HTC is following up its well-received HTC U11 smartphone with two new models. One is a premium version called the HTC U11+ (which, unfortunately, won’t be available in the US). The other is a mid-range phone call the HTC U11 Life which borrows some of the features of its more expensive siblings, but which skimps a little bit on the specs.

The HTC U11 Life is available from HTC for $349 and it’ll be available from T-Mobile starting tomorrow. T-Mobile is the exclusive US wireless carrier, but you can buy an unlocked model and use it with AT&T.

HTC is also offering an Android One version of the phone with near-stock Android software, but that version is only available in Germany for now. Google says it’ll be heading to more countries in Europe and the Asia Pacific region in the coming months.

Like the HTC U11, the U11 Life features squeezable sides allowing you to use HTC’s Edge Sense features. It comes with the same HTC USonic earbuds with active noise cancellation. And it has a water and dust resistance rating of IP67.

But this phone has a smaller, lower-resolution display, a less powerful processor, and a smaller battery… which helps explain why it sells for a little over half the price of the original HTC U11.

Here’s an overview of the specs:

  • 5.2 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel Super LCD display with Gorilla Glass
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor
  • 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (the website also lists a 4GB/64GB model, but it’s not available right now)
  • microSDXC card slot (up to 2TB)
  • 16MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus
  • 16MP front camera
  • 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, LTE Cat 9
  • 2,600 mAh battery
  • USB 2.0 Type-C
  • No headphone jack
  • Android 7.1 with HTC Sense or Android Oreo with Android One
  • Support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (Alexa not preloaded on the Android One version)

The phone has rather sizable bezels (by 2017 standards), and has a plastic back rather than the glass panel that covers the more expensive models. But it looks pretty good for a $349 smartphone, with specs and features that seem pretty competitive with Motorola’s $399 Moto X4.

press release

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One reply on “HTC U11 Life is a $349 mid-range phone with some premium touches (and an Android One variant)”

  1. Seriously, screw Google for not helping bring us a sub $400 Android One devices in the United States. It’s getting much harder to recommend affordable Android phones to family and friends because of their ill supported and disposable nature. Two years of regular updates, modest specs, and an affordable price tag would go a long way to change that.

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