Third time’s the charm
Update: Leaked renders have given us our first look at the HTC U11 Plus, while another rumor points to a massive battery.
The HTC U11 is an impressive phone, receiving 4.5 stars in our review, but it seems HTC might be chasing that last half a star, as it’s rumored to be working on a bigger and better version of the phone.
Known currently as the HTC U11 Plus and previously as the Ocean Master, this is a handset that we haven’t heard a huge amount about yet, but which we’re expecting to see soon, as HTC is holding a November 2 event which may well be dedicated to it.
And there are some things we do know, all of which you’ll find below, along with our analysis and educated guesses as to what else the U11 Plus might offer.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A larger version of the HTC U11
- When is it out? Likely announced on November 2
- What will it cost? Upwards of $649/£649/AU$999
HTC U11 Plus release date and price
We don’t know for sure when the HTC U11 Plus will land, but there’s a good chance it will arrive on November 2, as HTC is holding an event on that day in Taiwan, and the invites include a large ‘U’.
Of course, even if the U11 Plus is announced then you may not be able to buy it straight away, but we expect HTC will want to make it available before the holiday season, so you probably won’t be waiting too long.
And as HTC UK has now tweeted about the November 2 announcement we can be confident that whatever’s announced will come to the UK.
As for what it will cost, that’s anyone’s guess right now, but presumably it will be at least as much as the standard HTC U11, which launched at $649/£649/AU$999, and given the likely higher specs and the high price of rivals like the iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 XL it may well be more expensive than that.
HTC U11 Plus design and screen
- A 5.99-inch 2:1 display
- A 1,440 x 2,880 resolution
- Water resistance
We’ve now seen leaked renders supposedly showing the HTC U11 Plus, and it looks a lot like the normal HTC U11, with a shimmery two-tone glass back that likely catches both the light and fingerprints.
The pictures also reveal that the fingerprint scanner has been moved to the back and the bezels above and below the screen look slightly smaller. The same source claims the HTC U11 Plus will be 158.2 x 74.6 x 9.1mm, making it a little longer and thicker than the HTC U11.
It’s also rumored to be IP68 certified dust and water resistant. That would be a slight improvement on the IP67 HTC U11 and mean you can submerge it up to 1.5 meters deep for up to 30 minutes.
We know more about the screen, which according to one source will be a 5.99-inch 1,440 x 2,880 one with a 2:1 aspect ratio, similar to phones like the LG G6and Samsung Galaxy S8. That size and aspect ratio would make it larger and more widescreen than the standard HTC U11.
Another source said it would have a 6-inch screen, but gave no additional details. The source behind the renders above also listed a 6-inch display.
TechRadar’s take: A big screen and a new aspect ratio would help the U11 Plus stand out from the normal U11, so we’d consider that likely. Beyond that, the design will probably be similar though.
HTC U11 Plus camera and battery
- A 12MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing one
- 4,000mAh battery
We’ve heard from two different sources that the HTC U11 Plus will have a 12MP rear camera. No other details were given, but it’s presumably a single-lens one and may well be the same as the one used in the standard HTC U11.
In which case you can expect an aperture of f/1.7 and optical image stabilization, along with likely strong performance if our experience with the HTC U11 is anything to go by.
Around the front the two sources also agree that there will be an 8MP camera, which is a change, as the HTC U11 has a 16MP front-facing one.
The one battery rumor points to a juice pack of around 4,000mAh, which would be a major upgrade, as the standard HTC U11 has just a 3,000mAh one.
TechRadar’s take: Don’t expect big changes to the camera, but a larger battery will probably be included.
HTC U11 Plus OS and power
- Snapdragon 835 chipset
- Up to 6GB of RAM
Sources suggest that the HTC U11 Plus will have a Snapdragon 835 chipset with either 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though it’s unclear whether both configurations will be available everywhere.
In any case that’s a fairly standard flagship spec, matching the standard HTC U11, which itself only saw a 6GB release in a handful of countries.
A lot of those specs were backed up by a tweet from serial tipster Evan Blass, meaning we’re pretty sure about most of the key components going inside the phone.
There’s no news on the operating system but we’d be surprised if it doesn’t run Android Oreo overlaid with HTC’s Sense UI.
TechRadar’s take: We’re sure the U11 Plus will have at least 4GB of RAM, in order to match the U11, while a Snapdragon 835 is almost certain as it’s still Qualcomm’s best smartphone chip.
HTC U11 Plus other features
- Edge Sense
- Amazon Alexa
The HTC U11 Plus is likely to have the same key features as the HTC U11, which means it will almost certainly have Edge Sense – the ability to squeeze the phone to launch Google Assistant among other things.
The HTC U11 also has Amazon’s Alexa assistant built in, so that too is likely to feature here. And it will probably also be good for audio, with two speakers and strong audio performance through headphones, though probably no 3.5mm headphone port, given that the standard U11 lacks one.
TechRadar’s take: Nothing has been rumored here, but a return of key features such as Edge Sense seems very likely.
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