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A day with the HTC U11

I’m at a little over 24 hours in on a mostly working HTC U11 review unit that was sent to me by HTC US, here are my thoughts so far. This is by no mean a review, just what I’ve played with so far.

I’ll point out that the previous reviewer kept the SIM card accidentally which is why this is a mostly working demo unit. I should have the correct SIM in hand tomorrow. I will not be covering call quality, LTE radio speed, or headphone awesomeness today. Tomorrow maybe.

If you’ve got any questions or things for me to try with it, drop a line and let me know.

Boot up

It should be noted that this unit was previously activated, so this boot doesn’t include the setup. This is just how long it takes a set up phone to boot. Sorry, demo unit. I’ll attempt a complete factory reset boot video soon.

Sexy pictures of the HTC U11 (taken by the HTC 10)


Pictures taken by the HTC U11

It’s supposedly got the world’s greatest smartphone camera. Each one of these images was about 2.6 megabytes as a JPG and 23.2 megabytes as a RAW/DNG file. I had to scale them back to upload to our current wordpress install, and I do not currently have a good option for delivering a DNG file to you. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll figure out where to plunk a few gigabytes of photos.

Click to embiggen.

Photo taken with the HTC U11 Photo taken with the HTC U11 Photo taken with the HTC U11 Photo taken with the HTC U11 Photo taken with the HTC U11 Photo taken with the HTC U11

Benchmarks! (we don’t need no benchmarks)

HTC U11 Antutu Benchmark

174,591 Antutu Benchmark as of 6/20/2017.

Link to buy one that makes us money


Link to buy one that doesn’t make us referral money


Thoughts on the device (24 hours in)

Speedy, having issues with some things however waiting to see if they resolve when I get the SIM card in the thing.

6am: Squeeze to take a photo seems like a stupid gimmick, I’ll accidentally take photos
7am: uses squeeze to take photo of baby while hands are kind of messy
8am: launches photo app bling squeeze to take photo and captures a crime in progress
9am: how can I add this to my phone?

OK, 8AM didn’t actually happen, however it should be noted I like the option. I have never accidentally set off a photo, and it is responsive enough that it’s useful

Wake from sleep with the button is a lot faster than my HTC 10. I’m actually about to disable the biometric ID on the HTC 10 because it’s too flipping slow

Having the SIM and MicroSD in the same slot is nice. Guessing that’s why the previous reviewer is in possession of the SIM still.

The case that came with it – not sure if it ships with this or not but not particularly amazing.

Selfie cam made me realize I really have to shave better.

Main camera focuses significantly faster than the HTC 10, however I’m pretty sure the HTC 10 focused a lot faster when it was initially released. I think something weird happened with the camera app.

Slightly larger than my HTC 10, doesn’t feel excessively larger however.

Strange diag screen where HTC field test mode used to beHTC U11 Field test mode?

Good ol download mode (and can get to it from power off in no time flat)

HTC U11 download mode


At a day in I’ve got processor and camera envy. However I’m about to load up every single app I have and see if it slows it like it weighs on my HTC 10. Can’t review a phone properly without a lot of junk.

Any questions or tests for it, let me know. I’ve got it a week I’m guessing.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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4 thoughts on “A day with the HTC U11

  • Paul regarding the camera focus is it an issue with a custom rom? I haven’t noticed any slowdowns on mine

    • I don’t think so – it’s gotten worse as the software progressed. Lot of talk about it a year ago:

      Thing seems to work fine after I flash, then updates start pouring in, laser focus slows. I flashed old firmware at one point from August or so last year, worked fine, updated, nope.

      Can’t say for certain it’s not a custom ROM thing, however the camera app is from the Play Store, the firmware is from HTC. This would require some weird and unneeded interference on the part of the ROM dev.

    • To give an example of what I get – I tap to focus on an object. I’m lucky if it focuses on an object in the quarter of the screen I pressed. Then it focuses slightly off from where I want. I tap again, it either gets very sharp or loses what I was trying to focus on.

      Average focus time for me on the 10 is about 3-4 seconds to get it right and multiple taps. When it’s working perfectly it’s maybe 1 second.

  • Observation post SIM card – HTC U11 is running 50% faster on LTE than my HTC 10.

    HTC is updated
    I ran multiple speed tests and the HTC U11 is about 50% faster

    This is just an observation – factors could be the testing unit is on a corporate account/prioritized. I have a wood case on my phone that might be LTE blocking. I’ll do some tests and verify later.


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