The HTC U11 + is the (slightly) improved version of the previously released HTC U11, but with an aspect that we have seen more often in recent months on smartphones: an extended screen with a screen ratio of 2: 1. The device has a recommended retail price of 799 euros.

When you are the HTC U11 and the HTC U11 + would be next to each other, it is noticeable that something has changed. That is of course the screen. Where the U11 has a regular screen (still large, but with old-fashioned proportions), we see that the U11 + has an elongated screen with modern proportions. At first glance, that is the only change you can spot. But have more changes been made and how does the smartphone like it in the end? In this review we take a look at the smartphone.

HTC U11 + specifications

HTC U11 +
Screen 6-inch, 2,880 by 1,440 pixels
Digitizer No
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
RAM 6 GB
Storage memory 128 GB
SD Yes
HDMI No
USB Yes, usb-c
GPS Yes
3G / 4G Yes
Bluetooth Yes, 5.0
NFC Yes
Cameras twelve megapixel behind, eight megapixel for
Battery 3930 mAh Lithium Polymer

Specs

Just like the HTC U11 ( review ) the HTC U11 + has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. That is still one of the best processors of the moment, so it is good that HTC has chosen this. A difference between this and the previous version is the amount of memory: 6 GB, instead of 4 GB. In addition, standard 128 GB of storage is now included, as opposed to 64 GB on the HTC U11. The battery is now slightly larger; That is because the device is larger because of the height of the LCD screen.

Review: HTC U11 + - powerful smartphone without its own face

HTC U11 + – hardware and design

When you put the HTC U11 + next to other popular smartphones at the moment, it will not even stand out that much. The large screen provides a large smartphone, but fortunately there are relatively thin edges on all sides. The back has a slight bulging, which makes it easier to hold. However, the back is so slippery that the phone will still slide out of your hands regularly (the first time I picked up the device it immediately flew to the ground – like a magnet).

Speaking of magnets: fingerprints. It is an aspect that not everyone is paying attention to, but the back is a magnet for fingerprints. That creates stains that you see in every light and that just does not look beautiful. In addition, the device is quite large. That is not necessarily a disadvantage, but it is much larger than the 5.5 “model and, for example, the OnePlus 5T . In terms of length it does not win Samsung Galaxy Note 8 but it does not matter much. For some people it is therefore best to be a log device.

There are no buttons on the left side of the smartphone. On the right is a long volume and an on / off button, while on top you have a slot for the sim and micro sd card. At the bottom we do not find a headphone connection, but we do have a USB port. There is also a fingerprint scanner and a camera on the back. It is not a double camera system, so you make relatively normal photos with it. First we also find single cameras, as well as edges slightly higher than for example on the OnePlus 5T.

Review: HTC U11 + - powerful smartphone without its own face

Display

The screen on the HTC U11 + is 6-inch in size and has a qhd + resolution (2,880 by 1,440 pixels). Of course we also find the 2: 1 ratio, which ensures that elongated screen. Unlike, for example, the OnePlus or Samsung smartphone, the HTC u11 + does not have an OLED, but a traditional LCD screen. This means that some colors splash slightly less of the screen and black values ​​are less black compared to the aforementioned smartphones.

Nevertheless, the screen can display beautiful images. The colors are not saturated and the brightness can be raised considerably, so you almost always get a nice picture presented. Compared to the color reproduction on the HTC U11, you will not immediately notice large differences, even if you put them side by side; that is a bit of a shame. In addition, high dynamic range is not yet supported. But HTC has already let it be known that hdr is added by means of an update later.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity you can expect something from a flagship such as HTC U11 +. The device fortunately offers the most standards. So you have access to wifi, bluetooth and nfc and of course gps and 3g and 4g. The SIM card slot should also be used as a micro SD card slot, but that is no longer a strange idea nowadays; it is very useful and saves an opening in the smartphone. If you prefer to use a second SIM card, then that is also possible.

Review: HTC U11 + - powerful smartphone without its own face

Sound

HTC thinks it is important that music lovers get their money and adds all kinds of extras. You get a noise-canceling headset when you buy the U11 +. The smartphone also offers support for 24-bit playback, has an ldac and supports Qualcomm’s aptX high definition code for bluetooth. That the HTC U11 + is delivered without a headphone jack is a shame, but luckily the manufacturer also supplies a cable with which you can connect the headset to the USB port.

Cameras

The camera on this model is exactly the same as on the previous model. But that is all but bad in this case. After all, it is one of the best smartphone cameras, also of this moment, so you can count on beautiful and detailed images. The twelve megapixel sensor makes pixels particularly large and in combination with an aperture of f / 1.7 (the most translucent aperture of the moment), this should yield a camera that performs very well in twilight and indoors. And luckily that is also the case.

