TECH

HTC U11 Smartphone Is The First 'Squeezable' Smartphone

Yes, really

16/05/2017 4:12 PM IST

The HTC U11 is the company’s brand-new flagship smartphone and one that it’s calling the first “squeezable” phone.

Four pressure sensors on each side of the phone allow you to squeeze the phone, letting you take selfies, activate the voice assistant and more.

HTC

Using the same liquid glass design that debuted on the HTC U Ultra and U Play, the U11 builds on both phones by adding water-resistance, Hi-Res audio and a powerful new BoomSound speaker system.

The display is a 5.5-inch Quad-HD panel and while it doesn’t cover all of the front of the phone it is extremely bright and boasts Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 meaning it should survive the odd fall.

The Huffington Post UK

On the back you’ll find a 12MP UltraPixel 3 camera that HTC confirms is the first smartphone camera to achieve a DxOMark rating of 90.

While that’s something that Google liked to push with their Pixel, these scores don’t always translate well into real-world usage so for now just be assured that it’s probably very good.

On the audio front HTC has been quietly making some serious progress in improving the quality of music on people’s smartphones.

The HTC U11 is the pinnacle of all that work. Not only is the U11 Hi-Res audio certified but it also comes bundled with a pair of USonic USB-C headphones that feature noise-cancelling.

HuffPost UK

As there’s no conventional audio jack, HTC have also bundled an adaptor for your normal headphones too. This would be handy anyway, but HTC has gone one step further.

Its actually built a tiny DAC into the adaptor boosting the quality of the audio going to your conventional headphones.

In addition HTC claim the U11 has some of the most powerful speakers on a smartphone thanks to its new version of BoomSound. This time the company has literally turned the entire smartphone into a resonance chamber for boosting the volume.

Finally there’s the big squeeze itself. Four sensors on either side of the bottom half of the phone allow you to squeeze the U11 and activate a number of features.

HTC

It’ll take pictures with the camera, or a long squeeze will swap the camera over to front-facing.

Alternatively a long squeeze from the home button will launch Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Is it a revolution in how you interact with your phone? We’ll have to wait until we get some more time with the phone but for now it looks like it could be a useful, if not essential, feature.

Now you may have notices that earlier we mentioned Amazon’s Alexa. That’s because the U11 is one of the first smartphones to have Amazon’s personal assistant built directly into the phone alongside Google Assistant.

That means you’ll be able to choose from the start whether you want to use Google’s version or Amazon’s.

It sounds like it could be confusing but it looks like you’ll be able to choose to use one without accidentally launching the other.

Other features include 4GB/6GB RAM or 64GB/128GB storage.

The HTC U11 will be available in the UK around June for £549 and £649 respectively.

The Best Smartphones You Can Buy In 2017

  • Apple iPhone 7
    Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
    This is Apple’s best iPhone ever, and if we’re honest it’s one of their most innovative devices yet. It has an incredible camera, is water-resistant and boasts a stunning bright new display. Of course it can’t escape the rumours surrounding next year’s device but if you’re looking to buy a smartphone right now, and Apple are on your radar, this is the phone for you.
  • Google Pixel
    The Huffington Post UK
    This is Google’s iPhone. It’s that simple. As such there are achievements and compromises. If you’re after an incredibly well-built, powerful Android flagship, Google have given you a truly five-star smartphone. If you’re a photographer, the Pixel’s camera and cloud storage option make this a no brainer. It's not cheap though, with the XL costing over £800.
  • OnePlus 3T
    The Huffington Post UK
    The OnePlus 3T is simply a continuation of the ethos that makes OnePlus phones so good. It’s exceptionally well-built, powerful and offers you everything you could want in an affordable and meaningful package. No smartphone will give you more value for money.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    Bloomberg via Getty Images
    With a new curved back and larger 5.5-inch display the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is more about evolution than revolution. The S7 edge now sports a water-resistant body, embedded camera and a MicroSD card slot. The S7 edge is also Samsung's most powerful smartphone yet, so powerful in fact that Samsung have actually had to equip a tiny water-cooling system inside the phone. The good news though is that means you'll never have to worry about getting a warm hand.
  • Apple iPhone SE
    The Huffington Post UK
    Incredibly, Apple's familiar-looking iPhone SE manages to boast the same performance as its top-of-the-range iPhone 6s making it the most powerful 4-inch smartphone available. If you're keen to return to the days of one-handed texting then Apple's bite-sized iPhone is the smartphone for you.
  • LG G5
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The LG G5 sets itself apart from rivals like the S7, Xperia XA and the iPhone 6s by being something utterly unique. The G5 is the first commercial 'modular' phone, allowing you to swap out the bottom for new accessories. So far there's an audio one made in partnership with Bang & Olufsen and a camera-focused attachment which gives you extra camera controls.
  • Huawei P9
    JACK TAYLOR via Getty Images
    The Huawei P9 is a smartphone designed for capturing life. Thanks to a partnership with photography legends Leica this dual-lens camera can take pictures that'll put your dedicated camera to shame. Of course it helps that the P9 is also a pretty great Android smartphone as well.
  • Google Nexus 5X
    The Nexus 5X strikes the ultimate balance between power and affordability. Taking over the responsibility from the frankly excellent Nexus 5, Google's new smartphone boast an ultra-light body but still crams in a fingerprint sensor, the latest version of Android marshmallow and a Full-HD display.

More On This Topic

SPONSORED BY &PRIVÉ HD