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(Pocket-lint) - HTC's U11 is one of the most capable phones available on the market today. It's a big improvement from last year in almost every way, and it has its squeezable edges that set it apart from the competition. But there is one other feature that makes it unique, and that's the colour scheme. The Liquid Surface design means that, whichever colour you get, it transforms depending on the lighting and the angle that you're looking at it from. 

When the HTC U11 originally launched, it did so in silver, blue and black, all of which looked unique thanks to those layers of glass on the back. Now, the Solar Red model is here and is arguably the most eye catching of all the colours. 

In bright light it looks pink, in low light it's a glossy deep red, and at an angle, it's a fiery orange. Or, it's a combination of all three at once. It's mesmerising. We had to get a closer look for ourselves. 

The U11 isn't the first phone to be blessed with this Liquid Surface finish, it also made an appearance on the HTC U Ultra. To create the finish, HTC developed a process wherethe colours bond to the glass in multiple layers.

This glass is then moulded evenly around the edges of the phone using lots of pressure and heat. The end result is a glass surface that doesn't show that it has multiple layers, but just a magical, reflective, colour-changing appearance. 

Inside, it's the same powerhouse that got our recommended award for 2017. It's powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor, Qualcomm's newest and most powerful chip, which is paired with 4GB RAM in our model. Its 64GB storage is expandable up to 256GB using a microSD card and its 3,000mAh is more than enough to get through a work day, thanks to some clever behind-the-scenes optimisations. 

On the software side, you now get the choice of three smart assistants, thanks to a recent app update: Google Assistant, HTC Sense Companion or Alexa (from Amazon) are all available, and you can choose to have them activated by a squeeze of the phone's edges.

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Pocket-lintHTC U11 Solar Red image 4

At £649 it's more affordable than the Galaxy S8+, iPhone 7 Plus or Pixel XL. If you're after a phone that's different to what everyone else is using, and yet still packs a flagship punch, the U11 is ideal. 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 28 July 2017.