Notebookcheck

HTC U11 Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 07/31/2017

Full steam ahead. HTC attempts to mix it up at the top with the new flagship smartphone U11. The company incorporates lots of high tech into an extraordinary case which not only looks different, but also features a unique and pressure-sensitive frame design. Update: HTC rolls out new firmware.

For the original German review, click here.

HTC hasn’t been very successful with its smartphones lately and customer response has been lukewarm. The Taiwanese manufacturer plans on changing that with the HTC U11, which incorporates the brand-new design first introduced with the HTC U Ultra. This means also that the predecessors' aluminum unibody design is now history.

The phone is equipped with the current top-of-the-line Qualcomm SoC, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of UFS 2.1 flash storage. The 5.5-inch display with its high resolution is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The smartphone ships with the current version of Android (7.1 Nougat) and a look at the spec sheet promises good camera performance as well. Given the screen size, the corresponding pixel density as well as the powerful SoC, the battery - which only has a capacity of 3000 mAh - seems a little on the small side, however. Users who prefer standard cabled headphones are going to be disappointed as well, as there’s no audio jack any longer.

Competitors are all other high-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, Huawei P10 Plus, LG G6, Lenovo Moto Z, Apple iPhone 7 Plus, OnePlus 5, Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the Xiaomi Mi 6.

Note: in the US, unlocked models are available for about $650; at the time of writing, Sprint has the exclusive for carrier partners and offers the phone for $700.

Update 07-28-2017: HTC rolls out the firmware 1.13.401.1. Please refer to the Software section for details.

Update 09-04-2017: HTC has addressed the uncertainties regarding support for aptX. We've updated our review accordingly, details can be found in the speaker section.

HTC U11 (U Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 540, Core: 710 MHz
Memory
4096 MB 
, LPDDR4
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 2560x1440 pixel 534 PPI, capacitive, Super LCD5, 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 64 GB 
, 53.39 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: USB Type-C, Card Reader: microSD up to 2 TB (SDHC, SDXC), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: proximity sensor, rotation, spin rate, edge and G-sensor, magnetometer, digital compass, sensor hub, Miracast, Wifi Direct, Chromecast, DLNA, AirPlay, VoLTE, Wi-Fi-Calling, OTG, BeiDou
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM/GPRS/Edge (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (800, 900, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 15 (FDD Bands: 4, 12, 17, 28, 20, 5, 8, 3, 1, 7, 32; TDD Bands: 38-41), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.9 x 153.9 x 75.9 ( = 0.31 x 6.06 x 2.99 in)
Battery
3000 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 24.5 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 336 h
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix ƒ/1.7, UltraSpeed Autofocus, Dual LED flash, 32 sec. long exposure, and RAW format support
Secondary Camera: 16 MPix ƒ/2.0, Voice Selfie
Additional features
Speakers: two speakers with HTC BoomSound, Keyboard: virtual, silicon case, headset, USB to headphone adapter, power adapter, USB cabel, SIM tool, cleaning cloth, HTC Sense, 24 Months Warranty, USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen. 1), IP67, Körper-SAR: 0,60 W/kg, Kopf-SAR: 0,45 W/kg, fanless
Weight
169 g ( = 5.96 oz / 0.37 pounds), Power Supply: 80 g ( = 2.82 oz / 0.18 pounds)
Price
749 Euro

 

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Case

At just about 8.0 mm, the U11 is one of the thicker devices out there. HTC specifies 7.0 mm, but thats only an average: according to our measurements, the smartphone is 8.9 mm thick and 9.8 mm if we include the camera lens, which protrudes slightly. Since the back is curved, the added thickness isnt really noticeable and the U11 is very easy to hold.

The HTC U11 is certified with an IP67 rating and features protection against dust and water. The phone is impervious to dust and should be able to handle submersion in freshwater for brief periods of time. The battery is integrated and is thus not user-replaceable. The cover for the card slot up top is just like the U11s entire frame made from aluminum, but is slightly darker. The actual tray for the Nano SIM and the microSD card is make from black plastic.

The transition between the different materials can be felt quite easily, but the gaps are very narrow and even. The build quality generallyl leaves us with a positive impression. The glass surfaces yield to moderate pressure, which in turn has a slight ripple effect on the display. Our twist attempts had next to no effect, but there was a slight creaking sound when doing so.  

The colorful back is a visual highlight, even though the surfaces are reflective and touching them results in visible but easily removable smudges. The way the colors change depending on the angle is really quite jaw-dropping. According to HTC, the primary color choices are silver, blue, black, red and white.

Size Comparison

The microSD card slot accepts cards up to the current maximum size of 256 GB. The card can also be formated as internal storage, if so desired.  

The USB connector is a Type-C port and transfers data according to standard USB 3.1 (Gen. 1); in addition, the port can output HDMI or DisplayPort signals via optional adapters. The USB port is also used for audio signals and a standard 3.5 mm audio headphone requires the use of the included adapter.

Although the Snapdragon CPU theoretically supports Bluetooth 5.0, it's only 4.2 in this case since Android doesn't support version 5.0 yet. It's possible that that's going to change with Android O this fall. Sharing media wirelessly is possible as well with DLNA, AirPlay, Miracast, or WiFi Direct. To quickly connect other devices or to pay during checkout at a store, the smartphone is equipped with NFC as well.

top: card slot
top: card slot
left side
left side
right: volume, power
right: volume, power
bottom edge: speaker, microphone, USB
bottom edge: speaker, microphone, USB

Software

HTC uses the 7.1.1 Nougat, which is the current version of Android at the time of writing. No security patches have been pushed out yet, so our phone is still up-to-date (release date: 04/01/2017). 

The software add-ons are restricted to a few titles from HTC like the Sense Companion, which we examined more closely during our review of the HTC U Ultra. The list of preinstalled apps is short and includes Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Those applications can't be removed completely, but they can be deactivated at least.

Update 07-28-2017: HTC makes the new firmware 1.13.401.1 available. It can be installed on the smartphone via OTA. The update with 377 MB only brings system optimizations and upgrades the Android OS to the security patch level from 06-01-2017.

