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HTC U11 Life review – the mid-level smartphone that’s just right

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HTC’s U11 Life is one of those devices that certainly grabs your attention. It has an impressive design, a host of great features and an affordable price which makes it a compelling offering for customers.

Tech Guide has been test driving the U11 Life for a little while now and it’s “just right” in so many areas.

It has a “just right” screen size at 5.2 inches, it has a “just right” size that fits nicely in your hand and a “just right” operating system with Android One.

This is one of the first devices running Android One.

And Android purists will absolutely love it because there is nothing else but Android.

No bloatware, no doubled-up apps –  just Android.

The HTC U11 Life inherits its design and many of its features from last year’s flagship U11 including Edge Sense, USonic and that excellent camera.

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It also has an IP67 rating which makes the device water and dust resistant.

On the design side, it’s pretty much identical to the HTC U11 with nicely rounded edges and liquid surface finish.

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The only thing we didn’t like was how easily visible our fingerprints and smudges were on the back panel.

We found ourselves constantly wiping it clean on our shirt or with a cloth.

The 5.2-inch full high-definition display is sharp and bright and is a decent size for those who are not fans of large devices.

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Also on board is Edge Sense where you literally put the squeeze on the device to launch the camera and take a shot.

And it makes taking selfies a lot easier as well.

Speaking of the camera, that’s another reason to love the HTC U11.

It has 16-megapixel resolution and uses phase detection autofocus, so all your snaps are sharp with reduced blur.

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The device also has HDR (high dynamic range) to make your images look even better.

Even the front facing camera has the same 16-megapixel resolution which means your selfies are going to pop.

There’s even a selfie panorama mode so you can get even more into your shot.

We all use our phones to listen to our music and the HTC U11 also delivers big time in this area thanks to USonic.

Shot taken with the HTC U11 Life
Shot taken with the HTC U11 Life

USonic actually maps your inner ear with sonar and adapts the sound profile to suit you.

This means the audio is optimise to enhance your listening experience.

This is one of our favourite features and creates a tailored audio profile rather than just getting what you’re given out of a device.

The on-board earbuds also incorporate active noise cancellation so you can reduce ambient noise around you and stay focused on the music or movie you’re listening to.

And if listening to Hi-Res Audio is your thing then the HTC U11 Life has got your back there as well with 24-bit sound that will blow you away.

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The HTC U11 Life is priced at just $599 and is ideal for the customer who wants a solid all-round device that can meet their needs without breaking the bank.

Many of the features on board the device stand up pretty well against those seen on devices that cost well over $1,000.

HTC has put a stake in the ground in this mid-level category and will be hard to beat at this level with a device like the U11 Life.

The HTC U11 Life is available on a plan or outright through Vodafone or directly from HTC.

VERDICT

HTC’s U11 Life delivers all the features you want in a device that is just the right size and at an ultra-competitive price.

HTC’s U11 Life is one of those devices that certainly grabs your attention. It has an impressive design, a host of great features and an affordable price which makes it a compelling offering for customers. Tech Guide has been test driving the U11 Life for a little while now and it’s “just right” in so many areas. It has a “just right” screen size at 5.2 inches, it has a “just right” size that fits nicely in your hand and a “just right” operating system with Android One. This is one of the first devices running Android One. And Android…

HTC U11 Life

Rating - 90%

90%

PROS: Nice size, Edge Sense, USonic audio, great camera, affordable price, pure Android operating system

CONS: Rear panel is a smudge magnet

VERDICT: HTC’s U11 Life delivers all the features you want in a device that is just the right size and at an ultra-competitive price.

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