixels. It comes with only the essential apps from Google without any bloatware whatsoever.
It’s not the first time we see a phone released under this program. Phones have been released under Android One for a few years now many of which are intended to be consumed by low income developing countries for the fact that phones released under this program are mid-range phones. Also many of these phones use chipset from Mediatek as their CPU, a slightly low performing CPU than the offering from Qualcomm like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 that powers the HTC U11 Life.
The HTC U11 Life also becomes the very first Android One device to ship with the latest Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. Many Android One devices released earlier will most likely get the update as well since one of the advantages of a phone under the Android One project is timely updates directly from Google.
HTC however mentions that the variant that goes on sale in the US will not ship under Android One but will have HTC’s own skin and will be available through T-Mobile and unlocked if ordered via HTC’s own website.
Aside from that, the U11 Life is wrapped in a glossy glass body stunning enough to look and feel premium.
It spots a 5.2 inch display with full HD resolution. It brings a long features from the original U11 like Edge sense the squeeze feature to launch a desired voice assistant or launch the camera from sleep mode. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 as earlier mentioned, 3GB of RAM and 32GB on board storage. It also carries two 16 megapixel cameras on back and front with HDR boost in it’s main camera sensor for sharper photos.
The U11 Life like most flagships today omits the 3.5mm headphone jack but HTC includes a pair of USB C USonic earbuds with noise cancellation.
The U11 Life is also IP67 certified water and dust resistant. It goes for $349 in the US. Price may vary depending on the region.
The original HTC U11 is reported not to have done well as HTC hoped and the new U11 Life judging by the price and variety offered may appeal to a wider audience. It, also being released under Android One project guarantees for timely and regular updates and smoother faster experience with barely noticeable performance issues even on a mid-range processor.