HTC is planning to release its rumored U11 Life smartphone with a stock version of Android 8.0 Oreo as part of Google’s Android One program, known industry insider Evan Blass said on Wednesday, corroborating another identical report which emerged earlier today. The device is also said to be launched in a variant with Sense 9.0, though it’s currently unclear which markets will the Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer be targeting with the two models. It’s presumed that no country will receive both versions of the smartphone, while previous reports suggested that its commercial debut will come at some point in October.
The device that’s said to bear the codename “Ocean Life” is supposedly a mid-range offering from HTC which is said to be powered by the Snapdragon 660 system-on-chip, Qualcomm’s latest and most capable silicon in this market segment to date. The HTC U11 Life is also rumored to ship with Edge Sense support, hence featuring the same pressure-sensitive frame that the company already debuted with the U11 flagship earlier this year. Other older rumors pointed to a 5.2-inch display panel with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, a single-lens primary camera setup with a 16-megapixel sensor, and another 16-megapixel module on the front. The handset will supposedly be powered by a 2,600mAh battery which won’t be removable, in addition to possibly featuring IP68-certified resistance to dust particles and water.
HTC hasn’t launched a commercially successful mid-range device in a long time, which most industry watchers agree is part of its larger troubles on the smartphone front which the company has yet to overcome. The Taoyuan, Taiwan-based consumer electronics manufacturer is reportedly even pondering the idea of selling its handset business to the highest bidder, with Google allegedly being its top suitor. It’s currently unclear how close the Alphabet-owned company is to actually acquiring HTC’s unit, though the two have already been collaborating for numerous years now, having most recently worked together on the Pixel series which HTC manufactured. The Taiwanese company is also believed to be the manufacturer of the Pixel 2 flagship, though the Pixel XL 2 will reportedly be produced by LG Electronics and feature a more unconventional, bezel-less aesthetic.