HTC U11 Life

7.5/10 AVG.
RATING



7.5/10
Informr score
The HTC U11 Life currently has an Informr score of 7.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 26 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

If a lack of headphone jack doesn’t bother you and you don’t require the best specs on the market, the HTC U11 Life offers a solid design, guaranteed updates, and enough power for daily basic tasks and light gaming. Just be mindful of the battery life...

What's good

  • Great display
  • Guaranteed updates
  • Near-stock Android experience
  • microSD support

What's bad

  • Weak battery
  • Fingerprint-prone
  • Requires a specialized Type-C USB adaptor
  • Slow charge times

Despite a few occasional setbacks, HTC keeps releasing new phones that provide innovative features and interesting approaches to how they expect people to use their mobile devices. The U11 Life brings a touch of this to the mid-range market. But does also offer a good value?

Picking up the phone, you’ll notice one of the first compromises HTC made when offering this budget-friendly version of their U11. Instead of a glass back, you’re greeted with plastic. Fortunately, reviewers had no issues with flex or scratching—though many noticed the “liquid” finish didn’t pop as much as it did on the glass-backed model.

Both comfortable to hold and able to stand up to the dangers of life with an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, the design and build pleased everyone.

Around front, you’ll find a 5.2-inch 1080p LCD panel with a fingerprint scanner tucked just below. While you won’t get the deep blacks of an OLED panel, reviewers were pleased with the level of detail, vivid colors, and excellent outdoor visibility.

Powering the phone, you’ll find a Snapdragon 630 processor with 3 to 4GB of RAM. While a mid-tier chipset, performance remains snappy for daily tasks and the phone also handles games with little hassle—though not at the highest settings. Reviewers noted some minor delays when loading apps and during heavy multitasking. However, that’s to be expected given the price and hardware.

With 32 to 64GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards up to 2TB, you shouldn’t run into storage concerns. However, some reviewers noted problems using the microSD card as internal storage. So if you plan to install a lot of apps or play multiple resource-intensive games, the added cost of the 64GB model might be a consideration.

As an Android One device, the U11 life ships with Android 8.0 Oreo. It will also receive security updates for 3 years and OS updates for 2. The interface is also as close to stock Android as HTC could pull off while still integrating their Edge Squeeze feature.

Speaking of, this unique feature was a hit with reviewers. You can bind various actions to a quick squeeze of the phone for added convenience and easy launching of frequently used phone functions.

Another area that helps separate the phone from competitors is the inclusion of 16MP cameras on both front and rear of the phone. Reviewers were pleased with image quality—in particular when enabling the punchy HDR mode. The front-facing lens also captures great images, but many wondered if the 16MP was overkill for quick selfies and video chats.

Without optical image stabilization, the camera struggles in low light. However, reviewers found image quality acceptable.

Unfortunately, one of the most criticized elements of the phone is its 2600mAh battery. While reviewers could squeeze a full day of usage out of a single charge, they barely made it to the charger at the end of the day. To further complicate matters, recharge times hover around 1.5 hours for a full top off.

For media lovers, the front-facing speakers are a resounding hit with reviewers. But the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack irritated many. Not because it requires an adaptor to connect standard headphones, but because HTC requires a specialized adapter and doesn’t include it with the phone. 

However, to soften the blow, HTC ships uSonic USB Type-C headphones with the phone.

Overall, reviews are positive. TechRadar says, “The HTC U11 Life’s biggest problem, if you don’t mind the missing headphone jack, is competition. There are a lot of great alternatives, many of which have metal or glass frames for a more expensive feel.” Pocket Lint liked the phone, calling it “a well balanced mid-level phone that's certainly worth a look.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.2 GHz
Screen Size
5.2"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


PCWorld

A solid stock Android experience that’s easy to recommend if you can’t stand all the other options or are particularly drawn in by the design and waterproofing.

- Fergus Halliday, PCWorld
Tech Guide

Delivers all the features you want in a device that is just the right size and at an ultra-competitive price.

- Stephen Fenech, Tech Guide
Ausdroid

As the first Android One handset in Australia, the HTC U11 Life has a lot to live up to – and for my money I think it does. HTC have delivered a finely tuned handset that’s beautiful to both look at and hold. The phone also has good hardware inside, that when paired with a stock And...

- Daniel Tyson, Ausdroid
Notebookcheck

Guaranteed regular security updates - this is a strong argument for the HTC U11 Life. A great pair of earphones included and a good battery life are further arguments. But there are also downsides with a bad speaker, lack of audio port, and not very accurate navigation.

- Florian Wimmer, Notebookcheck
TrustedReviews

The U11 Life is by no means a bad phone, and it’s a shame that a few software oddities completely ruin the experience. In every other way, it’s a decent piece of kit.

- Michael Passingham, TrustedReviews


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


HTC released the U11 Life on November 2, 2017.


HTC U11 Life prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. HTC's suggested retail price is $349.00. You can compare U11 Life prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the HTC U11 Life user manual here.


