Have you ever tried pulling up an app or launching a command on your phone while wearing gloves? How about right after washing your hands? Touchscreens are designed to respond to your commands, but they have one major problem - capacitive screens need conductive surfaces, like your naked fingers, to operate. However, one company may just have the right solution!
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, phone maker HTC has released its flagship gadget for 2017 and it lets you get things done by giving your phone a squeeze!
HTC U11 with Edge Sense
Could this be a mere gimmick that will soon be forgotten? Or could it be the next big groundbreaking tech that will be standard in future smartphones?
Only time will tell for sure but check this out, the HTC U11 boasts something that no other phone before it ever had.
It has a technology called Edge Sense that puts sensors on the sides of the phone that respond when squeezed. The feature is user-programmable and it can be customized to do a variety of tasks depending on the context - photo taking, app launching, voice dictation for text messages, virtual assistant activation, etc.
One advantage of Edge Sense is that it can be activated even when the user is wearing thick gloves, say during winter. Edge Sense will even work underwater (the HTC U11 has IP67 water and dust proof rating).
The squeeze pressure is also programmable to prevent accidental activation. HTC hopes that the ease and instinctive quality of Edge Sense's squeezing motion can win fans over.
The HTC U11 is also the first smartphone to have multiple assistants in one device. It has Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant and HTC's own Sense Companion Assistant that uses artificial intelligence to study your daily patterns and habits to improve itself each day.
Camera-wise, the HTC U11 sport a 12-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and, surprise, a whopping 16-megapixel wide-angle selfie camera. Together with ultra-fast autofocus and lag-free HDR boosting, the u11 managed to snag DxOmark 90 score, the highest ever for a smartphone so far.
The display is a 5.5-inch Super LCD 5 panel with a 16:9 2560 x 1440 resolution (534 ppi) with curved edges and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip with 64GB internal storage (microSD expandable) running Android Nougat with the custom HTC Sense skin.
Other features include a front fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C support, Quick Charge 3.0, a fairly large 3000mAh battery and "liquid surface" curved glass back.
Similar to other smartphones joining the no-headphone-jack bandwagon, the HTC U11 lacks the 3.5 mm output jack but it does come with a pair of HTC's own USonic noise canceling earbuds out of the box. Multiple BoomSound speakers and four microphones round out the smartphone's audio capabilities.
Pricing and Release Date
The HTC U11 was unveiled on May 16 and is now available in some Asian regions.
It is expected to be released in the U.S. and Europe in early June with a price tag of about $650.
What do you think? Is the HTC U11 a game-changer? Does it have what it takes to compete with other flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the rumored iPhone 8? Drop us a comment!