HTC U11
HTC U11
HTC U11
HTC U11

Communication and GPS

The Qualcomm X16 LTE module is the current cream of the crop when it comes to the mobile Internet. Connected to a suitable LTE network, it's possible to achieve download and upload speeds of up 1 GBit/s and 150 MBit/s, respectively. The smartphone supports many different bands, but there are some gaps which might restrict the usage in the US or in Asia. Users of the U11 in Europe don't need to worry though. Our review smartphone only supports a single SIM card, but supposedly there's a version with Dual-SIM support as well. The reception quality within the city - we tried both Vodafone and O2 - is good without any notable issues. 

The WLAN module supports the current IEEE standards a/b/g/n/ac as well as MIMO; the send and receive transfer rates between the HTC U11 and our reference router Linksys EA8500 are very good, but not exactly record-breaking, either. Reception was great even at distances of 12 m / 40' from the router. Websites loaded with a slight delay, but an HD video stream continued without interruption. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
501 MBit/s ∼100% +27%
HTC U11
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
394 MBit/s ∼79%
Samsung Galaxy S8
Mali-G71 MP20, 8895 Octa, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
329 MBit/s ∼66% -16%
LG G6
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
325 MBit/s ∼65% -18%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy S8
Mali-G71 MP20, 8895 Octa, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
651 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
HTC U11
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
639 MBit/s ∼98%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
494 MBit/s ∼76% -23%
LG G6
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
220 MBit/s ∼34% -66%
GPS test: inside a building
GPS test: inside a building
GPS test: outdoors
GPS test: outdoors

Location services are courtesy of the satellite networks GPS, Glonass and BeiDou. Since the Snapdragon SoC also supports Galileo, we would've expected for the U11 to support it as well - but HTC doesn't provide any information in this regard. And indeed: during our test, we never had any European satellites pop up. Nonetheless, the location is established quickly and accurately - even within buildings, although the accuracy suffers a bit and it takes a little bit longer to establish the first connection.

We embark on a little bike ride to compare the HTC U11 with the cycling GPS Garmin Edge 500. The difference in the recorded distance at the end of the trip is only 10 m (33'); a closer comparison of the two devices shows that the tracks are very similar as well. Consequently, the HTC U11 is very reliable choice for outdoor navigation.

Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
HTC U11
HTC U11
HTC U11
HTC U11
HTC U11
HTC U11

Telephony and Voice Quality

The telephony app is mostly standard Android fare and only features one additional tab for contact groups. The smartphone supports all modern standards like VoLTE and WiFi Calling.

When used in a normal (on-ear) fashion, the sound quality is very good on both ends of the conversation. The speaker reverberates ever-so-slightly, but even so, the conversational experience is very decent in quiet surroundings. The included headset is one of the better ones and even supports active noise canceling (ANC). This feature works pretty well, but the “anti-noise” output is audible in quiet sequences and the response is slightly delayed in dead silence. 

Cameras

front-facing camera
front-facing camera

The front-facing camera sports a whopping 16 MP, which - in conjunction with the aperture of f/2.0 - should allow for a superb selfie-experience. The camera features facial recognition, but unfortunately doesn't support autofocus. The resulting pics are very decent at higher light levels, but in darker environments, the photos are not as sharp, although the noise reduction is quite good.    

The main camera offers 12.2 MP, an aperture of  f/1.7 and a pixel size of 1.40 μm (HTC Ultra Pixel 3). From a technical standpoint, the camera compares to those of the Google Pixel XL or the Galaxy S8+. The predecessor HTC 10 had larger pixels measuring 1.55 μm, which were touted as being more light sensitive - but the smartphone couldn't capitalize on this supposed advantage. The HTC U11 takes a huge leap forward in that regard. In daylight, the review smartphone takes outstanding pictures and even HDR works well without the distinct halos the S8+ produces (see scene 1). Compared to the LG G6, sharpening is slightly softer. Scene 2 depicts the dynamic range, which is quite good when compared to others, but the vividness does take a slight hit. One major advantage HTC's new smartphone has over the predecessor is its low-light ability. The U11 actually bests its competitors here: while it doesn't capture the most amount of light, the atmosphere remains intact since there are no jagged edges or similar and the noise remains within reasonable limits. RAW photos can be taken with the phone switched to "pro mode".

The U11 can record videos at Ultra HD resolution (4k, 3840 x 2160 Pixel, 30 fps). Even in Full HD, the maximum frame rate is unfortunately limited to 30 fps. The sound quality is outstanding no matter which mode is used, since the smartphone is equipped with four microphones and capable of recording 3D sound. Time lapse videos are restricted to 720p and a maximum length of 45 minutes; slow motion takes advantage of the full 60 fps in Full HD for recording purposes, but the playback is once again limited to 30 fps. The HTC U11 is generally fairly light sensitive when recording movies as well, but low ambient light does induce visible image noise. In addition, the image stabilization is can't quite compensate enough at times.

HTC didn't do much wrong when it comes to the U11's camera quality. We do feel that there aren't enough options in video mode and that the resolution isn't high enough in certain special modes. Even more disappointing is the camera app itself though, since it lacks options and hasn't been updated since the HTC 10 was released. For photography, the U11 is a superb choice, however.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
ColorChecker Passport HTC U11: the lower half of each field shows the target color.
ColorChecker Passport HTC U11: the lower half of each field shows the target color.

We also subject the main camera to further tests in our controlled environment. We use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport to determine the color accuracy. The white balance is a little on the warm side and most colors are slightly brighter and quite saturated, which increases the vividness of most of them. Only Violet-Blue is not quite saturated enough in our opinion.

A quick glance at the test chart reveals almost consistent sharpness even at the edges - the fall-off is very minor indeed. The HTC U11 doesn't have any issues with color gradients, either: even dark writing on a dark background is reproduced clearly. Sharpness in the middle of the frame is very good and quite similar to Galaxy S8+. The Xperia XZ Premium, LG G6 and the Pixel XL capture a little more detail, however.

HTC U11
HTC U11
LG G6
LG G6
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Galaxy S8+
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Xperia XZ Premium
Huawei P10
Huawei P10
Google Pixel XL
Pixel XL
HTC U11: picture of the test chart

Accessories and Warranty

The box contents are actually pretty generous and include a modular power adapter (5 V/2.5 A; 9 V/1,7 A), a USB cable (Type-A to Type-C), a SIM tool, a transparent protective cover, a cleaning cloth, an adapter (3.5 mm audio to USB Type-C) and the HTC USonic headset.

