HTC on Thursday announced two new devices in the form of the U11 Plus and U11 Life, with the latter being presented as a mid-range revision of the original U11 flagship introduced earlier this year. Apart from respectable specs including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC and 3GB/4GB RAM, the U11 Life also boasts a number of unique features meant to allow the device to differentiate itself from other handsets in the same price range.
The Taiwanese phone maker once again opted to deliver a smartphone with a pressure-sensitive frame as the HTC U11 Life still features the same Edge Sense technology from the U11 that also debuted in Google's Pixel 2 devices last month, albeit rebranded as Active Edge. In practice, Edge Sense allows the smartphone to recognize when it's being squeezed and identify the exact level of pressure exerted on its frame, then start certain software actions based on that information. Depending on what's currently opened on the screen, squeezing the HTC U11 Life may launch its Camera app, take a picture, activate the Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa, or perform a range of other feats. The physical shortcut mechanism is also highly customizable, both in terms of actions you want it to perform and the exact pressure levels to which you want it to respond.
The HTC U11 Life is also designed based on the same three-axis symmetry concept adopted by the Taiwanese OEM in the past, being made from highly refined acrylic glass enhanced with various minerals. In practice, this should guarantee the handset is comfortable to hold and attractive to look at, with all of its colors bending light in a different manner with even the smallest change of your viewing angle. IP67 certification for resistance to dust particles and water is also part of the package, as are the HTC USonic earbuds which ship with the smartphone. The device runs a stock version of Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, being launched as the latest addition to Google's Android One program, at least in some countries. Finally, the HTC U11 Life supports Bluetooth 5.0, Quick Charge 3.0, and NFC, in addition to boasting a 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture and an identical front-facing sensor.