HTC took to the stage this morning to unveil the company’s latest flagship smartphone: the HTC U11. Although highly leaked, HTC announced that the smartphone has more to offer than previously believed. This includes a higher rated camera than the Google Pixel, Amazon Alexa built-in, and more…

UAG Cases

Off the bat, the HTC U11 shares a lot of design elements with the HTC U Ultra, released earlier this year. Most notably, the back of the U11 has what HTC calls the “Liquid Surface.” This extremely shiny (and fingerprint magnet) backing will come in three colors: Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, and Amazing Silver. Additionally, there are red and white variants but they will not be sold in the US.

Around front, the U11 has a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 LCD display and will be powered by the Snapdragon 835 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (with a microSD card slot for additional storage), and a 3,000mAh battery. As far as I/O, HTC has decided to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack but there is a USB Type-C port. To make up for the lack of a headphone jack, HTC will be throwing in a free pair of USonic active noise canceling headphones and a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle that has a built-in DAC.

As with HTC’s flagships of the past, the camera is where this smartphone stands out. Around back, the U11 has a 12MP f/1.7 camera with a DxOMark rating of 90, the highest ever given to a smartphone. The previous record holder was the Google Pixel with a rating of 89. The rear-facing camera also gets a new “HDR Boost” feature, better autofocus, and both optical and electronic image stabilization. Oh, and there is also a 16MP front-facing camera for your selfies.

As we already knew from leaks, The HTC U11 also has a new form of input called Edge Sense. What this is exactly is a pressure sensitive area around the frame of the device that can be used by simply squeezing the U11. With either a short or long squeeze, users can launch applications, snap a photo, activate Google Assistant, or do just about anything else on the phone.

The HTC U11 will ship with a skinned version of Android 7.1.1 called Sense. One new feature that is coming built-in is Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Although this is not the first Android smartphone with Alexa, the U11 will be the first with hands-free wake word functionality. What this means is that instead of first having to launch an app, you will be able to say something like “Alexa, what time is it?” just like with any of Amazon’s Echo devices. As of now, Alexa will only work on devices in the US, UK, and Germany.

In the US, HTC has teamed up with Sprint to be the official carrier of the U11. The downside of this partnership for customers is that Sprint will only be offering the black and silver models. Sprint pre-orders open up today and you can pick the U11 up by agreeing to pay $29 a month on a two-year contract. Additionally, if you pre-order the U11 from Sprint, HTC is throwing in two free Echo Dots.

If you’re interested in purchasing the HTC U11 and you aren’t on Sprint, the U11 is currently available for pre-order directly from HTC and on Amazon starting today for $649. It will then ship sometime in June and work on T-Mobile’s, AT&T’s, and Verizon’s networks.

Press Release:

TAIPEI – May 16, 2017 – You affectionately squeeze the hand of the one you love. A baby intuitively squeezes her mother’s finger. A child squeezes his teddy bear to feel safe at night. Nothing feels as close, connected and personal as the sensation of touch or the warmth of an embrace. And no device is as personal in our lives as our smartphone.

Inspired by the power of touch and the Brilliant U, HTC today unveiled HTC U11, the world’s first smartphone with revolutionary new squeeze interaction. Made for “U” with design, materials, and experiences that reflect your inner drive, passion, creativity, and individuality, HTC U11 offers the most advanced features ever in a smartphone, including:

• HTC Edge Sense, the next dimension in touch interaction with your phone.

• Liquid Surface, a stunning, unique design that reflects you.

• HTC USonic, our most advanced headset ever built for personal audio, now including Active Noise Cancellation.

• Amazing cameras with the highest independent rating ever awarded to a smartphone camera.

• HTC Sense Companion, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa for a smarter, more helpful smartphone.

U touch

• Few things are as natural and intuitive as the sense of touch. HTC Edge Sense transforms this fundamental sense into a completely new and revolutionary interaction with your phone. With a simple squeeze, HTC Edge Sense lets you easily engage with your phone in an unprecedented yet intuitive way, helping you more naturally enjoy the things you love like taking photos, opening Facebook, or launching any of your favorite apps.

• For example, with HTC Edge Sense, launching your camera has never been easier. No more fumbling for buttons or awkward hand positions. No more worrying about dropping your phone while you pose. Just lift, squeeze, smile, and snap. • You can also send texts faster and easier than before. Texting can be impossible when you are on the move, but using HTC Edge Sense for Voice to Text, you can speak your text messages without having to slow down. Lightly squeeze, speak your message and send your texts on the go.

