HTC unveils new 2017 flagship: U11 - it has squeeze to in input feature

The HTC U11 is HTC flagship for 2017, taking the U name of it's liquid surface playmates launched earlier in 2017 and clicking up incrementally over the 2016 HTC 10. With its latest flagship device, HTC is taking device input a step further by allowing the phone to be operated with a squeeze. When the phone's pressure-sensitive sides register your tightened grip, it'll open the app you've programmed in. Called Edge Sense, this feature marks the first time any phonemaker has used touch like this.

This is a proper eight-core Snapdragon 835 flagship—Qualcomm's latest chip, a 5.5-inch, 2560x1440 LCD; a 2.45GHz, 4GB of RAM; 64GB of storage (plus a MicroSD card) and a 3000mAh battery. The U11 has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. There's also the usual array of NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi support as well as a fingerprint sensor, light sensor, proximity sensor, magnetic sensor, and gyroscope.

The main camera is a 12 MP UltraPixel 3-branded unit with 1.4 micron pixel size, f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilization, a dual-LED flash, and 4K video recording. Slow motion video can be captured in 1080p at 120fps. The selfie snapper is higher-res, interestingly, coming in at 16 MP. It records 1080p Full HD video, and has a Selfie Panorama mode.

Like the U Ultra, there's no headphone jack, but HTC will ship a USB-C-to-3.5mm plug in the box. HTC's in-box headphones also get active noise canceling. At its launch, the device will run Android 7.1, the latest version of the Google-owned operating system. The version of Nougat has support for Google's Daydream VR and circular Android icons.

The U11 comes with not one, but three different intelligent assistants. In addition to the Google Assistant that comes with Android, it also has HTC’s Sense Companion and support for Amazon’s Alexa assistant. The U11 is the first smartphone to have full hands-free support for Alexa, so you can say a voice command without having to first open an app or even unlock the phone.

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