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htc u

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HTC U11 hands-on: HTC gets a little closer to the mark

After the thoroughly underwhelming and slightly weird U Ultra, it's safe to say many HTC fans have been waiting for a "return to form" sort of product from the struggling smartphone manufacturer. While the U11 isn't what I'd call a massive leap forward, it does take steps in the right direction - some obvious, some less so. But this isn't a phone without compromises.

The headphone jack is still gone. HTC tries to suggest that since it includes its U Sonic earbuds (now with active noise cancellation) and an adapter in the box, the pain of this will be offset for most consumers - but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

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'HTC Edge Sense' appears on the Play Store, shows how the HTC U 11 will work

HTC's first 2017 flagship was the HTC U Ultra, which put simply, was not a good phone. However, the company is planning another high-end device, which is expected to be called the 'HTC U 11.' We already knew that the phone would have pressure-sensitive bezels to detect squeezing, but now we know a little more about how it will work.

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HTC's upcoming flagship may be branded 'HTC U 11' and come in five different colors

We've been hearing about the "HTC Ocean" for months, and just the other day HTC finally teased it as part of the U line. We believed at the time it would simply be called the HTC U, but our old friend Evan Blass says the final name will be "HTC U 11." It's apparently HTC's way of bridging its old and new naming scheme.

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HTC will announce its flagship 'U' on May 16th, complete with squeezable frame

HTC has lost its way, and we all hoped the HTC 10 would see it back on the path to prosperity. That didn't work out, and this year's U Ultra wasn't a good enough phone to lead HTC anyplace it wants to go. That leaves this leaky new flagship phone, previously known only as the HTC Ocean. Now it's being teased as (probably) the HTC U. It doesn't have the ticker display of the U Ultra, but the U has a trick of its own—it's a more huggable smartphone.

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The first photo of the HTC U has been leaked

The HTC U Ultra was released earlier this year, and reviews of the device were mixed at best. However, the company's second 2017 flagship, code-named 'Ocean,' is yet to be released. But now we know what it will look like.

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HTC U leak reveals full specs, Edge Sense feature details, plus 4 microphones and dual speakers

The HTC U, codenamed Ocean, is the hottest item in the rumor mill now that the Galaxy S8 has been announced. The last we heard about the U, it was supposed to launch in April with a Snapdragon 835, 5.5" WQHD display, 12MP back cam and 16MP front cam, and Android 7.1. The headline feature though is the sensors around the frame that can detect your squeezes and swipes across the edges.

Now Android Headlines seems to have come across the HTC U's presentation doc and thanks to it, we learn a bit more about the phone. Specs-wise, we have a confirmation about the processor, screen, and Android version, though there's no mention of either cameras' resolution.

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HTC will reveal its Snapdragon 835 flagship, the U, in April according to report

Watching HTC release phones is almost as frustrating as Google's current messenger app situation. After two years of incremental releases to the company's 'HTC One' lineup, many considered last year's HTC 10 to be a great phone (besides being rather expensive at launch). The company followed up this year with the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, neither of which has received positive reviews.

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HTC U Ultra now available unlocked in the US, costs $749

We got our first look at the HTC U Ultra back in January, but it has only been (officially) available in Europe until now. If you've been waiting to purchase one on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, you're in luck - the unlocked U Ultra is now available from HTC's US website.

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[Because that doesn't sound ridiculous] HTC has an app to update the firmware of its USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

What was wrong with 3.5mm audio jacks? They have been standard for many years, they worked reliably, and you could find tons of headphones that supported them. But no, companies have to sometimes invent reasons to change things around and here we are with the 3.5mm jack mysteriously disappearing from modern smartphones to be replaced by USB-C digital audio. Yes, I know that size constraints matter, but so far, the released phones with no jack don't make a good case for that argument and don't provide any new hardware that uses the additional empty space favorably. And for the record, I am ranting even though I use Bluetooth headsets 99% of the time; I just like having the 3.5mm plug option for that 1%.

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The HTC U Ultra and U Play showcase a new design direction, both launching in early 2017

HTC has been lagging behind its competitors for years, despite some fantastic hardware and critical acclaim. So for 2017 the company is going in a completely new design direction, dumping the aluminum unibody phones it's become known for and shifting to a more generic glass front and back. The first products displaying this new direction are the HTC U Ultra, the new flagship phone, and the U Play, a mid-range model. They'll both go on sale later this year.

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