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HTC U11 final thoughts

HTC U11As mentioned a few times before I’m in possession of an HTC U11 on loan from the PR department of HTC.

Tomorrow is my last full day with it so this is the wrap up unless I find something worrisome or extremely awesome in the next 36 hours or so.

I’m under no obligation to rave about it. This is fortunate because I don’t rave about much.

Everything I’m doing on this is based on my experiences with HTC products up to and including the HTC 10. I’ve stuck with the HTC line since the EVO days because, well, I wrote for GoodAndEVO originally, not GoodAndOnePlus or GoodAndSamsung.


Antennas are better than the M9 and 10. I consistently had 10-18% better dB and 30-50% better bandwidth. HTC PR is unsure whether Sprint has rolled out some things that the HTC U11 can take advantage of or whether it’s just two year newer camera tech.

Processors are fast enough to handle anything I threw at it. This included throwing all my junk apps on there and loading it up with the same amount of junk and useful apps one collects over the course of a year or two.

Music on their headsets with active noise cancellation is incredible. Of all the things to get an HTC U11 for I think that might be the one that matters the most. I don’t know if that tech can be back ported, I’m assuming it can, but man it sounds good.

Photos are a step up from the 10, but it doesn’t feel like a huge step. It may be the best scoring camera in a phone on the market but it’s not something to throw away your 2yo phone for. It’s great mind you.


I thought the side sensor grip to take a photo would be a gimmick I’d dismiss pretty much instantly. I’ve found it quite useful for taking pictures when my hands were dirty or I had a tenuous grip on something.

The HTC EVO red version that came out looks amazing, with the exception of it not being on the network the HTC EVO was on.

Speaker quality was louder and better than the M9 or 10. I didn’t have a functioning M8 to test against but I think it’s closer to the great sound the M8 had.


64GB of internal storage sounds like a lot. It’s unfortunately not. At least not for much longer. Apps are bloating like never before.

Bloatware installed with the Sprint version at least had me wanting to root the device within minutes of using it.

Battery can be drained quite quickly when in use. Battery’s a little too small coming in at 3000mAh to go through a whole day of active use. Now passive use does get you about three days of run time (71 hours,) but my use cases are under a day.

Memory is not enough for a beast this fast. Yeah there’s someone out there saying you don’t need 4GB of RAM on a phone and that someone said you didn’t need 1GB of RAM on a phone a few years ago. You will. It’s coming. The overseas editions of this appear to include 6GB RAM and 128GB internal space.

Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 is out now and this is using 3.0. While 3.0 will charge from 0 to 80% in an hour more or less, faster is better.


I really like everything about this phone, but it doesn’t excite me. I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve become blase about the whole thing or if the HTC U11 just feels like a tempo move in chess, it’s… yes, it should be like this, this is where I expected it to be now and it’s better positioned.

Coming in at $650 the U11 is a good $200 over competitors who on paper at least appear to have similar specs. Ultimately I think the sticker price is going to wave people away who weren’t quite wanting an exploding phone, a locked device, or a two year old beater.

You can get one here and potentially make us some money

Get one here and don’t

Or do either of the above and send me money to keep me drunk and from selling out.

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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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