HTC U11 Life release date, news and features

The HTC U11 Plus will probably get all the attention, but it’s not the only new phone from the company, as launched alongside it there’s the HTC U11 Life.

This is a far more mid-range handset, but it still packs some key features of the U range, including Edge Sense.

Read on below for everything you need to know about the HTC U11 Life, including its price, release date, specs and features.

  • Read our hands on HTC U11 Plus review and HTC U11 Life review

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A new HTC mid-ranger
  • What will it cost? £349 (around $465/AU$605)
  • When is it out? Pre-orders open November 2

HTC U11 Life price and release date

While we don’t know the exact release date yet, we do know that pre-orders for the HTC U11 Life open today (November 2) in the UK, and that it will set you back £349 (around $465/AU$605) SIM free.

That puts it in competition with mid-rangers such as the Honor 8 and the ZTE Axon 7. There's no word on network availability yet, but it's likely you'll also be able to buy the HTC U11 Life on contract.

HTC U11 Life design and display

The HTC U11 Life is clad in acrylic glass, which is a different and slightly cheaper feeling glass than the kind used by the HTC U11 Plus.

It comes in at 149.09 x 72.9 x 8.1mm and 142g, and it has an IP67 certified water and dust resistant build. That’s the same as the iPhone 8 and means it can be submerged up to 1 meter deep in water for up to 30 minutes.

The screen meanwhile is a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD one, so it’s reasonably sharp but not a match for the HTC U11 Plus or the standard HTC U11. It’s also a bit more compact than those phones.

HTC U11 Life camera and battery

The HTC U11 Life has a 16MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture, a phase detection autofocus and a heap of features, including a pro mode with manual controls and RAW format support, plus the ability to film in up to 4K quality or in slow motion.

You can also record high resolution audio, so this might end up being a good phone for smartphone filmmakers on a budget.

Around the front there’s another 16MP camera, also with an f/2.0 aperture, so this is one of those rare phones where the front-facing camera may be a similar quality to the rear one, though the front-facing camera can only record video in up to 1080p.

As for the battery, that’s 2,600mAh, which isn’t massive, but then this isn’t a massive phone. We don’t know yet how long it will last, but the U11 Life does have a power saving mode if needed and it charges via USB Type-C.

HTC U11 Life specs and OS

There’s an octa-core Snapdragon 630 chipset powering the HTC U11 Life. That’s a mid-range chip and it’s backed up by either 3GB or 4GB of RAM, depending on region.

We’ll be sure to put it to the test in our full review, but on paper those are the sort of specs we’d expect from a phone one or two steps down from a flagship.

There’s also either 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot which supports cards of up to 2TB.

The HTC U11 Life is totally up to date when it comes to its Android version, as it runs Android 8.0 Oreo, and it's running Android One, which means a near stock version of the OS.

HTC U11 Life other features

The HTC U11 Life also benefits from Edge Sense – the ability to squeeze the sides of the phone to launch Google Assistant and other features.

We've already seen that on the HTC U11 and now the U11 Plus, but this should be a more affordable way to get the feature.

It's also Hi-Res audio certified and sports Active Noise Cancellation, so you should be able to get good quality audio from the phone, as is often the case with HTC handsets.

And there's a fingerprint scanner so you can easily unlock the phone.