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The HTC U11 wasn’t available in South Africa, but it was certainly one of the better smartphones of 2017. Featuring powerful internals, a capable camera and those squeezable edges, it showed that the Taiwanese company still has a knack for creating an appealing phone.
The company sought to create a mid-range model in the form of the U11 Life, but 2018 also brings word of another budget-minded variant, the HTC U11 EYEs.
The new phone was leaked by HTC’s own website (spotted by the Tech Chat YouTube channel and Android Police), retaining a few key flagship features. So that means IP67 water/dust resistance, squeezable edges, 4GB RAM, 64GB expandable storage, Hi-Res Audio support and HTC’s USonic audio chops.
The camera department will also look familiar, sporting what seems to be the same 12MP f/1.7 main camera (with 1.4 micron pixels and OIS) as the flagship phone. Otherwise, the phone packs a dual-camera setup on the front (resolution wasn’t revealed), delivering depth-of-field effects for selfies, Snapchat-style AR stickers and facial recognition.
As for other specs? The phone ditches the Snapdragon 835 in favour of the older but still capable Snapdragon 652 (two A72 cores, six A53 cores), which was an “upper mid-range” chipset in 2016. Then there’s the large 3930mAh battery, USB Type C port, dual SIM support, 6-inch 18:9 LCD screen (2160×1080) and Android Nougat (not Oreo).
Either way, you’re looking at a RMB3299 price tag, working out to R6342 as a straight conversion (without duties and other costs taken into account). Not squarely mid-range but not flagship territory either. Of course, HTC doesn’t have a South African presence, so you’ll need to import this one.