HTC U11 Life is a more affordable option with two 16MP cameras

The HTC U11+ in Translucent Black

The HTC U11+ in Translucent Black

HTC has launched two new smartphones in its U11 series today.

The phone is available beginning immediately unlocked on HTC.com.

However, while the U11 Plus has an LCD display, the OLED panel used in the Pixel 2 XL is the subject of complaints from critics and users alike. Rather than relying Bluetooth or a special dongle, however, HTC opted for USB-C headphones that plug into the phone's charging port. Of course the answer is that the specs are lower, and you're getting a cheaper body. See below for details.

Here's the cool part: muskie didn't die, it just became the HTC U11 Plus. The U11+ isn't the only new smartphone HTC is announcing on Thursday.

The HTC U11 Life is a mid-range smartphone which is kind of a budget U11. Personally I still think it looks pretty good.

That's understandable but the phone still feels nice in the hand and the acrylic is offers much more grip compared to glass and is more likely to fare well in an accidental drop. The reduced bezels mean that the fingerprint sensor that was originally located on the front of the U11 is now placed at the back of the device.

Like the HTC U11 and Pixel 2, the U11 Life is equipped with HTC's "Edge Sense" feature.

The HTC U11 Plus is the Taiwanese firm's latest flagship.

Overall, this is an impressive start for a £349 phone. The U11 life also has the Amazon Alexa assistant built in, but you can't wake it up with "Hey Alexa", like you can on the "big" phone - you need to assign it to the squeeze trigger.

The display is a bit smaller than the U11 at 5.2in and the resolution drops to Full HD. Plus, it has a price tag that won't break the bank.

During our hands-on time the screen looked bright and crisp. So, why is the price so much lower?

In terms of hardware, the U11 Plus follows in the footsteps of the original U11 by housing Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.

Notably, U11 Life is the first Android One smartphone that runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. We wouldn't recommend putting the claims to the test yourself. The Sense version for North America will get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. Either option nets you microSD support as well.

There might not be HTC's BoomSound speakers here but there are still some features for audio fans.

There's no headphone jack, and no headphone jack adapter in the box, but it does come with a pair of HTC USB-C headphones.

The U11 Life is a mid-range offering in the U11 lineup. The front sees a similar 16-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture, but only records videos in 1080p. It's limited to 1080p video, though. As we've said time and again - it's not all about the megapixels.

Thoughts on the U11 Life? It packs a 2,600mAh battery to keep the lights on.

When it comes to software, the smartphone arrives pre-installed with Android 8.0 Oreo operating system. The company has promised to release Android 8.0 Oreo for it within 30 days.

In the USA, the HTC U11 Life will be available with Sense UI flavored Android 7.1 Nougat OS.

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