Instead, it's a phone that ticks all the necessary boxes: the trifecta of price, design, and specification that HTC tells me was its focus from the start. That's understandable for the price tag and the screen looks perfectly acceptable for a mid-ranger.
We've already seen that on the HTC U11 and now the U11 Plus, but this should be a more affordable way to get the feature. Want to know more details? Google Daydream is not supported by LCD screens though so you won't be using VR headsets with the HTC U11 Life.
It features the same "liquid surface" glass body as the 5.5-inch HTC U11, which came out earlier this year. It's super shiny and has a unique mirror-like finish that makes it stand out amongst the other mid-range handsets on the market. It's still a fingerprint and smudge magnet, mind. It has the same handsome color-changing blue finish as the U11, though the U11 life is made of acrylic instead of glass.
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The phone has an IP68 rating making it water and dust resistance.
It has some solid under-the-hood specs.. Of course the answer is that the specs are lower, and you're getting a cheaper body.
As far as features go, the HTC U11 Life has a 5.2-inch 1080p HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, and two variants: one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage, and one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage.
For the full list of HTC U11 Life specs, head to our dedicated article right here.
It's not all sunshine and roses. It does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, but you were probably expecting that. Earbuds with active noise cancellation are included in the box and they will blow you away.
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T-Mobile will be hosting the U11 Life in the United States. HTC improved Edge Sense too, by letting you squeeze the phone to open an Edge Launcher that gives you access to both apps and notifications.
It's running Android Nougat, but not for long.
When it comes to software the U11 Life comes with Android 8.0 Oreo. It doesn't have dual wake word capabilities though, so the experience is going to be a little different. You can still activate Alexa by opening the app, or programming it as a shortcut with Edge Sense.
It won't cost you an arm and a leg..
The phone is available beginning immediately unlocked on HTC.com. It's not compatible with CDMA networks, so your only options are AT&T and T-Mobile. The worldwide version seems far superior: it's an Android One phone, which means it ships with stock Android and no bloatware, and it's shipping with a newer version of Android-8.0 Oreo!
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Unfortunately, while HTC may have used a plastic back for the U11 life, there's still no wireless charging. Speak up in the comments!