Today HTC is expanding its U11 series from one member into three, with the introduction of the U11 life and the U11+. The two new parts are designed to sit above and below the current standard U11 model, with the U11 life aiming at a more price competitive ‘lifestyle’ market, while the U11+ (U11-plus) sits at the top of the pile and is being touted for HTC super-fans who want a little bit more from their U11.

The HTC U11+: Bigger Display, More Battery

So where the U11 life has a few reduced features to bring down the price, the U11+ puts in more of the premium. Over the original U11 it moves up from a 5.5-inch 16:9 2560x1440 SLCD5 display to a 6.0-inch 18:9 2880x1440 SLCD6 display, as well as increasing the environmental resistance rating from IP67 to IP68. The battery also gets a sizeable boost from 3000 mAh to 3930 mAh, which HTC is quoting for an additional 4 hours of video playback and an additional four hours of LTE data use.


With the original HTC U11, we were told that it was color calibrated out of the factory, although we were not told to what degree. For the U11+, we are told that it supports HDR10 and DCI-P3, although we were not told how much of the color space the display covers (we did ask, waiting to hear back). HDR10 will be officially supported by the end of the year – the hardware is capable but the software is still catching up. We asked about the official brightness of the display, how that compares to the 1000 nit ideal for HDR10, although that data wasn’t immediately available. We compared the U11+ and U11 life side-by-side at maximum brightness, and it was clear the U11 life was brighter, which was an interesting result.

The U11+ retains the same storage configurations (6/128 and 4/64) with support for a microSD card, and retains the connectivity: 802.11ac, USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) Type-C, and support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The SoC is the same with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, and the cameras are still the 12MP UltraPixel 3 with OIS+EIS, f/1.7 and HDR Boost with support for 120fps video at 1080p. The front-facing camera has a change, down from a 16MP to a wide-angle 8MP version but with a f/2.0 aperture and an 85º field-of-view. Other features of the U11+ include the HTC USonic audio and 24-bit wireless audio support. The U11+ will ship with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa where supported, and Edge Sense as the headline feature.

Edge Sense gets a slightly different implementation, this time opening up the HTC Sense Companion from the main screen to give an overlay for quick access to all the common apps.

The U11+ will be shipping with Android 8 as standard, and will only be available in Ceramic Black to begin with. We were shown a prototype for a Translucent Black color that they have been considering, which shows off the NFC coil and some minor details around the camera (if you look hard enough).

We were quoted a price of £699 for the UK on the Ceramic Black model with 6 GB DRAM and 128GB of storage, which will also be available throughout the EU. A 4/64 model will also be available in Asia. No details were given about a US release, although at that UK price (which includes 20% tax), it will likely be around $770.

HTC U11 Family
  HTC U11 life HTC U11 HTC U11+
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
4 x A53 @ 2.2 GHz
4 x A53 @ 1.8 GHz
Adreno 508
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
4x Kryo 280 Perf @ 2.45 GHz
4x Kryo 280 Eff @ 1.90 GHz
Adreno 540 @ 653 MHz 
Display 5.2-inch SLCD
5.5-inch SLCD5
6.0-inch SLCD6
Dimensions 149.9 x 72.9 x 8.1 mm
142 grams
153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm
169 grams
158.5 x 74.9 x 8.5 mm
188 grams
Waterproof Yes (IP67) Yes (IP67) Yes (IP68)
RAM 3 GB 4 GB 4 GB 6 GB 4 GB 6 GB
NAND 32 GB 64 GB 64 GB
UFS 2.1
128 GB
UFS 2.1
64 GB
UFS 2.1
128 GB
UFS 2.1
MicroSD Yes Yes Yes
Rear Camera 16MP, f/2.0 12MP "UltraPixel 3"
OIS, f/1.7, 1.4µm pixels
Front Camera 16MP, f/2.0 16MP 8MP, f/2.0,
85º wide angle
Battery 2600 mAh
3000 mAh
3930 mAh
Modem Qualcomm X12 (Integrated)
Category 11 LTE
Qualcomm X16 (Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE
LTE Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 20, 28, 66 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 28 (U11+), 32
38, 39, 40, 41
SIM Size 1 x NanoSIM 1x or 2x NanoSIM
Wireless 802.11ac, BT4.2, NFC
802.11ac, BT 4.2, NFC,
Connectivity USB 2.0 Type-C USB 3.0 (5 Gbps), Type-C, Quick Charge 3.0
3.5mm TRRS No No No
Launch OS Android 7.0 w/ HTC Sense (US)
Android 8.0 w/ AndroidOne (RoW)
Android 7.1 with HTC Sense Android 8.0 with HTC Sense
Cost From £349 (~$385) 4 + 64GB: £649 From £699 (~$770)

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  • eek2121 - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - link

    There are no top end wireless headphones, but there is a market for top end wired headphones. I wonder why that is?

    Until Bluetooth supports high quality audio, there will always be a demand for the headphone jack.
  • goatfajitas - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - link

    Sure, some people will always want it. I am not even advocating it get dumped I am just saying it's going away. I would highly doubt the Galaxy S10, Note 10, LG G8 and V50 will still have it. iPhone, Pixel and HTC are already dumping it on flagships. Again, not my choice, I am just pointing out that its happening and you should get used to it.
  • lmcd - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - link

    If you don't think V40/V50 will have it you've missed every marketing slide about the V20 and V30.
  • evilspoons - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - link

    The U11+ supports AptX, which is a pretty decent CODEC.

    Also, the pack-in USB DAC is really good (included with my U11). It drives my Grado SR60s better than the native headphone jack in my wife's Nexus 5X or my iPad Mini 4. (The HTC DAC even works on the Nexus 5X, so it's really easy to do a direct comparison... the HTC adapter is better.)
  • Samuel Lord - Saturday, November 4, 2017 - link

    Exactly. Wired analog audio output enables vastly greater quality in headphones, headsets, and iems without needing an external DAC and amplifier. Also, a 3.5mm stereo jack/plug is a much stronger connection than any USB except old USB A and B. I like USB C but given that a phone MUST have a DAC+amp to drive it's speaker(s), an analog jack requires no major additional parts.
  • GreenMeters - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - link

    The next BlueBorne's going to be even more awesome.
  • Lolimaster - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - link

    2017 and use LCD?
  • Shadowfax_25 - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - link

    Ian, other sites have reported that the U11+ comes with Bluetooth 5.0, not 4.2.
  • Maxpower2727 - Friday, November 3, 2017 - link

    Are you guys planning to start reviewing phones again? I miss your reviews and have really been wondering what ever happened to them. Any info you can give would be greatly appreciated.
  • Samuel Lord - Saturday, November 4, 2017 - link

    Ian, where is my post about sound quality, posted yesterday?? To repeat, you said nothing about the mic and speaker quality. Those are the most important parts of any phone. HTC has often the best phone sound, and for hundreds of dollars that sound should be very damn good. Not saying it's easy to implement on such a thin device, but most smartphones really suck as *phones* that you actually speak and listen to. Best regards!

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