The HTC U 11 has been officially announced by the prolific smartphone maker. Set for a reveal this coming May 16, the HTC U 11 is expected to debut the tech giant’s revolutionary Sense Touch technology, an entirely new way for users to interact with the upcoming flagship device. Despite this new technology and the smartphone’s likely powerhouse specs, however, a couple of confirmed characteristics of the U 11 have managed to get many mobile fans extremely apprehensive.
HTC has a pretty mixed track record with its flagship devices, though the HTC 10, released last year, was met with much acclaim due to its balanced specs and premium design. Unfortunately for the smartphone maker, the HTC 10’s excellent reviews and powerhouse internals did little to sway the market away from the equally-stellar Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the iPhone 7, two of 2017’s most successful smartphones. Thus, with the HTC U 11 being released not long after the debut of the acclaimed Galaxy S8, mobile enthusiasts are apprehensive about the impending fate of HTC’s 2017 flagship.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) April 15, 2017
One thing that has managed to make many mobile fans apprehensive was the revelation that the HTC U 11 would not be sporting a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. The removal of such an essential smartphone feature has been trailblazed by Motorola with the Moto Z and Apple with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, much to the chagrin of consumers. In Apple’s case, the Cupertino-based tech giant asserted that the removal of the key feature was a decision made with “courage” in mind, a reason that has become notorious among internet meme-makers worldwide. Unfortunately for HTC fans, it appears that the smartphone-maker is dedicated to following Apple and Motorola’s example.
Longtime users of HTC devices, posting on the comment thread of the U 11’s official teaser, have voiced their concerns to the smartphone maker, stating that the lack of a headphone jack would make the upcoming flagship into a far less compelling purchase. According to HTC’s response to users’ concerns, however, the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack is completely a matter of audio quality, as the device’s USB-C port would give users a superior mobile sound experience. Nevertheless, numerous users posting on HTC’s official Twitter account have already stated that they would be keeping their old HTC devices until such time that the smartphone maker releases another flagship device that includes the essential feature.
Apart from the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, HTC fans have also noted that based on the renders and leaked images of the smartphone, the HTC U 11 would feature a traditional design, including sizable bezels on the device’s top and bottom. This means that HTC’s 2017 flagship, when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6, already looks outdated even before it gets released.
— Android Police (@AndroidPolice) April 21, 2017
Nevertheless, the HTC U 11 does have its Sense Touch technology, which would enable users of the device to access the smartphone’s features by using the sides of the flagship as a touch panel. A leaked promo ad for the feature has been released, and from what could be determined from the feature so far, it appears that Sense Touch would be quite similar to Samsung’s Edge features, giving users shortcuts to popular applications.
Noted leakster Evan Blass, writing for VentureBeat, stated that the HTC U 11 would be featuring a vibrant paint job that is available in white, black, blue, red, and silver options. Other rumors about the internals of the HTC U 11 include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile processor, around 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, a 12MP Dual-Pixel primary camera, an 8MP Selfie Shooter and a 5.5-inch QHD display. A 3,700mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0 is also widely speculated for the upcoming device.
[Featured Image by HTC]