HTC U11 Life will be the first Android One smartphone

A large swathe of HTC’s phone expertise may have been snapped up by Google, but the Taiwanese electronics firm isn’t done with mobiles just yet, as leaked specs of the HTC U11 Life demonstrate. 

Details of the HTC U11 Life’s hardware and software were posted on Twitter by user and developer LLabTooFeR and appear to confirm some of the previously leaked specs that HTC’s more budget take on the flagship HTC U11 is slated to have.

A 5.2-inch Full HD display, 16MP front and rear -facing cameras,  and HTC’s Edge Sense and USonic tech, were among the specs that revived a dose of added credence via the new leak. But LLabTooFeR’s post also noted that the U11 Life will come in version with 3GB or 4GB or RAM and 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage respectively, and the battery will weigh in at 2600mAh.

These specs point towards an solid mid-range Android smartphone, but the more interesting side of the U11 Life is that it’s set to be the first Android One phone.

Android One is the name give to Google’s initiative to have pure Android on mobiles made by other manufacturers, which normally sport some form of additional skin, apps or user interface on top of the base Android operating system.

However, fiddling around with Android can lead to slower and less slick performance on some handsets, as well as add a level of clutter and replication to the native apps found on handsets from major phone makers.

The likes of Motorola and HMD Nokia have seen more mobiles made with stock or almost stock Android, and the Android One initiative looks to build upon that by offering more devices with a pure Android experiences out of the box.

The U11 Life is set to adopt Android One and will sport a pure version of Android 8.0 Oreo, while rumours and leaks point to a second version of the smartphone that’ll have Android Oreo but with HTC’s Sense UI added on top.

So far the HTC U11 Life is squaring up to be a pretty decent Android One phone. But for people wanting a flagship level smartphone with pure Android, they will have to wait for Google’s next Pixel handsets set to make their debut October 4.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Pixel 2

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