These accessories are also available in HTC's online store. The power adapter costs 35 Euro in Germany ($35 in the US), the USonic headphones 40 Euro ($40 in the US) and the USB-C Digital to 3.5mm Audio Jack Adapter 13 Euro ($13 in the US). In addition, HTC sells the JBL Reflect Aware C Earphones for 199 Euro ($140 in the US).

In Germany, the phone is protected against defects for a period of 24 months.

Input Devices & Operation

The capacitive touchscreen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and recognizes up to ten inputs simultaneously. Fingers glide easily and the inputs are translated quickly across the no matter where the screen is touched. TouchPal is pre-installed, but of course there are other keyboard layouts available from the Google Play Store. 

In addition to the Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa is supported as well - although the latter personal virtual assistant isn't available in Germany yet at the time of writing.  A special feature is Edge Sense, which in essence is a pressure-sensitive frame design, which allows the execution of predefined actions - for example starting the camera or the flashlight, connecting to a WLAN hotspot or launching a desired application - by squeezing the sides of the phone. The pressure sensitivity is adjustable, but it requires a delicate touch, since a slight mis-adjustment could either mean that lots of pressure is required or that the phone starts reacting when it's picked up.

The fingerprint scanner disables some of these functions. A predefined application, for example, can't be opened unless the the finger touches the sensor or the phone has been unlocked by other means. The fingerprint sensor operates reliably and quickly and takes the user either to the lock or to the start screen as desired.

HTC U11: Edge Sense
HTC U11: Edge Sense
HTC U11: Edge Sense
HTC U11: Edge Sense
HTC U11: Edge Sense
HTC U11: Edge Sense
HTC U11: TouchPal keyboard - portrait mode
HTC U11: TouchPal keyboard - landscape mode

Display

subpixel array
subpixel array

Compared to the predecessor HTC 10, the display has grown slightly and now measures 5.5 inches. Together with the high resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, the display has a pixel density of 534 ppi, which means that the screen content is supremely sharp - in fact, only the Xperia XZ Premium (3840 x 2160 Pixel, 801 ppi) is superior. 

At 500 cd/m², the brightness of Super LC Display is good, but can't measure up to most competitors. The brightness measurements achieved with the sensor active and a 50/50 distribution of bright and dark areas (APL50) is very similar. Because of the good black value (0.33 cd/m²), the contrast ratio is very good, but again not class-leading. The brightness distribution is even and our review smartphone doesn't suffer from light bleeding at all.

The minimum brightness of the panel could be lower, but there's a blue light filter to make late-night viewing easier on the eyes. HTC doesn't use PWM to adjust the brightness.

453
cd/m²
458
cd/m²
450
cd/m²
483
cd/m²
482
cd/m²
470
cd/m²
499
cd/m²
492
cd/m²
464
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 499 cd/m² Average: 472.3 cd/m² Minimum: 6.07 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 482 cd/m²
Contrast: 1461:1 (Black: 0.33 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.2 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.2 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.22
HTC U11
Super LCD5, 2560x1440, 5.5
HTC 10
Super LCD 5, 2560x1440, 5.2
Samsung Galaxy S8
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 5.8
Huawei P10 Plus
LTPS, 2560x1440, 5.5
OnePlus 5
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
IPS, 3840x2160, 5.5
Screen
-14%
-1%
-1%
17%
21%
-20%
Brightness
472
434
-8%
564
19%
562
19%
431
-9%
553
17%
568
20%
Brightness Distribution
90
93
3%
94
4%
92
2%
93
3%
97
8%
92
2%
Black Level *
0.33
0.36
-9%
0.43
-30%
0.35
-6%
0.62
-88%
Contrast
1461
1236
-15%
1321
-10%
1591
9%
932
-36%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.2
2.8
12%
2.7
16%
2.4
25%
1.6
50%
1.4
56%
2.8
12%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.2
3.7
-68%
3.1
-41%
2.5
-14%
1.7
23%
1.3
41%
2.8
-27%
Gamma
2.22 108%
2.31 104%
2.15 112%
2.37 101%
2.25 107%
2.21 109%
2.15 112%
CCT
6581 99%
7164 91%
6335 103%
6779 96%
6329 103%
6667 97%
6728 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
81.57
63.1
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.87
99.83

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6272 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

We use a photospectrometer and the CalMAN software to get a better idea of how accurate the LC panel is when it comes to color reproduction. As shipped, the display is very cool, colors are slightly over-saturated and the DeltaE deviation is quite high. Users who prefer accurate colors should use the slider in the display settings under "color temperature" and slide it all the way to "warmer". The display still isn't perfect afterwards, but nonetheless very, very good. The graylevels lack any color casts afterward and only some of the colors deviate slightly. These deviations are within reason and and caused by the high saturation. The HTC U11 uses the P3 color space, which features a larger spectrum with more green and red tones than sRGB.

Graylevels (white balance: standard, color space: sRGB)
Graylevels (white balance: standard, color space: sRGB)
Saturation (white balance: standard, color space: P3)
Saturation (white balance: standard, color space: P3)
Colorspace (white balance: standard, color space: P3)
Colorspace (white balance: standard, color space: P3)
ColorChecker (white balance: standard, color space: P3)
ColorChecker (white balance: standard, color space: P3)
Graylevels (white balance: warm, color space: P3)
Graylevels (white balance: warm, color space: P3)
ColorChecker (white balance: warm, color space: P3)
ColorChecker (white balance: warm, color space: P3)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 10.8 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 35 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.8 ms rise
↘ 21.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 52 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.8 ms).

Thanks to the decent maximum brightness, the HTC U11 fares well outdoors. Reflections are within reasonable limits, but still quite noticeable on bright summer days. At shallow angles it can be quite difficult to decipher the screen content. 

HTC U11 - against the sun
HTC U11 - against the sun
HTC U11 - direct sunlight
HTC U11 - direct sunlight

The viewing angle stability is very good. At no time did we encounter color inversions or ghosting effects. At very shallow angles we observed a slight loss in brightness. 

viewing angles HTC U11
viewing angles HTC U11

Performance

The HTC U11 comes equipped with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. The cores are evenly split between a performance cluster running four Kryo 280 cores at 2.45 GHz (max) and an efficiency cluster running four Kryo 280 cores at 1.9 GHz. Graphics are courtesy of the integrated Adreno 540 GPU running at up to 710 Mhz. Compared to its predecessor, the GPU has been optimized and is now manufactured using a 10 nm process. The smartphone ships with 4 GB of RAM es well.

