Android One has also officially arrived in Europe – in the form of the HTC U11 Life. Android One, there are still many scratching the head. Because that's where the question comes up: Android One, what's that? At least it is not a separate operating system. Rather, behind the name stands a brand, a label with promise. Manufacturers do not clap on the devices, but naked Android. The HTC U11 Life is about Android 8.0 Oreo.
This is the promise that you updated at least two years afloat and delivers the current version of Android. What should that bring? Faster updates in any case, because the security patch arrives so quickly, also less effort by the manufacturer to adapt its software clutter. I like Android One, I'm even convinced that with larger devices – in terms of features and price – might work under certain circumstances. No eternal waiting for updates and fast Android. Everyone can hack apps and launcher on their own.
What's in the HTC U11 Life?
Haptics and Optics HTC U11 Life
The HTC U11 Life dispenses with a jack plug for a headphone, but instead has a USB-C port installed in the case bottom right of course. On the back are only the camera and the flash, the fingerprint reader rests on the front below. The SIM is installed at the top, the controls can only be found in the top view on the right. HTC does not rely on back metal or glass. Instead, the smartphone is made of plastic at the back. Visually, it is very reminiscent of the shiny U11 – also from HTC.
The back of the Android One logo and the manufacturer can be found. Basically, the HTC U11 Life with its 5.2 inches is very good in the hand, but that can indeed be different from hand to hand. For me it has almost the dimensions that you call ideal when you pick it up. Many would now say in the light of today's time and price that it must be metal or glass – in the case of the HTC U11 Life, I would say it fits yet.
As you can see from the specs, the HTC U11 Life is not just a thrown-away budget phone in the middle class. A few thoughts have made it obvious at HTC. This includes stuff like Edge Sense, which you might know from Google Pixel or the HTC U11. Squeeze the phone and perform a function to be defined. That is not impractical.
Display of the HTC U11 Life
5.2 inches are in today's times already little display diagonal. However, the controls on the HTC U11 Life are under the display, namely to the left and right of the fingerprint scanner. So you take on the display itself no place. The display I feel as sufficiently bright. The viewing angles are neat and in terms of colors, I find the whole thing right to the point, not oversaturated or too pale. Fits. If you do not like a display frame at the end of 2017, it will not be flashed by the device. Because there are still some frames.
In my everyday applications, the HTC U11 Life made no attempt to go limp, and I have to say that I also use the 3 GB version for the test – not the 4 GB. Everything that I have in daily use, was also on the HTC U11 Life. Everything rock solid, so I have no reason to moan. The small, tested by me variant: The performance is actually enough for everything, should the memory be too small for you, then you just a microSD card in.
Battery of the HTC U11 Life
Evaluating the battery life based on my normal working life would be nonsense – because I can go to my office at any time to the outlet. Decisive is on the way, that means: if I leave my place, then I would like to be able to keep the battery as long as possible, without connecting any additional batteries. If you use the smartphone normally, you will certainly get it easy over the working day into the night, of course Pokemon Go players are a different story.
Still, if it helps you, I've run a synthetic benchmark. SIM card and SD card in it, display fixed to 50%, all notifications to go through and the PC Mark. He tests various application scenarios until the battery is down from 100% to 20%. The HTC U11 Life took 7 hours and 40 minutes. These are good values. You have to worry about moderate use (without games) just a little, if you are traveling for a day.
Camera of the HTC U11 Life
I like the camera software of the HTC U11 Life. Is largely identical to that from the HTC U11 Plus and the HTC U11. Of course, you realize that no high-end camera is installed. The camera of the HTC U11 Life has a Pro mode on board, for example, if you want to screw yourself to the values in terms of ISO or exposure time.
In mode that most people use – the automatic mode – I can give the camera an "OK". The photos look natural in terms of color, but sometimes a little powerless, so that a winter day with fog just conveys that sad feeling. Sometimes I miss details in the photos a bit. Good mediocrity in the discipline, but still ok in the price range. By the way: If it's dark, you can get something out with HDR Boost – even with the front camera.
The delivery also includes a transparent plastic case and a USB-C headset. USonic is not a gel, instead a headset, which offers anti-noise cancellation. A novelty probably in this price range – and also a good one. When setting up your ear canal is measured briefly and you can create auditory profiles. The headphones are sufficiently loud and make sure that the nerve stays out a bit. Of course, telephony was also tested: My counterpart stated that I understood myself clearly and vice versa this was the case.
At the end remains
HTC has gotten a decent smartphone with the U11 Life. Certainly not the most exciting smartphone in the price range up to 400 euros, but interesting in the field of Android One. One should not forget that in the class there are already smartphones that can do more in terms of camera and performance. Do you have to see how the price is still moving, at the time of my test was the HTC U11 Life at 349 €. Small niceties like Edge Sense make the smartphone nicely customizable, because you can squeeze fast predefined apps. In some situations a real added value. The headset is also recommended and a nice bonus.