HTC U11 vs HTC 10: HTC has finally unveiled its flagship smartphone for 2017, but is it any good? And what’s new about the HTC 11 compared to last year’s model? Here’s a complete guide to the HTC U11 versus the HTC 10.
We were thoroughly impressed with last year’s HTC flagship, awarding it a very respectable 4.5/5 score in our HTC 10 review. Among other things, we sung the praises of the phone’s design, strong screen, and excellent Android skin.
But now, a new HTC challenger emerges: the HTC U11. The phone comes packing the latest mobile hardware and is a serious upgrade over the HTC 10. However, if you’re looking to upgrade to the HTC U11, it’s worth considering how much value for money it offers compared to its predecessor.
We compare all the key differences between the HTC U11 and HTC 10, including design, specs, and price.
For a summarised version of this article, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
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HTC U11 vs HTC 10 Design: What’s the difference?
As is the trend this year, HTC has opted for a slim-bezel design for the HTC U11. It’s not quite as dramatic as the Samsung Galaxy S8’s front, but it’s certainly a more on-trend approach than we saw from the already-stylish HTC 10 – though not necessarily more attractive.
There’s also been a significant design upgrade in the form of waterproofing. The HTC 10 achieved a paltry IP53 certification, which basically meant it was wise to keep it as far away from water as possible. But the HTC U11 comes fully IP68 certified; that means it’s been tested at a depth of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes, and came away unscathed.
Related: What is IP68?
HTC has also built a new control function into the HTC U11 called ‘Edge Sense’. This heavily leaked and heavily teased feature lets you control certain aspects of the phone by squeezing its sides. For instance, you can squeeze to take a selfie or launch the Google Assistant virtual helper.
The HTC U11 comes in a wide range of colours that includes: Amazing Silver, Solar Red, Sapphire Blue, Ice White, and Brilliant Black. That means you’ve got a slightly wider selection of choices than the HTC 10 colour roster: Carbon Grey, Topaz Gold, Glacier Silver, and Carmellia Red.
Here’s our Mobile Editor Max Parker’s take on the new design:
“I’m not convinced the HTC U11 is better looking than the HTC 10, but it’s decent enough for an Android flagship.
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“It’ll come down to individual tastes in the end, but there was a robustness to the HTC 10 that feels missing from the new model.
“Still, you probably won’t be disappointed by either’s design.”
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HTC U11 vs HTC 10 Specs: What’s the difference?
One of the more significant upgrades for the HTC U11 is an increased screen size, moving from 5.2 inches to 5.5 inches. Big screens are on trend right now, so the HTC U11 is falling more in line with rivals like the LG G6 (5.7 inches) and Galaxy S8 (5.8 inches).
The good news for HTC 10 owners is the display resolution has remained as Quad HD on the HTC U11, so you’re actually getting a slightly more pixel-dense screen on the 2016 handset.
Another major update to the HTC U11 is the processor. HTC has opted for Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful chipset, the Snapdragon 835. It’s the same chip that featured in the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium, and massively outstrips the HTC 10’s Snapdragon 820 in terms of performance.
In fact, Qualcomm says the new chip is 27% faster and consumes 40% less energy, so we’d hope to see improved battery life from the HTC U11 – given the battery capacity (3000mAh) and display resolution (QHD) have remained constant.
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Customers get slightly more generous storage options this year, as the HTC 10 only shipped in 32GB or 64GB variants. By way of contrast, the HTC U11 comes in 64GB or 128GB flavours, although the latter isn’t available in the UK.
You can also get a version with 6GB of RAM instead of the usual 4GB (matching the HTC 10), but this isn’t available in the UK either.
The primary camera has a slightly wider f/1.7 (up from f1.8) aperture this time around, which means marginally more light can get through to the sensor. Otherwise, the cameras are largely the same, both proffering the same 12-megapixel spec and featuring optical image stabilisation.
The front ‘selfie’ cam has had a massive resolution bump, though, jumping from a 5-megapixels to 16-megapixels.
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On the software front, the HTC has retained Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, but has made some new tweaks to its version of the software.
For instance, HTC has confirmed that Amazon Alexa integration is coming, which means you’ll be able to access Amazon’s digital assistant directly through your phone through four microphones that are always listening. Alexa will be native to the handset and will work just like Google Assistant.
It’s set to arrive in July. Alongside Alexa and Google Assistant, you’ll also get access to another AI called HTC Sense Companion, which understands power consumption, fitness, commuting, and more.
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For a full spec comparison, check out the table below:
|HTC U11||HTC 10|
|Screen||5.5 inches | Quad HD | Super LCD||5.5 inches | Quad HD | Super LCD|
|Computing||Snapdragon 835 | 64GB/128GB | 4GB/6GB||Snapdragon 820 | 32GB/64GB | 4GB|
|Camera||Main: 12MP, f/1.7, OIS | Front: 16MP, f/2.0||Main: 12MP, f/1.8, OIS | Front: 5MP, OIS|
|Battery||3000mAh | Quick Charge 3.0||3000mAh | Quick Charge 3.0|
Related: Best HTC U11 deals
HTC U11 vs HTC 10 Price: Which phone is better value for money?
When we originally reviewed the HTC 10, it sold for £569.99 – par for the course for a mid-2016 flagship. But times have changed since then, and the HTC U11 will cost £649 instead – again highlight the clear trend of tech prices rising.
It’s not a huge surprise mind, given that the Samsung Galaxy S8 starts from £689 and the LG G6 costs £649.
These days, you can pick up a HTC 10 from about £465, so it’s worth considering whether you’re willing to pay £200 for the additional features offered by the HTC U11.
HTC U11 vs HTC 10 Summary: What’s the difference?
Here’s a quick breakdown of the main differences between the HTC U11 (2017) and the HTC 10 (2016).
Design: The HTC U11 has a slim, refined design that trumps the stylish HTC 10 – and bundles in a new squeeze control mechanism called ‘Edge Sense’ for good measure.
Specs: The main upgrades for the HTC U11 include a bigger 5.5-inch screen and a more powerful and efficient processor in the form of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835.
Price: HTC is selling the HTC U11 for £649 in the UK, which is nearly £200 more than the market price for a HTC 10 these days, and £80 more than the HTC 10’s original retail price.
Related: HTC U11 vs Galaxy S8
What do you think of the new HTC U11? Let us know in the comments below.