The processor performs much like we expected, although the Xiaomi Mi 6 proves that the Snapdragon is capable of more. The HTC U11 does also very well when it comes to graphics performance and is faster than the iPhone 7 Plus - at least as long as the Metal API isn't in play. Only when running the very demanding Basemark ES 3.1, the U11 falls behind Apple's smartphone and the Galaxy S8 (Exynos 8895), which both perform markedly better. The roles are reversed when it comes to the Lightmark benchmark, as the U11 now takes a clear lead. Either way, the HTC U11 manages to take full advantage of the Snapdragon's performance potential and is currently one of the fastest smartphones on the market.    

This is reflected in the system performance as well, as HTC's Sensee interface runs buttery-smooth. PCMark and AnTuTu confirm our positive perceived impression.   

AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
HTC U11
175032 Points ∼77%
HTC 10
131866 Points ∼58% -25%
Samsung Galaxy S8
171884 Points ∼75% -2%
Huawei P10 Plus
138326 Points ∼61% -21%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
173403 Points ∼76% -1%
LG G6
151751 Points ∼67% -13%
Lenovo Moto Z
129197 Points ∼57% -26%
Xiaomi Mi 6
181909 Points ∼80% +4%
OnePlus 5
177156 Points ∼78% +1%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
165399 Points ∼73% -6%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
HTC U11
6828 Points ∼100%
HTC 10
4549 Points ∼67% -33%
Samsung Galaxy S8
5370 Points ∼79% -21%
Huawei P10 Plus
6157 Points ∼90% -10%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
6433 Points ∼94% -6%
LG G6
5152 Points ∼75% -25%
Xiaomi Mi 6
6686 Points ∼98% -2%
OnePlus 5
6579 Points ∼96% -4%
Work performance score (sort by value)
HTC U11
8295 Points ∼100%
HTC 10
5809 Points ∼70% -30%
Samsung Galaxy S8
6035 Points ∼73% -27%
Huawei P10 Plus
7377 Points ∼89% -11%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
7695 Points ∼93% -7%
LG G6
5703 Points ∼69% -31%
Lenovo Moto Z
7637 Points ∼92% -8%
Xiaomi Mi 6
7548 Points ∼91% -9%
OnePlus 5
7826 Points ∼94% -6%
Geekbench 4.1
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
HTC U11
6443 Points ∼35%
HTC 10
4021 Points ∼22% -38%
Samsung Galaxy S8
6711 Points ∼36% +4%
Huawei P10 Plus
6267 Points ∼34% -3%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
6491 Points ∼35% +1%
LG G6
4369 Points ∼24% -32%
Xiaomi Mi 6
6714 Points ∼36% +4%
OnePlus 5
6799 Points ∼37% +6%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
HTC U11
1906 Points ∼39%
HTC 10
1654 Points ∼34% -13%
Samsung Galaxy S8
1997 Points ∼41% +5%
Huawei P10 Plus
1852 Points ∼38% -3%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1904 Points ∼39% 0%
LG G6
1831 Points ∼38% -4%
Xiaomi Mi 6
1938 Points ∼40% +2%
OnePlus 5
1973 Points ∼41% +4%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
HTC U11
2841 Points ∼94%
HTC 10
1688 Points ∼56% -41%
Samsung Galaxy S8
2494 Points ∼82% -12%
Huawei P10 Plus
1679 Points ∼55% -41%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1628 Points ∼54% -43%
LG G6
1955 Points ∼65% -31%
Lenovo Moto Z
1797 Points ∼59% -37%
Xiaomi Mi 6
3007 Points ∼99% +6%
OnePlus 5
3026 Points ∼100% +7%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
HTC U11
3883 Points ∼72%
HTC 10
2889 Points ∼54% -26%
Samsung Galaxy S8
3472 Points ∼64% -11%
Huawei P10 Plus
1767 Points ∼33% -54%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3723 Points ∼69% -4%
LG G6
2980 Points ∼55% -23%
Lenovo Moto Z
2336 Points ∼43% -40%
Xiaomi Mi 6
4072 Points ∼76% +5%
OnePlus 5
3757 Points ∼70% -3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
HTC U11
3590 Points ∼92%
HTC 10
2495 Points ∼64% -31%
Samsung Galaxy S8
3194 Points ∼82% -11%
Huawei P10 Plus
1747 Points ∼45% -51%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
2895 Points ∼75% -19%
LG G6
2669 Points ∼69% -26%
Lenovo Moto Z
2190 Points ∼56% -39%
Xiaomi Mi 6
3775 Points ∼97% +5%
OnePlus 5
3566 Points ∼92% -1%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
HTC U11
2832 Points ∼94%
HTC 10
1512 Points ∼50% -47%
Samsung Galaxy S8
2440 Points ∼81% -14%
Huawei P10 Plus
1662 Points ∼55% -41%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1574 Points ∼52% -44%
LG G6
1961 Points ∼65% -31%
Lenovo Moto Z
1828 Points ∼61% -35%
Xiaomi Mi 6
2921 Points ∼97% +3%
OnePlus 5
3012 Points ∼100% +6%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1522 Points ∼51% -46%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
HTC U11
5877 Points ∼76%
HTC 10
4581 Points ∼59% -22%
Samsung Galaxy S8
4923 Points ∼64% -16%
Huawei P10 Plus
2469 Points ∼32% -58%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
5107 Points ∼66% -13%
LG G6
4121 Points ∼53% -30%
Lenovo Moto Z
3718 Points ∼48% -37%
Xiaomi Mi 6
6231 Points ∼81% +6%
OnePlus 5
4765 Points ∼62% -19%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
4235 Points ∼55% -28%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
HTC U11
4744 Points ∼95%
HTC 10
3157 Points ∼63% -33%
Samsung Galaxy S8
4015 Points ∼81% -15%
Huawei P10 Plus
2229 Points ∼45% -53%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3407 Points ∼68% -28%
LG G6
3282 Points ∼66% -31%
Lenovo Moto Z
3023 Points ∼61% -36%
Xiaomi Mi 6
4978 Points ∼100% +5%
OnePlus 5
4219 Points ∼85% -11%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
3034 Points ∼61% -36%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
HTC U11
20140 Points ∼28%
HTC 10
20344 Points ∼28% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S8
21543 Points ∼30% +7%
Huawei P10 Plus
14934 Points ∼21% -26%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
13800 Points ∼19% -31%
LG G6
22335 Points ∼31% +11%
Lenovo Moto Z
20948 Points ∼29% +4%
Xiaomi Mi 6
20330 Points ∼28% +1%
OnePlus 5
19411 Points ∼27% -4%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
15626 Points ∼22% -22%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
HTC U11
55725 Points ∼12%
HTC 10
30061 Points ∼7% -46%
Samsung Galaxy S8
36347 Points ∼8% -35%
Huawei P10 Plus
33307 Points ∼7% -40%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
52358 Points ∼12% -6%
LG G6
32128 Points ∼7% -42%
Lenovo Moto Z
26659 Points ∼6% -52%
Xiaomi Mi 6
58228 Points ∼13% +4%
OnePlus 5
58001 Points ∼13% +4%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
63386 Points ∼14% +14%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
HTC U11
40014 Points ∼20%
HTC 10
