HTC finally unveiled its latest flagship smartphone and the new HTC U11 seems like a masterpiece all around, boasting top specs and features all around.

The HTC U11 sports a sleek and streamlined design, high-end specs, powerful features such as Alexa and Google Assistant, and an intriguing form of interaction: squeezing.

Yes, you can squeeze the HTC U11 for various functionalities, but more on that later. Let's take a close look at everything the new Android flagship brings to the table.

HTC U11 Design

HTC received high praise years ago for its gorgeous One (M7) metal unibody design and ever since, it hasn't strayed far from that design language with its subsequent flagships. Other smartphone makers have since moved to glass designs for their flagships, but HTC carried on the One (M7) design language for longer than it should have and the HTC 10 from last year ultimately failed to impress.

HTC changed course with its U Ultra released earlier this year and the new HTC U11 now takes things to the next level, boasting a more polished and smooth design comprising of a slim frame and Gorilla Glass on both the front and rear panels.

The company touts that its new HTC U11 is "symmetrically slim from every angle" and its liquid glass surface is "crafted to impress."

HTC U11 Specs

The hot, new HTC U11 sports a 5.5-inch Super LCD display with a QHD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) and Gorilla Glass 5 protection for extra scratch resistance. HTC made no compromises with its new flagship and the HTC U11 packs a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage.

Other specs include a 12-megapixel rear camera with Dual Pixel autofocus, a 16-megapixel selfie cam, a 3,000 mAh battery, USB Type-C and IP67 certification for dust and water resistance, among the highlights. The handset doesn't have a headphone jack, but it does come with a pair of noise-cancelling USB-C headphones.

HTC U11 Edge Sense: 'Squeeze For The Brilliant U'

HTC boasts that Edge Sense opens a new world of smartphone interactions, adding new ways to get things done.

"We are a pioneering company, and just like you, we are always trying, always searching, always learning," says HTC. "We wanted to go beyond the touch screen so we created an entirely new and intuitive way to interact with the phone — Edge Sense. A simple squeeze unlocks a whole new world."

Edge Sense basically consists of a range of sensors embedded in the lower half of the phone, on each side. The HTC U11 will recognize only two gestures at first — a short squeeze and a long squeeze. Users can set these two gestures to trigger various apps and services. For instance, a quick squeeze could open an app, while a long squeeze could launch the camera. Users can adjust the amount of pressure for triggering Edge Sense, and HTC will likely add more options for interaction down the line.

It may seem odd to squeeze your phone, but it's nonetheless something new that brings a breath of fresh air on the highly saturated smartphone market. Even better, Edge Sense doesn't make use of capacitive technology, which means that you can use the function even when wearing gloves or with wet hands and/ or phone.

Google Assistant And Amazon Alexa

The new HTC U11 runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, so it makes sense that it taps the power of Google Assistant. HTC, however, also teamed up with Amazon to squeeze Alexa in as well. It's not up and running from the get go, but HTC and Amazon will add features shortly after the phone hits the market.

The HTC U11 has an always-listening microphone set so that users will be able to summon Amazon's assistant simply by saying "Alexa." It remains unclear for now which Alexa skills the phone will support.

HTC U11 Price And Availability

The HTC U11 will be available unlocked and it's already up for preorder from Amazon or HTC itself. The smartphone costs $649 and will start shipping next month.

It's worth pointing out that the HTC U11 will work with all major U.S. networks thanks to its wide range of radio bands, so customers will have no trouble using the smartphone on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. The smartphone is available in Amazing Silver, Brilliant Black, and Sapphire Blue color options.

On the downside, those who don't want to purchase the HTC U11 unlocked will have no other option in the United States than to get it on Sprint. HTC has apparently signed a deal to make Sprint the exclusive HTC U11 carrier in the United States and it looks like a permanent deal, not just a temporary exclusivity.

Sprint will offer the smartphone at $29 per month for 24 months and it's throwing in a couple of Amazon Echo Dot speakers for preorder customers.

This carrier exclusivity could severely limit the HTC U11's success, especially since Sprint is not exactly the most popular carrier in the United States. Many customers can't afford to shell out the full retail price to buy the device unlocked and having only one carrier option to get it subsidized may put off prospective buyers.

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