HTC is heading in a strange direction lately. Instead of releasing just one flagship in the spring season, they released two top-tier phones, with one having last year's specs and both having last year's design. They were also supposed to manufacture both the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, but Google was unimpressed by the HTC-made Pixel 2 XL and looked to LG for the bigger device. Now it seems, HTC isn't finished yet.
Back in September, the Android community was shaken when Google announced they were buying two thousand employees of HTC's smartphone division. Many worried that HTC would suffer the same fate as Motorola after their deal with Google. However, this deal was different since it wasn't an acquisition — for more information, see the "Don't Miss" link below.
To quiet shareholders and consumers, HTC announced that they still had a team working on their next flagship smartphone. Rumors and speculation have been rampant, but now, HTC announced an event on November 2, and we're all but certain they'll be unveiling a new bezel-less model called the HTC U11 Plus.
The famous leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) recently leaked the specs for the new device. Benchmarks from GeekBench 4.0 and GFXBench share similar specs, backing up Evan's claims. According to these sources, these are the specs for the U11+:
- Android OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- GPU: Adreno 540
- RAM: 4 GB or 6 GB
- Display: 6" 2880 x 1440 LCD (538 dpi)
- Storage: 64 GB or 128 GB
- Rear Camera: 12 MP f/1.7 with Dual LED
- Front Camera: 8 MP
- Battery: 3930 mAh with QuickCharge 3.0
- Water Resistance: Yes IP68
- Additional Features: Edge Sense, Boom Sound
- Colors: Black, Silver, Translucent
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: No
- Charging port: USB-C
Release Date: November 2017
Although we don't have any date for when it will be officially released, we do have some indication of when it will be announced. Recently, HTC teased on their Twitter page of an event on November 2, 2017, with a darkened image of a new smartphone.
Three days later, they teased the event again with another darkened image of a smartphone, this time showing a bezel-less design...
Bezel-Less (Nearly) QHD LCD Display
So far this year, HTC has been stuck in the past with 2016's bezels on all their devices. With HTC's recent teaser and the leaks from Evan Blass, all signs point to the U11 Plus changing that pattern. It looks like HTC will follow its competitors with a bezel-less display sporting QHD resolution (2880 x 1440), for an incredible pixel count of 536 PPI.
Disappointingly, HTC will use a Full Active LCD panel (think Essential Ph-1) to achieve this near bezel-less design, missing out on the superior colors and contrast that an OLED could offer. Maybe some day HTC will start using the newer display technology, but we're not holding our breath.
Rear Fingerprint Scanner
Unlike previous HTC devices, the fingerprint scanner appears to have moved to the rear to make room for the display. HTC's teaser showed a smartphone with the rear fingerprint scanner, indicating this change. This has been confirmed by TENAA's (China's FCC) images of the smartphone showing the same change.
According to Evan Blass, the device will have 3,930 mAh battery, which would be the largest battery found in the US flagship device this year besides the Huawei Mate 10 Pro (which doesn't have a US release date yet). With the power efficiency of the 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 combined with an LCD panel, this device could possibly have the best battery life of all recent flagship smartphones.
According to Evan Blass, the HTC U11 Plus will be available in three colors: Black, Silver, and Translucent. Translucent could provide an interesting look that we haven't seen on other smartphones, but note that the device won't be fully transparent. Translucent materials allow some light to pass through, but not all.
Price: Greater Than $649
HTC announced a partnership with TD Bank to create a new financing program through HTC.com for the United States. Any mobile product purchase totaling $599 or greater will be available for financing over a period of time. With the U11 currently at $649, to avoid conflicting products, HTC will probably price the U11 Plus around $749 unless they decide to drop the U11 pricing.
It looks like HTC will finally release a smartphone that better competes against flagship devices from other OEMs. With a nearly bezel-less design, a huge battery, and Android 8.0 Oreo out the box, HTC is definitely looking to stir up the smartphone industry with an interesting phone.
For HTC fans that might have disappointed with their current lineup, this device should better fit their taste. Adding to the fact that they will offer financing options, HTC is really pushing to get their device in as many hands as possible.
With the event coming soon, we will be updating this article as new information emerges. Be sure check our coverage of this and all rumored devices frequently to stay up to date. Oh, and leave us a comment below if you are excited about the HTC U11 Plus!
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