27176 Points ∼14% -32%
Samsung Galaxy S8
31532 Points ∼16% -21%
Huawei P10 Plus
26156 Points ∼13% -35%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
32302 Points ∼16% -19%
LG G6
29276 Points ∼15% -27%
Lenovo Moto Z
25135 Points ∼13% -37%
Xiaomi Mi 6
41172 Points ∼21% +3%
OnePlus 5
40229 Points ∼20% +1%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
37746 Points ∼19% -6%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
HTC U11
91 fps ∼7%
HTC 10
73 fps ∼6% -20%
Samsung Galaxy S8
121 fps ∼9% +33%
Huawei P10 Plus
56 fps ∼4% -38%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
109 fps ∼8% +20%
LG G6
75 fps ∼6% -18%
Lenovo Moto Z
77 fps ∼6% -15%
Xiaomi Mi 6
119 fps ∼9% +31%
OnePlus 5
115 fps ∼9% +26%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
91.96 fps ∼7% +1%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
HTC U11
58 fps ∼13%
HTC 10
43 fps ∼9% -26%
Samsung Galaxy S8
60 fps ∼13% +3%
Huawei P10 Plus
40 fps ∼9% -31%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
60 fps ∼13% +3%
LG G6
46 fps ∼10% -21%
Lenovo Moto Z
53 fps ∼12% -9%
Xiaomi Mi 6
60 fps ∼13% +3%
OnePlus 5
60 fps ∼13% +3%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
57.71 fps ∼13% 0%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
HTC U11
51 fps ∼9%
HTC 10
39 fps ∼7% -24%
Samsung Galaxy S8
62 fps ∼11% +22%
Huawei P10 Plus
19 fps ∼3% -63%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
47 fps ∼9% -8%
LG G6
38 fps ∼7% -25%
Lenovo Moto Z
41 fps ∼8% -20%
Xiaomi Mi 6
63 fps ∼12% +24%
OnePlus 5
61 fps ∼11% +20%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
58.71 fps ∼11% +15%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
HTC U11
29 fps ∼8%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼7% -17%
Samsung Galaxy S8
41 fps ∼11% +41%
Huawei P10 Plus
29 fps ∼8% 0%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
46 fps ∼13% +59%
LG G6
27 fps ∼7% -7%
Lenovo Moto Z
26 fps ∼7% -10%
Xiaomi Mi 6
56 fps ∼15% +93%
OnePlus 5
56 fps ∼15% +93%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
55.17 fps ∼15% +90%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
HTC U11
33 fps ∼8%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼6% -27%
Samsung Galaxy S8
24 fps ∼6% -27%
Huawei P10 Plus
22 fps ∼5% -33%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
35 fps ∼8% +6%
LG G6
29 fps ∼7% -12%
Lenovo Moto Z
27 fps ∼6% -18%
Xiaomi Mi 6
43 fps ∼10% +30%
OnePlus 5
42 fps ∼10% +27%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
41.3 fps ∼10% +25%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
HTC U11
15 fps ∼9%
HTC 10
14 fps ∼8% -7%
Samsung Galaxy S8
23 fps ∼13% +53%
Huawei P10 Plus
12 fps ∼7% -20%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
37 fps ∼21% +147%
LG G6
16 fps ∼9% +7%
Lenovo Moto Z
15 fps ∼9% 0%
Xiaomi Mi 6
42 fps ∼24% +180%
OnePlus 5
41 fps ∼23% +173%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
41.5 fps ∼24% +177%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
HTC U11
24 fps ∼7%
HTC 10
18 fps ∼5% -25%
Samsung Galaxy S8
25 fps ∼7% +4%
Huawei P10 Plus
15 fps ∼4% -37%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
23 fps ∼7% -4%
LG G6
20 fps ∼6% -17%
Lenovo Moto Z
16 fps ∼5% -33%
Xiaomi Mi 6
26 fps ∼7% +8%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼7% +4%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
HTC U11
13 fps ∼0%
HTC 10
10 fps ∼0% -23%
Samsung Galaxy S8
13 fps ∼0% 0%
Huawei P10 Plus
10 fps ∼0% -23%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
25 fps ∼1% +92%
LG G6
11 fps ∼0% -15%
Lenovo Moto Z
9.8 fps ∼0% -25%
Xiaomi Mi 6
26 fps ∼1% +100%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼1% +92%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
HTC U11
1221 Points ∼79%
HTC 10
928 Points ∼60% -24%
Samsung Galaxy S8
1156 Points ∼75% -5%
Huawei P10 Plus
1054 Points ∼68% -14%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1239 Points ∼80% +1%
LG G6
1073 Points ∼70% -12%
Lenovo Moto Z
959 Points ∼62% -21%
Xiaomi Mi 6
1263 Points ∼82% +3%
OnePlus 5
1287 Points ∼83% +5%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1542 Points ∼100% +26%
Graphics (sort by value)
HTC U11
5976 Points ∼69%
HTC 10
5009 Points ∼58% -16%
Samsung Galaxy S8
6096 Points ∼71% +2%
Huawei P10 Plus
3438 Points ∼40% -42%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
6045 Points ∼70% +1%
LG G6
5138 Points ∼60% -14%
Lenovo Moto Z
4321 Points ∼50% -28%
Xiaomi Mi 6
6206 Points ∼72% +4%
OnePlus 5
6144 Points ∼71% +3%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
6875 Points ∼80% +15%
Memory (sort by value)
HTC U11
2085 Points ∼47%
HTC 10
1772 Points ∼40% -15%
Samsung Galaxy S8
3039 Points ∼69% +46%
Huawei P10 Plus
3331 Points ∼75% +60%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3444 Points ∼78% +65%
LG G6
1930 Points ∼44% -7%
Lenovo Moto Z
2190 Points ∼50% +5%
Xiaomi Mi 6
4054 Points ∼92% +94%
OnePlus 5
4423 Points ∼100% +112%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1319 Points ∼30% -37%
System (sort by value)
HTC U11
5570 Points ∼85%
HTC 10
2806 Points ∼43% -50%
Samsung Galaxy S8
5386 Points ∼82% -3%
Huawei P10 Plus
3572 Points ∼54% -36%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
5857 Points ∼89% +5%
LG G6
3646 Points ∼55% -35%
Lenovo Moto Z
3398 Points ∼52% -39%
Xiaomi Mi 6
5857 Points ∼89% +5%
OnePlus 5
5902 Points ∼90% +6%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
6582 Points ∼100% +18%
Overall (sort by value)
HTC U11
3034 Points ∼80%
HTC 10
2193 Points ∼58% -28%
Samsung Galaxy S8
3277 Points ∼86% +8%
Huawei P10 Plus
2563 Points ∼68% -16%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3506 Points ∼93% +16%
LG G6
2496 Points ∼66% -18%
Lenovo Moto Z
2356 Points ∼62% -22%
Xiaomi Mi 6
3694 Points ∼97% +22%
OnePlus 5
3790 Points ∼100% +25%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
3097 Points ∼82% +2%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
HTC U11
812 Points ∼43%
HTC 10
608 Points ∼32% -25%
Samsung Galaxy S8
1276 Points ∼68% +57%
LG G6
647 Points ∼35% -20%
Lenovo Moto Z
542 Points ∼29% -33%
Xiaomi Mi 6
733 Points ∼39% -10%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1177 Points ∼63% +45%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
HTC U11
36.58 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S8
30.64 fps ∼84% -16%
LG G6
24.34 fps ∼67% -33%
Lenovo Moto Z
24.33 fps ∼67% -33%
Xiaomi Mi 6
32.14 fps ∼88% -12%

