HTC needs something big to come back from its failures, and they may be banking on the release of the HTC 11. Codenamed “Ocean,” it was speculated that the device would never be released after poor reviews of the HTC U Ultra dropped the one-time powerhouse to around 1 percent of global market share.
It wasn’t always like this for Taiwanese HTC, who once held 67 percent of the Android market. But great devices can’t compete with great marketing. Apple and Samsung ultimately beat HTC into the ground with their strong marketing efforts. As DigitalTrends notes, by 2013, HTC’s dominance was over.
And so, many thought that the HTC 11 would never even make it to market when they missed their 2016 release window entirely. But according to a report from Forbes, an official HTC teaser has suggested that the HTC 11 may be released as early as tomorrow (later today, by Taiwanese time.) Taiwan’s Liberty Times reported that HTC announced a “surprise” to its fan club, due out on the 20th. According to one source, “Ocean is real and alive” – and according to TechRadar, it may be available for purchase immediately. Bryan Ma, vice president of tech research firm IDC, says that “HTC needs a strong trophy product to help cement a perception that it can still play on the leading edge of the industry.”
So with the new HTC phone possibly being available as early as later today, here’s everything we were able to find out about it.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 8, 2017
The HTC 11 will be a high-end device with a high-end price tag. It will probably feature the Snapdragon 835, the unavailability of which was supposedly responsible for HTC’s absence from the Mobile World Congress event, and may have also been responsible for the 11’s delayed release. It’s the same chip that’s in the Samsung Galaxy S8, and according to The Verge, Samsung has been hoarding them, forcing delayed releases across the board.
The Snapdragon 835 is an extremely powerful chip, with 8 64-bit cores, a 1 Gbps cellular modem, and an Adreno 540 GPU. It can also handle cameras up to 32 MP and supports 3D camera technology.
As for design, the HTC 11 is rumored to have either a full-metal body, or possibly a glass back, and will feature a 5.5″ edge-to-edge screen. Other rumors suggest that a curved screen is possible, or a second screen like the LG V20. Finally, one rumor has suggested that the 11 will feature a 1556 x 2550, which is unusual and may require a unique aspect ratio.
— Callens Bob (@ryuofdarkness) February 18, 2017
Perhaps most interesting of all the rumors, the 11 is said to be carrying an unprecedented 8 GB of RAM. That’s twice what even Samsung’s beefy Galaxy S8+ will be packing, along with 256 GB of internal memory. Another rumor suggests a more moderate 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage; either way, if any of the latest crop of smartphones can be said to be a gaming device, it’s looking like the HTC 11 will be top of the heap, and the company may be counting on that. As mobile gaming continues to grow and Pokemon GO developer Niantic gets set to upgrade their original title, Ingress, to the Unity engine, gamers are going to start looking more seriously at phone specs.
As for the UI, the latest Android 7 Nougat with HTC Sense 9 on top are expected and unsurprising. But HTC has always had a pretty slick UI – it’s one of their key selling points – and with all of that RAM, it likely won’t cause the device slowdowns it’s also known for.
The cameras won’t be anything special, if the rumors are true; a 12 MP rear-facing and an 8 MP front-facing with no 3D tech. Rumor does suggest a 3,700mAh battery, which is a big jump for HTC and would once again edge out the Galaxy S8+.
— Amaziness (@AmazinessNet) March 1, 2017
Finally, the device may come with HTC Vive branding (HTC’s VR offering) and a mysterious “Sense Touch” feature, which would allow control of the device by swiping or tapping the edges. There is also, unfortunately, a good chance that it won’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, mirroring a recent move by Apple.
Overall, if the rumors are true, the HTC 11 is shaping up to be a pretty remarkable device. Whether it’s enough to help dig HTC out of their hole may be a different story.
[Featured Image by Zeynep Demir/Shutterstock]