Despite the lack of sufficient light, the photos are still colorful and sharp. Nevertheless, you may find some noise here and there that you would rather not have seen, but that is a problem with digital and especially small cameras that HTC can not solve on its own. If you prefer to have a little more control when it comes to quality, then you can put your car in Pro mode. The additional settings, such as ISO and shutter speed, are extremely fast to set and also show real difference.

Review: HTC U11 + - powerful smartphone without its own face

Battery life

A criticism of the HTC U11 was surely the power of the battery. He could not really keep up with other popular devices of that moment. HTC has provided a larger battery for the U11 +, 3.930 mAh to be exact (compared to 3.000 mAh). That is an improvement, but also a necessary development: the screen is much larger, so it also uses more energy. As a result, in practice you will not notice that the battery is larger, but this only applies to people who first used a U11.

We also failed to do two full days with the battery. We used it to call, send messages through various services and of course for the news. We also watched videos, listened to music and made photos. More than once the battery was almost empty at the end of the day. He saved it until the next morning, but then he really had to ventilate. It is not a smartphone that you choose because of a long battery life, unfortunately.

HTC U11 + software

We are happy to see that HTC has provided the HTC U11 + with Android 8.0 Oreo . Recent versions of Android are often not only faster, but also better protected against all kinds of risks. About Oreo is still the Android skin of the company, called HTC Sense. That said, this is not very much and the operations have been limited. But that does not mean that you do not have to expect extra things. Despite that, the Android experience remains reasonably close to the experience that Google has in mind.

Review: HTC U11 + - powerful smartphone without its own face

The Blink Feed is again present. You can find this option on a separate home screen, where you can browse through a range of news. If you do not find this, then you can also delete the feed and you will not notice anything at all. What is really useful is the way you can adjust the app drawer. You can sort apps by alphabetical order, date, or last used. You can also adjust the grid. These are all kinds of possibilities that currently do not exist in the standard version of Android.

Furthermore, the HTC U11 + has the Google Assistant and there is the Sense Companion. This is another tool that can recommend or remind you things based on your location. In our use of that companion, we found him really only annoying, so we did not use him much. The Google Assistant can be addressed by keeping the digital home button pressed for a long time. In addition, it is good to know that there are again themes with which you can personalize your smartphone.

HTC U11 + – in use

Just like the HTC U11, the HTC U11 + also has the unique Edge Sense component. For the manufacturer this is still an important function, because other smartphones do not offer such functionality. By squeezing your smartphone you can perform certain actions, such as opening an application of your choice. But you also have multiple options for short and long pinching. But even now we unfortunately have to conclude that Edge Sense generally adds little to the smartphone experience.

Review: HTC U11 + - powerful smartphone without its own face

It is a nice gimmick in itself. You often hold your smartphone in one hand, so the pinching feels natural. But sometimes the phone does not register the right pressure and so nothing or anything else happens, and that actually makes the function pretty useless. In addition, you may accidentally activate Edge Sense when you pick up your smartphone and that is of course not convenient. If you find the HTC U11 + interesting for this reason, it is best to look at another phone.

Performance

However, the performance of the HTC U11 + is not. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in combination with 6 GB of RAM allows for a particularly fast and smooth experience. Apps do not have a problem with booting and the phone never gets hard when you ask that extra bit. You can effortlessly use apps side by side, without you noticing that your smartphone is getting slower. Very nice. And with more than enough storage space available it is nevertheless a nice fact that you can still use a micro SD card.

HTC U11 + conclusion

There is nothing wrong with the HTC U11 + on paper. The specifications are of this moment and effortlessly come along with other flagships of this moment. These specs ensure that you have a very nice and smooth Android experience. This is also because HTC Android 8.0 Oreo has installed on the device, with minimal changes to the software. Furthermore, you like the sound and you can take beautiful pictures with the cameras. And although this device does not have the best screen of this moment, it can be certain.

Review: HTC U11 + - powerful smartphone without its own face

The problem with this smartphone, however, is that the device comes too late on the market and there are now cheaper alternatives, which can provide similar performance for much less money. In addition, Edge Sense still adds little to the use and the battery, despite the larger size, no longer compares with the previous model. The smooth back also ensures that you will often drop the device and that is just something you do not want as a daily user.

It is not that HTC has made a bad smartphone. The only thing we can say about that is that the market is currently full of this kind of smartphone: high-end models with a screen ratio of 2: 1. But a price of 799 euros is quite high, especially now that competing models drop in price, look nicer and offer just as much, if not more. If you have HTC high, you can go for this device. Other smartphone users may want to look further, since this device does not add anything.

Negatives

  • Pretty slippery back
  • Edge Sense adds little
  • Battery does not necessarily last longer

Pros

  • Almost bare version of Android
  • Very good camera
  • Specifications

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