Legend

 
HTC U11 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
HTC 10 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa, ARM Mali-G71 MP20, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei P10 Plus HiSilicon Kirin 960, ARM Mali-G71 MP8, 128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Sony Xperia XZ Premium Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
LG G6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Lenovo Moto Z Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Mi 6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
OnePlus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Apple A10 Fusion, Apple A10 Fusion GPU / PowerVR, 128 GB NVMe

We used Google's Chrome browser - which comes preinstalled - for our benchmarks. Subjectively, the browsing speed is good, which the benchmarks confirm as well. The U11 can't outperform the iPhone 7 Plus, however and the Galaxy S8 performs somewhat better a majority of the time as well.

WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
162 Points ∼22%
HTC 10 (Chrome 49)
108 Points ∼14% -33%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
194 Points ∼26% +20%
Huawei P10 Plus
140 Points ∼19% -14%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (Chrome 59)
149 Points ∼20% -8%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
122 Points ∼16% -25%
Lenovo Moto Z (Chrome 53)
112 Points ∼15% -31%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
161 Points ∼21% -1%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
204 Points ∼27% +26%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
11781 Points ∼24%
HTC 10 (Chrome 49)
8905 Points ∼18% -24%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
12941 Points ∼26% +10%
Huawei P10 Plus (Chrome 58.0.3029.83)
10213 Points ∼21% -13%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (Chrome 59)
10672 Points ∼22% -9%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
9113 Points ∼18% -23%
Lenovo Moto Z (Chrome 53)
7771 Points ∼16% -34%
Xiaomi Mi 6 (Chrome Version 58)
11909 Points ∼24% +1%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
11945 Points ∼24% +1%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Safari Mobile 10.0)
26053 Points ∼53% +121%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
69.51 Points ∼21%
HTC 10 (Chrome 49)
52.1 Points ∼16% -25%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
65.846 Points ∼20% -5%
Huawei P10 Plus
58.427 Points ∼18% -16%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (Chrome 59)
61.5 Points ∼18% -12%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
56.628 Points ∼17% -19%
Lenovo Moto Z (Chrome 53)
47.5 Points ∼14% -32%
Xiaomi Mi 6 (Chrome Version 58)
70.453 Points ∼21% +1%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
71.6 Points ∼21% +3%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Safari Mobile 10.0)
168.08 Points ∼50% +142%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
2760.3 ms * ∼5%
HTC 10 (Chrome 49)
3146.3 ms * ∼5% -14%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
1886.6 ms * ∼3% +32%
Huawei P10 Plus (Chrome 58.0.3029.83)
3107 ms * ∼5% -13%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (Chrome 59)
3199 ms * ∼5% -16%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
2464.2 ms * ∼4% +11%
Lenovo Moto Z (Chrome 53)
3154.7 ms * ∼5% -14%
Xiaomi Mi 6 (Chrome Version 58)
2667.5 ms * ∼4% +3%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
2621.7 ms * ∼4% +5%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Safari Mobile 10.0)
1102.7 ms * ∼2% +60%

* ... smaller is better

The HTC U11 features 64 GB of flash storage, which is pretty much the de-facto standard for flagship smartphones at the time of writing. Some manufacturers offer more storage, although frequently for an extra charge. Both the OnePlus 5 as well as the Huawei P10 Plus are less expensive in this regard or cost the same, but feature larger flash drives. After the initial boot, 53.39 GB are available to the user. The UFS 2.1 flash drive is one of the fastest ones available, which AndroBench confirms as well.

