Thought the HTC U Ultra was HTC’s main 2017 flagship? Think again. The HTC U11 is now here and at first glance it’s a far more compelling proposition, with top-end specs and innovative features that could make it a real alternative to the iPhone 7.
HTC U11 vs iPhone 7: the squeezable smartphone takes on Apple’s icon
There’s a lot to like about both these phones, but they’re also very different. Here then, is how they compare.
HTC U11 vs iPhone 7: Design
These two phones are quite different from a design perspective, with the iPhone 7 sporting a metal shell while the HTC U11 is clad in HTC’s Liquid Surface glass finish.
But it’s a feature that the iPhone 7 can match, with that phone offering exactly the same level of resistance.
HTC U11 vs iPhone 7: Display
The HTC U11 has a 5.5-inch QHD screen, so it’s substantially larger and sharper than the 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 iPhone 7. Of course, that also means it’s a lot less finger-friendly, so you’ll likely need two hands to use it comfortably, while the iPhone 7 can be used with one.
Then again, the extra space of the HTC U11’s screen makes it more attractive as a portable video player and gaming machine.
Plus, the iPhone 7’s display is high quality in other ways, with rich colors and a decent amount of brightness.
HTC U11 vs iPhone 7: OS and power
Obviously there’s a big difference here, in that the HTC U11 runs Android while the iPhone 7 runs iOS. And beyond that both phones have features that affect the way you interact with them.
In the HTC U11’s case that’s Edge Sense – the ability to operate aspects of the phone by squeezing the sides.
Neither of these phones are lacking when it comes to power. The HTC U11 uses the top-end Snapdragon 835 chipset and comes with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, while the iPhone 7 uses Apple’s speedy A10 Fusion chipset and 2GB of RAM.
That RAM figure may sound troubling, but it doesn’t stop the iPhone 7 being one of the fastest phones around.
We’ll let you know exactly how good the HTC U11’s performance is in our full review, but we’re not expecting any major issues, and based on its specs it should be one of the smoothest performers yet.
HTC U11 vs iPhone 7: Smart assistants
Both handsets come with smart assistants built in, but the HTC U11 offers two over the iPhone’s one.
The iPhone 7 comes with Siri, an AI which has been refined and improved over a number of years and gives you the ability to ask your iPhone a range of questions and commands.
HTC U11 vs iPhone 7: Battery and camera
At 3,000mAh, the HTC U11’s battery isn’t especially large by flagship standards, though it is a match for the Samsung Galaxy S8’s, and that’s powering a bigger phone. It’s also far larger than the 1,960mAh one in the iPhone 7.
Apple’s phone – perhaps predictably – doesn’t have great battery life, often struggling even to last a day. It remains to be seen how good the HTC U11’s life is, as its battery is bigger, but so is its screen. We’ll let you know how it pans out in our full review.
The iPhone 7 also has a 12MP rear camera, but an f/1.8 aperture, meaning less light can hit the image sensor which could mean it won’t be as good for low-light photos as the HTC U11.
We emphasize ‘could’ though, as there’s a lot more to it than that and in practice the iPhone 7 can take great photos at most light levels, and benefits from point-and-shoot simplicity.
If you’re more into selfies the HTC U11 could appeal for its 16MP front-facing snapper, which has more than double the megapixels of the iPhone 7’s 7MP one, but then megapixels aren’t everything, and the iPhone 7’s front-facing camera is capable of taking reasonably sharp shots.
HTC U11 vs iPhone 7: Takeaway
Aside from the obvious operating system differences, the biggest difference between the iPhone 7 and HTC U11 is arguably the screen size, with the iPhone 7 being something of a compact phone compared to most, while the HTC U11 verges on phablet size.
They have different – but similarly premium – designs, and both phones have top-end specs. Some things, such as the battery life and camera performance of the HTC U11 remain to be seen, and while the former is unlikely to be any worse than the iPhone 7’s the latter could well be, as the iPhone 7 has one of the best smartphone snappers around.
We’ll let you know in our full HTC U11 review, but the iPhone 7 is a great phone and on paper the HTC U11 is too – just a much bigger, much more Android-infused one.