• You can even customize the squeeze gesture: open email with just a squeeze. Or launch your favorite game (or any other app). Or pick any one of a host of options. Want even more touch control? HTC Edge Sense gives you the ability to activate advanced touch and use a “short squeeze” as well as a “squeeze and hold” for even more functionality at your fingertips.

• And because Edge Sense is based on actual pressure applied to the side of the device, it can be used in nearly any condition – including while wearing gloves or in weather such as snow or rain that would normally be a challenge with capacitive buttons.

Reflects U

• HTC U11’s liquid glass surface is crafted to impress using Optical Spectrum Hybrid Deposition. By layering highly-refractive precious minerals across the phone’s back cover, we’ve created vivid new colors that transforms light with every movement you make.

• The new seamless, curved look of HTC U11 is achieved with 3D glass on both front and back. Heating and then bending the glass using extreme pressure results in unique, 3-axis symmetry for a phone that is slim no matter which way you hold it.

• HTC U11 has a 5.5” Quad HD 3D glass screen designed for vivid, crisp images and text in any light – even direct sunlight. With our best display and true-to-life color reproduction, we provide you a purer full-framed viewing experience. Our display avoids the cropped pictures or distorted colors at the edge that are the results you can expect from a curved screen.

• Plus, HTC U11 is water-resistant3, so no need to worry about splashes, spills, or dunks.

Tuned to U

• HTC U11 introduces the latest version of HTC USonic, which now combines Active Noise Cancellation with the ability to tune audio to your unique hearing. By leveraging built-in microphones on the headset and USB-C data connectivity, USonic earbuds map your inner ear with an advanced sonar-like technology and then adapt the sound profile to your unique biology. This creates an incredibly personal and optimized listening experience with vibrant audio shaped specifically for you.

• USonic now incorporates Active Noise Cancellation, which reduces disruptions and distractions around you, so you can stay focused on your music. Active Noise Cancellation continuously monitors environmental sound levels, and quickly adjusts to any new noises or disturbances. You’re free to stay focused on your music, videos, or games.

• HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition speakers got an upgrade, too. We’ve improved the speaker design to deliver more loudness and better Dynamic Range Audio. On top, the tweeter now offers an acoustic chamber that allows the highs and mids to sound richer. While below, the woofer sports a new speaker and improved magnetic circuit design for louder, clearer and deeper bass tones. You really have to hear it to believe the power of BoomSound.

• We didn’t forget to upgrade the microphones, either, using four optimally positioned omnidirectional microphones together with our new Acoustic Focus technology, HTC brings you our best 3D audio recording quality yet. HTC U11’s microphones work together to record audio from all directions, and when shooting video with Acoustic Focus, you can visually zoom in to target your subject and amplify their specific sounds.

• Out of the box, we will also ship an HTC USB-C to 3.5mm adapter with a built-in DAC that offers great audio performance and wide compatibility with all other devices and earphones.

Pictures that move U

• HTC U11 has achieved the highest ever rating for a smartphone camera for both photo and video by independent metric DxOMark4. Our multi-axis optical stabilization system and super-fast autofocus in all lighting conditions make the camera quick, your pictures sharp, and videos smooth. We improved our camera and video for a more dynamic exposure range with HDR Boost without the lag, new white balance enhancement, a major reduction in noise, and excellent detail preservation.

• HTC U11 introduces Auto HDR Boost to give you all the benefits of HDR without the lag. HDR Boost offers clearer, more balanced pictures by taking multiple shots that measure the darkest shadows and brightest highlights without any slowdown. HTC U11 enhances textures and colors, increases visible detail and brings out the best in every shot. When shooting video, Temporal Noise Reduction automatically uses information from the previous and next frames to remove unwanted noise and deliver the clearest video.

• Great news for serious photographers: HTC U11 incorporates the new UltraSpeed AutoFocus with same full sensor auto-focus technology that’s found in top DSLR cameras, so you can enjoy significantly faster focus speeds, with snappy and delightful performance. In addition, HTC U11’s exceptional optical and electronic stabilization system will keep your photos and video steady and crisp even when your hand is shaking.

• The new front camera now combines high-resolution 16MP detail and our UltraPixel light sensitivity for brilliant selfies day or night. It also utilizes the same powerful HDR Boost and noise reduction as the main camera.

