HTC is launching its first Android One handset in the form of the HTC U11 Life. This is very much the little brother of the U11 in mid-range form, but that Android One labelling is significant.
Android One was a programme devised by Google so that hardware manufacturers could launch pure Android handsets. Originally this looked to be directed toward less-wealthy regions, so a Google-approved handset could be launched with all the benefits of Android.
The HTC U11 Life offers something a little different, with a design that's similar to the HTC U11 - but switching the rear glass panel for an Acrylic Liquid Surface finish instead - and retaining some of the good stuff, like IP67 waterproofing.
Elsewhere, this is a 5.2-inch Full HD handset with a conventional 16:9 LCD display, packed into a body running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 platform with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage along with microSD for expansion. It offers cat 11 4G speeds.
There is no 3.5mm headphone socket, so you'll have to use the USB Type-C instead, but it does come with HTC's USonic headphones and will give you the active noise cancellation found on the HTC U11. As far as bundled headsets go with mid-range phones, you might struggle to beat these.
There are 16-megapixel cameras front and back and a 2600mAh battery.
The HTC U11 Life will be launching on Android Oreo and there will be no sign of HTC Sense, apart from the customisable Edge Sense functions. It's pure Android handset with many of HTC's advantages also bundled in.
Android One also gives you a guarantee of 3 years of monthly Android security updates, as well as 2 years of Android version update, so this phone will probably end its life on Android Q.
The HTC U11 Life will be available in Sapphire Blue and Brilliant Black, with the shift to Acrylic meaning that it's pretty light in the hand.
The HTC U11 Life will cost you £349 and pre-orders will open up immediately.
There is a twist, however, that HTC fans will want to watch out for. The HTC U11 Life will also be sold in the USA on T-Mobile as a different version - an HTC Sense version. This T-Mobile edition of the handset will launch on Android Nougat with HTC Sense, but as we said that only applies to the USA.
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