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After the launch of the flagship HTC U11 earlier this 12 months, it is time for a less expensive entry in HTC’s lineup. HTC’s strategy this 12 months is to take the U11, minimize the worth and premium-ness by about 50 %, and create the “HTC U11 Life.” It is an affordable imitation of the U11, for simply $349.

From a distance, you possibly can barely inform the distinction between the flagship U11 and the U11 Life. You get an identical design with the identical ultra-shiny physique coloring because the U11, the identical large bezels—that are rather more acceptable at this value level—and some “flagship” options like IP67 mud and water resistance, always-on voice instructions, and HTC’s squeezable sides. So, why is the worth a lot decrease? After all the reply is that the specs are decrease, and also you’re getting a less expensive physique.

Choose up the U11 and you will instantly discover the cheaper physique. The glass again is gone, changed with a plastic coated to look similar to the flagship U11. With out the glass again, the cellphone is extremely gentle at solely 142g, however plastic and light-weight combo makes the cellphone really feel low-cost, virtually prefer it’s a type of pretend show telephones you’d see at a retailer. There’s no less than no squeaks or creaks right here, which is nice, however the cellphone feels hole.

For computing horsepower you get a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 630 and 3GB of RAM. The 5.2-inch, 1080p LCD is a smaller than the 5.5-inch show fitted to the U11, leading to a barely smaller cellphone. You get 32GB of storage, 16MP rear and entrance cameras, a 2600mAh battery, a MicroSD slot, and a USB 2.zero Kind C port.

Additionally like plenty of flagships, there isn’t any headphone jack. The U11 Life would not even include a headphone jack adapter within the field! It does include a pair of pack-in USB-C headphones with lively noise cancelling powered by the USB-C connection. You’d higher love these headphones, or it is again to the shop to purchase an adapter.

Just like the HTC U11 and Pixel 2, the U11 Life is provided with HTC’s “Edge Sense” characteristic. This can be a set of strain sensors on the left and proper sides of the cellphone, and a squeeze can launch an motion. On the U11 collection, this characteristic is configurable. You may have it launch the Google Assistant, similar to the Pixel 2, or change it to launching Amazon Alexa (which additionally comes with this cellphone), the digicam app, the flashlight, or every other app on the cellphone. That is considered one of my favourite options of the Pixel 2, so it is good to see it on a less expensive cellphone. The draw back right here is that it appears loads more durable to activate on the U11 Life than on the Pixel 2. Even when I decrease the setting to the bottom threshold, it is exhausting to activate reliably.

Within the US, the HTC U11 Life runs Android 7.1 with HTC’s Sense pores and skin. The worldwide model appears far superior: It is an Android One cellphone, which suggests it ships with inventory Android and no bloatware, and it is transport with a more recent model of Android—eight.zero Oreo! HTC informed me that on the US model, an Oreo construct is predicted to be out by the tip of the month, however I would count on the skinned, US model to usually lag behind the Android One model. HTC stated its replace plan for this system class is “typically two full OS updates or 24 months, whichever is first,” and the corporate wasn’t but certain whether or not the system would get month-to-month or quarterly safety updates.

Beginning in the present day, you should purchase the cellphone unlocked on HTC.com, which solely has AT&T and T-Cellular assist (CDMA, which is required for Verizon and Dash, is just not included). You can even purchase the cellphone on contract although T-Cellular, beginning 11/three.

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