The smarter digital companion for U

• Three brains are better than one, so inside HTC U11 you can find three intelligent companions devoted to you: HTC Sense Companion, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.

• We’ve made HTC Sense Companion smarter than ever: it will get to know you and your daily patterns over time in order to offer you more convenience every day. For example, HTC Sense Companion is smart enough to notice if you have any late appointments that day and will remind you to recharge while you have time or bring a power bank. It will make sure your phone is running at its optimum speed by suggesting to clear junk files and unused apps for more free space. It will let you know if you need to dress for inclement weather conditions, track your fitness progress relative to your goals, recommend great nearby restaurants at mealtime, and much more.

• HTC U11 runs the latest version of Android, so it also includes Google Assistant, the helpful personal assistant powered by Google search and services for finding directions, getting answers, managing your tasks, planning your day, and entertainment.

• HTC U11 is also the first smartphone on the market to feature hands-free wake word access to Amazon Alexa. By simply asking questions such as “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” or saying things like, “Alexa, turn on my living room lights,” Alexa will respond to your needs anywhere you go, making it easy to control smart home products, ask for news, weather, music, and the 12,000-plus skills in the Alexa skills store. The Alexa voice service is currently available to customers in the United States, U.K., and Germany.

Powerful U

• HTC U11 is the first smartphone to be commercially released worldwide that is exclusively powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile Platform. So no matter what region of the world you live in, you get an octa-core processor with breakthrough speeds, jaw-dropping graphics, impressively smooth performance and outstanding battery life. Every HTC U11 also includes UFS 2.1 for an extremely fast processor paired with the fastest memory performance. Experience Gigabit Class LTE (up to 1Gbps) with the integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, which is designed to deliver fiber optic speeds on the go for lightning-fast music and video downloads and to get almost instant access to the web, social media sites or your content in the cloud. You get 25% faster graphics than the HTC 10, with 35% or 3 hours more video playback, 30% or 8 hours more music playback and 43% or 3.5 hours longer web browsing time via a LTE network.

• Sprint is the exclusive carrier launch partner for HTC U11. Enjoy this powerful smartphone without limitations or worry about data overages with Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom7 for the best price for Unlimited among national U.S. carriers. Unlimited Freedom customers enjoy Unlimited Data, Talk and Text for $50/month for the first line, two lines for $40 month/line, four lines for $30 month/line and the fifth line is free. This includes HD streaming for video, music and gaming, and 10GB/month per line of mobile hotspot data, providing convenience and extra value. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/unlimited.

• HTC U11 is an HPUE-enabled (High Performance User Equipment) smartphone. HPUE makes the Sprint network experience even better with increased coverage, more capacity and faster speeds on capable devices. HPUE-enabled smartphones are designed to give customers a better overall experience for watching streaming videos and enjoying mobile gaming and other online apps and services. HPUE can extend Sprint’s existing 2.5GHz coverage by up to 30 percent to nearly match its mid-band 1.9GHz spectrum performance, including indoors where the majority of wireless traffic is generated. Sprint has more spectrum than any other carrier across the United States, allowing Sprint to keep adding the capacity and speed needed to serve customers’ increasing demand for unlimited data.

• A blazing fast processor with amazing camera and incredible HTC USonic sound means you’ll want a lot of storage for apps, games, photos, music, and entertainment: HTC U11 offers 4GB RAM/64GB storage and 6GB RAM/128GB storage options, so fun on your phone is always available.

• HTC U11 also offers a fingerprint reader for enhanced privacy and security. Requiring just a few minutes to set up, the fingerprint reader will unlock your phone with the press of your finger – making it faster and easier to jot the note, capture the photo, or do anything you want with your phone on a moment’s notice.

The HTC U11 in Sapphire Blue and Brilliant Black will be available for presale beginning today at sprint.com, 1-800-SPRINT1 and in Sprint retail stores beginning on June 9 for $0 down and $29.00 US per month for 24 months (SRP: $696)8. And for a limited time, pre-order HTC U11 from Sprint and get two Amazon Echo Dots on us (SRP: $99.98).

Additionally, an unlocked version in Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, and Amazing Silver will be available for presale beginning today at htc.com and amazon.com, shipping in June. Please see sprint.com, htc.com, or amazon.com for detailed specifications and more information.

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