It’s tough to stand out in a market dominated by Samsung’s latest flagship.
HTC’s proper 2017 flagship, the U11, has arrived, and it hits the market just a few weeks after Samsung released its Galaxy S8. Though HTC is miles away from Samsung in terms of market share, it’s attempting to make a flagship on the same level when it comes to specs, hardware, and experience.
In terms of overall dimensions, the HTC U11 lands in between the Galaxy S8 and S8+ but is a closer comparison to the smaller GS8 when it comes to screen area. We spent some quality time with both phones together to see how they stack up.
There are plenty of internal similarities between these phones, but the companies have taken distinctly different approaches to hardware. Samsung made big strides this year in shrinking bezels and moving to an extra-tall 18.5:9 display, but HTC is sticking with the old model of a 16:9 aspect ratio and rather large bezels all around. Even further, HTC’s traditional capacitive keys and front-mounted fingerprint sensor are in stark contrast to Samsung’s switch in 2017.
HTC’s hardware execution is excellent, but the Galaxy S8 just feels futuristic.
HTC’s design decisions feel a little antiquated in general, but doubly so when sat next to the sleek and futuristic Galaxy S8. On the other hand, there are clear advantages to having a fingerprint sensor that’s right where you expect and a flat display with bezels that reduce accidental touches. The U11’s 5.5-inch display is smaller diagonally than the Galaxy S8’s, but because of its wider aspect ratio there’s actually more display here — but combined with the larger bezels, the entire phone is larger to boot. That doesn’t necessarily have large implications for actual use of the phone, but when you set the two together you