Storage can be expanded using a microSD card. We checked the speed of the card reader using our reference card Exceria Pro M401 (max. read: 95 MB/s, max. write: 80 MB/s). Unfortunately, the U11 trails the HTC 10 here and the overall results are just fair to middling. 

HTC U11HTC 10Samsung Galaxy S8Huawei P10 PlusSony Xperia XZ PremiumLG G6Lenovo Moto ZXiaomi Mi 6OnePlus 5
AndroBench 3-5
-32%
-5%
20%
-30%
-21%
-4%
-4%
-5%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
46.25 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
65.44 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
41%
53.5 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
16%
33.61 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-27%
33.31 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-28%
53.33 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
15%
45.64 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-1%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
68.82 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
83.3 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
21%
63.9 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-7%
54.04 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-21%
36.79 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-47%
77.61 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
13%
78.51 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
14%
Random Write 4KB
79.97
15.89
-80%
15.25
-81%
149.78
87%
17.2
-78%
16.58
-79%
74.93
-6%
25.19
-69%
19.3
-76%
Random Read 4KB
91.45
29.92
-67%
127.17
39%
173.06
89%
74.1
-19%
95.19
4%
117.15
28%
143.49
57%
141
54%
Sequential Write 256KB
206.41
115.56
-44%
193.23
-6%
182.64
-12%
194
-6%
122.85
-40%
168.32
-18%
196.7
-5%
201.5
-2%
Sequential Read 256KB
717.33
275.09
-62%
792.86
11%
732.94
2%
687
-4%
428.67
-40%
439.66
-39%
728.2
2%
748
4%

Games

The Qualcomm Adreno 540 supports all current technologies like DirectX 12 and Vulkan and is one of the fastest mobile GPUs on the market. Even at maximum details, no current game should tax the U11 to the limit. We aren't able to supply exact frame rates like we normally would, since our benchmark app GameBench refused to cooperate and only indicated 0 fps (see screenshot). This is quite unfortunate, since the older HTC 10 is one of the few smartphones which wasn't bogged down with a  frame limiter when running Asphalt 8. We expect that this frame limit is now in place for the HTC U11 in order to increase the battery life - but we can't confirm it. 

The U11 handles well and gaming is a joy, as all inputs are recognized and executed promptly. Our only issue: it's quite easy to accidentally cover up the main speaker on the bottom edge.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Moorhuhn Jagd
Moorhuhn Jagd

Emissions

Temperatur

GFXBench T-Rex test (Open GL ES 2.0)
T-Rex
GFXBench Manhattan (Open GL ES 3.1)
Manhattan

HTC isn't quite as on top of things when it comes to the temperature. At above 40 ° in some areas, the  U11 gets comparatively warm. Under load, the entire front gets hotter than 40 °C; the hotspot above the fingerprint sensor tops out at 46.3 °C. Even though this is a little on the high side, it's still not reason for concern.

We use the GFXBench Battery Test to check how the SoC behaves under continuous load. The T-Rex subtest utilizes the older OpenGL ES 2.0 API. Here, the performance of the HTC U11 drops by about a third after seven out of 30 passes. When running the demanding Manhattan Test (Open GL ES 3.1), throttling occurs after the fifth pass with the performance dropping by up to 43 %.

Max. Load
 40 °C41.1 °C41.2 °C 
 40.8 °C40.7 °C46.3 °C 
 40.6 °C40.2 °C40.7 °C 
Maximum: 46.3 °C
Average: 41.3 °C
35.1 °C38.5 °C40.2 °C
35 °C38.3 °C39.7 °C
36.1 °C37.5 °C39.2 °C
Maximum: 40.2 °C
Average: 37.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  30.1 °C | Room Temperature 21.5 °C | Voltcraft IR-260

Speakers

pink noise measurement
pink noise measurement

The two-speaker system used to be a standout feature of the company's flagship phones, but since the partnership with Beats Audio ended, the quality has taken a turn for the worse (a fact we also lamented when reviewing the HTC 10). The positioning of the speakers also seems to be sub-optimal for decent acoustics. There's a distinct volume drop-off in the range between 1250 and 4000 Hz, which likely could be fixed with an update. The Huawei P10 Plus is one of the phones that leads the way when it comes to the sound quality, but overall the HTC U11 is pleasing enough, especially when the speakers are not set to maximum volume. 

The included USonic headset is very good with dynamic and powerful sound - it's rare these days that a manufacturer includes such a high-quality product for free. The headphone tunes the sound specifically to the user's ear, which makes an audible difference. Another positive is the fact that Hi-Res audio is supported as well. Unfortunately, the headphone needs to be attached using the USB Type-C port, since the U11 lacks a standard headphone jack. The adapter is included, but quite useless if the phone needs to be charged at the same time.

Bluetooth can be used to transmit audio as well, but this is one of the areas where HTC made some cuts: aptX and aptX HD are not supported, so many Bluetooth speakers like the Teufel Boomster XL don't reach their full potential.

Update 09-04-2017: At the IFA exhibition we had a chance to talk to HTC regarding the U11's support for aptX. According to the manufacturer, the U11 does support aptX but lacks support for the HD version thereof. However, the Android 8 Oreo update, that is supposed to land later this year, is supposed to include that as well.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.635.82525.440.13125.335.54032.931.95033.631.66331.638.98028.433.81002727.212520.828.61602236.420021.342.625020.851.531521.258.640019.465.750019.571.463017.770.780017.968.3100017.870.7125017.370.3160017.462.5200016.760.8250017.258.3315018.265.3400017.967.8500017.672.4630017.770.6800017.871.51000017.9731250018.164.51600018.249.3SPL3081.4N1.351.2median 17.9HTC U11median 65.3Delta1.310.631.635.225.433.125.329.932.92533.629.231.631.228.426.9272620.833.92243.521.349.920.854.821.257.519.462.319.566.417.767.317.96417.863.217.364.917.462.516.756.317.26018.26117.963.217.662.817.760.317.861.617.962.518.164.518.255.83075.61.336.8median 17.9Huawei P10 Plusmedian 61.61.34.831.670.525.466.325.371.632.976.133.686.531.69128.488.42789.120.883.72283.821.384.220.885.221.286.219.483.619.583.717.782.417.983.417.884.417.384.117.48316.782.617.283.518.280.517.978.617.676.617.774.817.872.817.971.918.170.318.266.13098.41.3125.2median 17.9Teufel Boomster XLmedian 83.41.33.1hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
HTC U11 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.1% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 12% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 75% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 47% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 46% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Huawei P10 Plus audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (75.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.1% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 15% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 82% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

no name audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (98.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(+) | good bass - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | bass is linear (2.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 0.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (1.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | reduced highs - on average 6.5% lower than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (6.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 0% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequenzdiagramm im Vergleich (Checkboxen oben an-/abwählbar!)

