HTC unveil "squeezable" phone as their new flagship device

The HTC U 11 in store from June 1st

HTC has squeezed another impressive phone into its line-up. The firm has unveiled the HTC U 11, which is their flagship device.

For the most part, it's just another beautiful smartphone from the company. The device as a 5.5-inch screen and a liquid surface design on the back. What does 'liquid surface' mean? There is a fancy explanation, but basically, the surface picks up light, making the colour look different in different circumstances. 

What makes this phone stand out from the crowd is the Edge Sense technology. 

By squeezing the phone in one of two ways, the user can activate features on the phone. Out of the box, a short squeeze is programmed to activate the camera. Once opened, another short squeeze will take photos, meaning users don't have to readjust their hands to capture photos. 

A longer squeeze, out of the box, will open out Google Assistant. What's nice about the U 11 is that users can decide what type of squeeze executes what type of function. It's possible to assign any app on your phone to one of those two types of squeeze. 

Having briefly tried it out, I can confirm that it does work rather well. 

Bartosz Zuk, Product Commercialisation Manager at HTC, said the squeeze functionality works even when the user is wearing gloves or if there is a cover on the device. How, you may wonder? It works with ultrasound, according to Zuk. 

Spec:

Internally there's an 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The phone has 64GB of built-in storage, but this can be increased up to 2TB with a microSD card. There's 4GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery. 

While you may have been expecting a bigger battery pack, HTC says the battery will work harder and will optimise itself to ensure you get the best performance. 

The phone is IP67 water resistant. This is good news for those of us living in Ireland as it means we can use our phones in the rain. 

There's a 16MP front-facing camera for those all important selfies, and a 12MP sensor camera on the back of the device, with ultra-speed autofocus. 

Once feature that caught my attention is the 'Acoustic focus'. The U 11 has 3D audio, meaning it records audio on omnidirectional mics. What's nice is that if you are recording a video of someone singing, perhaps, and zoom in on the image, the mics will zoom in too. It will work to capture the best sound possible from the source of the audio. 

It's worth noting the HTC U 11 has a USB C port in the place of a headphone jack. There is a USB C to mini-jack adaptor in the box to ensure users can still use their favourite headphones. 

HTC include HTC USonic in-ear headphones in the box too. These have Active Noise Cancellation capability. 

The headphones leverage the built-in microphones on the headset and the USB-C data connectivity, the earbuds map the inner ear of the user with sonar-like technology. This means the sound can be adapted to user's biology. 

What you need to know:

The HTC U 11, aka HTC Squeeze, will arrive into Ireland on June 1st. Irish customers have two colours to choose from - Brilliant Black and Saphire Blue. 

Vodafone has exclusivity on the Saphire Blue, while all networks will have the Brilliant Black. 

If you want to buy any of the other colours, you can do so via the HTC estore. There is Amazing Silver, Solar Red and Ice White, as well as the Saphire Blue and Brilliant Black.

While the details of the bill pay price plans are still being worked out, HTC told us that the phone will cost €749 on pay as you go.