HTC backs up the U11 Life with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your U11 Life has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact HTC support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find HTC's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
5.2"

The HTC U11 Life's screen size is 5.2 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Octa core 2.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 7.1 Nougat (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo) operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 16+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2600mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2600 mAh battery. HTC's performance ratings are 1260 minutes, 725 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

U11 Life Specs

Overview
Release date November 2, 2017
Regions available USA, Canada, UK, India
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 7.1 Nougat (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Octa core 2.2 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 32/64 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2600 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 300 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 725 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 505 minutes
Talk Time Up to: 1260 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 9 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.9 x 7.3 x 0.8 cm (5.9 x 2.9 x 0.3 in)
Weight 142 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 67
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology S-LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption Unknown
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 2
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Panorama, Self-timer, White balance, HDR, Time lapse mode, Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, MKV
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
F2.0 aperture, Selfie Panorama
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack No
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments

64 GB storage variant comes with 4 GB of RAM.

Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
HTC U11 Life Reviews
Where to buy HTC U11 Life
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Critic Reviews


PCWorld

Stock Android with a so-so camera

from PCWorld

A solid stock Android experience that’s easy to recommend if you can’t stand all the other options or are particularly drawn in by the design and waterproofing.

Read full review

A solid stock Android experience that’s easy to recommend if you can’t stand all the other options or are particularly drawn in by the design and waterproofing.

Read full review

Less

Tech Guide

The mid-level smartphone that’s just right

from Tech Guide

Delivers all the features you want in a device that is just the right size and at an ultra-competitive price.

Read full review

Delivers all the features you want in a device that is just the right size and at an ultra-competitive price.

Read full review

Less

Ausdroid

The mid-range to recommend

from Ausdroid

As the first Android One handset in Australia, the HTC U11 Life has a lot to live up to – and for my money I think it does. HTC have delivered a finely tuned handset that’s beautiful to both look at and hold. The phone also has good hardware inside, that when paired with a stock...More

As the first Android One handset in Australia, the HTC U11 Life has a lot to live up to – and for my money I think it does. HTC have delivered a finely tuned handset that’s beautiful to both look at and hold. The phone also has good hardware inside, that when paired with a stock Android experience flows well with buttery smooth response.

Read full review

Less

Notebookcheck

A device which you should try and take into your own hands

from Notebookcheck

Guaranteed regular security updates - this is a strong argument for the HTC U11 Life. A great pair of earphones included and a good battery life are further arguments. But there are also downsides with a bad speaker, lack of audio port, and not very accurate navigation.

Read full review

Guaranteed regular security updates - this is a strong argument for the HTC U11 Life. A great pair of earphones included and a good battery life are further arguments. But there are also downsides with a bad speaker, lack of audio port, and not very accurate navigation.

Read full review

Less

TrustedReviews

A decent mid-range handset let down by software issues

from TrustedReviews

The U11 Life is by no means a bad phone, and it’s a shame that a few software oddities completely ruin the experience. In every other way, it’s a decent piece of kit.

Read full review

The U11 Life is by no means a bad phone, and it’s a shame that a few software oddities completely ruin the experience. In every other way, it’s a decent piece of kit.

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

Combines some of the best features of the U11 and Android One series

It has a standout design, unmatched squeeze gestures and great battery life on top of a great screen and reasonably good performance. Not least, the two cameras, front and rear, are well above average too.

Read full review

It has a standout design, unmatched squeeze gestures and great battery life on top of a great screen and reasonably good performance. Not least, the two cameras, front and rear, are well above average too.

Read full review

Less

TechnoBuffalo

You can do better

from TechnoBuffalo

It’s not a bad phone, per se. You just find something much better while saving money or spending a little bit more. So, to be clear, the U11 Life isn’t worth your attention. If you’re loyal to HTC, go for the high-end U11.

Read full review

It’s not a bad phone, per se. You just find something much better while saving money or spending a little bit more. So, to be clear, the U11 Life isn’t worth your attention. If you’re loyal to HTC, go for the high-end U11.

Read full review

Less

TechRadar

A great phone in many respects

from TechRadar

The HTC U11 Life is a smart trimming down of the HTC U11 that gets you most of the highlights at a lower price, but other phones offer more for a similar amount of money.

Read full review

The HTC U11 Life is a smart trimming down of the HTC U11 that gets you most of the highlights at a lower price, but other phones offer more for a similar amount of money.

Read full review

Less

Pocket-lint

The ups and downs of Life

from Pocket-lint

The HTC U11 Life is a logical mid-level reflection of its already very capable flagship bigger brother. It's more attractive than some of its nearest competition, such as the Moto X4, while offering dust and water-resistance that few others deliver at this price point.

Read full review

The HTC U11 Life is a logical mid-level reflection of its already very capable flagship bigger brother. It's more attractive than some of its nearest competition, such as the Moto X4, while offering dust and water-resistance that few others deliver at this price point.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

A simple and solid mid-range phone

from Tech Advisor

Overall, the HTC U11 Life is a solid mid-range phone. Design and specs are largely decent for the price – especially getting 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM as standard. Meanwhile Android One keeps software clean and simple if that's what you're after.

Read full review

Overall, the HTC U11 Life is a solid mid-range phone. Design and specs are largely decent for the price – especially getting 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM as standard. Meanwhile Android One keeps software clean and simple if that's what you're after.

Read full review

Less



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