Battery Life

Power Consumption

The brighter and larger display negatively impacts the power consumption, although the power draw under maximum load has been reduced. All in all, only the Moto Z and the Galaxy S8 are more efficient.

Since the smartphone supports Quick Charge, charging the 3000 mAh battery doesn't take long and is generally completed in two hours or less. The U11 doesn't support wireless charging.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.03 / 0.27 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.73 / 1.96 / 1.98 Watt
Load midlight 4.82 / 7.15 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
charging curve HTC U11
charging curve HTC U11
HTC U11
3000 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S8
3000 mAh
Huawei P10 Plus
3750 mAh
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3230 mAh
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
2915 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z
2600 mAh
OnePlus 5
3300 mAh
Power Consumption
-11%
24%
-41%
-11%
-8%
21%
-2%
Idle Minimum *
0.73
0.68
7%
0.78
-7%
1.03
-41%
0.62
15%
0.77
-5%
0.66
10%
0.73
-0%
Idle Average *
1.96
1.49
24%
1.1
44%
2.61
-33%
2.44
-24%
2.04
-4%
1.01
48%
1.44
27%
Idle Maximum *
1.98
1.91
4%
1.16
41%
2.83
-43%
2.59
-31%
2.24
-13%
1.09
45%
1.5
24%
Load Average *
4.82
7.4
-54%
4.15
14%
7.03
-46%
4.94
-2%
4.69
3%
3.97
18%
6.91
-43%
Load Maximum *
7.15
9.71
-36%
5.12
28%
10.08
-41%
7.91
-11%
8.66
-21%
8.34
-17%
8.51
-19%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The battery life isn't what we'd call bad, but the HTC U11 nonetheless slips to the last place in our comparison. Some competing smartphones simply run longer because of their larger batteries, but that's not the case for the Galaxy S8, the Moto Z or the iPhone 7 Plus

To be able to compare the performance, we conduct our WLAN surf test with the panel set to 150 cd/m². Only the Moto Z does worse here; the Galaxy S8 lasts about 2.5 hours longer. When playing Full HD videos, the U11 is even surpassed by its predecessor and trails the rest of the field. The battery test of the PCMark for Android benchmark test confirms the rather lackluster performance as well.     

With normal use, the HTC U11 should still last an entire day. In addition, the smartphone offers various power-saving features to increase the battery life.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
20h 50min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
9h 20min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 18min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 32min
HTC U11
3000 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S8
3000 mAh
Huawei P10 Plus
3750 mAh
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
2915 mAh
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3230 mAh
LG G6
3300 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z
2600 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 6
3350 mAh
Battery Runtime
1%
35%
26%
30%
34%
36%
20%
32%
Reader / Idle
1250
1273
2%
1667
33%
1655
32%
1835
47%
1754
40%
1789
43%
1371
10%
H.264
498
648
30%
771
55%
756
52%
813
63%
802
61%
779
56%
724
45%
WiFi v1.3
560
413
-26%
719
28%
760
36%
587
5%
695
24%
692
24%
407
-27%
739
32%
Load
212
203
-4%
264
25%
174
-18%
225
6%
236
11%
252
19%
320
51%
PCMark for Android - Work 2.0 battery life
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
768 min ∼100% +61%
Huawei Mate 9
677 min ∼88% +42%
Samsung Galaxy S8
527 min ∼69% +11%
Sony Xperia XZ
482 min ∼63% +1%
HTC U11
476 min ∼62%
HTC 10
387 min ∼50% -19%

Pros

+ unusual range of colors
+ fast Snapdragon processor
+ UFS 2.1 storage
+ great camera
+ accurate GPS
+ good display
+ storage is expandable
+ Gigabit-LTE
+ fast USB port with video out
+ great headset
+ IP certified

Cons

- SoC throttling under load
- microSD slot is just average
- doesn't support aptX
- not all functions available when recording video

Verdict

In Review: HTC U11, courtesy of HTC Germany.
In Review: HTC U11, courtesy of HTC Germany.

Despite the fact that HTC didn't modify the design too much, the U11 looks distinctly different than the HTC 10 and other competitors thanks to different materials and the extraordinary color choices. From a technical standpoint, the smartphone is at very high level, as it comes equipped with an up-to-date high-end processor and a class- appropriate amount of storage. The MSRP price increase of 50 Euro (~$58) is pretty steep, but follows the yearly trend.    

Although the sound has always been one of HTC's strongholds, the U11 isn't a top performer any longer. True, HTC included a lot of audio technology, but quite frankly we don't understand the move to an USB-based audio interface. Too bad, since the included headset is top-notch. Users who prefer to connect their speaker via Bluetooth might be disappointed as well since aptX is not supported.

The HTC U11 impresses with its unusual colors, a great camera and rather outstanding system performance. The battery life leaves to be desired, however.

The HTC U11 takes outstanding, high-quality photos and outperforms the class leader Galaxy S8 when it comes to low-light performance. That's still not quite enough for first place in this category, since the camera loses points when it comes to adjustability and available video options.     

The U11 is comparatively large, but still only includes a 3000 mAh battery as its power source. A larger-capacity battery would've been a better choice in our opinion, especially since the run times aren't that great compared to the competition.  All things considered, the HTC U11 is an outstanding smarphone, however.

HTC U11 - 07/22/2017 v6
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
89%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 90%
Pointing Device
95%
Connectivity
66 / 60 → 100%
Weight
91%
Battery
91%
Display
89%
Games Performance
64 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
67 / 70 → 96%
Temperature
83%
Noise
100%
Audio
76 / 91 → 84%
Camera
86%
Average
82%
89%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HTC U11 Smartphone Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2017-07-31 (Update: 2017-09- 5)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).