HTC 11 release date, news and rumors

Turning it up to 11

Update: Leaked images point to a high-end HTC handset with a secondary screen, a glass back and no headphone port. We've also seen a leaked video which suggests HTC's next flagship could have Vive branding, while HTC's futuristic Sense Touch feature is starting to look like more than just a concept.

The HTC 10 was something of a reinvention for the brand, sporting a new design, new features and upgraded specs. But in some ways it's still not enough of a change, and still lacking.

That's not to say it isn't a great phone, but it's not quite the knockout hit it could have been, and there are a number of areas where there's room for improvement.

So we've put together everything we want to see from the HTC 11, as well as all the news and rumors we've seen surrounding HTC's next big phone release.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? HTC's next flagship, successor to the HTC 10
  • When's it out? Probably early 2017, maybe MWC 2017
  • What will it cost? It will have a high-end price

HTC 11 release date

HTC normally launches its flagships early in the year and 2016 was no exception, though it skipped MWC.

For the HTC 11 we imagine we'll either see it at MWC 2017, which takes place from February 27 to March 2, or a little later in the year, but probably no later than April, as that will be one year after the launch of the HTC 10.

There's an outside chance we'll see it sooner though, as HTC is holding an event on January 12 where it's expected to announce new handsets, at least one of which looks high-end. This probably isn't the HTC 11, but you never know.

HTC 11 design

Hottest leaks:

  • A metal shell
  • ...Or a glass back
  • An edge-to-edge screen

A Chinese source on Weibo has shared an image of what the HTC 11 may end up looking like. 

The social media account hasn't been clear on the exact source of the leaked design, but it looks like an interesting concept taking elements from the HTC Bolt/10 Evo.

As you can see, the back appears to be metal, the edges slope off sharply and the front has an edge-to-edge screen. It's a striking look.

But another recent HTC leak shows a phone with what appears to be a glass back. This, admittedly, is for a likely different handset, believed to be called the HTC U Ultra, but it's a seemingly high-end phone and it's entirely possible that the HTC 11 will have a similar design.

TechRadar's take: HTC's stuck with metal on its flagships so far and to generally impressive effect, so we'd guess metal will be back again for the HTC 11.

HTC 11 display

Hottest leaks:

  • A 5.5-inch QHD display
  • A curved screen
  • A secondary display

Two separate rumors suggest the HTC 11 will feature a 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 display - an upgrade on the 5.2-inch HTC 10 screen - so this is likely going to be a slightly bigger phone.

One Weibo leaker even suggested the phone will come with a curved display. If that sounds familiar it's because the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has exactly the same setup.

There's also an outside chance that the HTC 11 will have a tiny secondary display above the main one, like we've seen on the LG V20. That idea is based on leaks of an upcoming handset which show exactly that.

The handset, pictured above, is thought to be the HTC U Ultra rather than the HTC 11, but we'd expect new features in HTC's next flagship, so a second screen could be a prime candidate. That second screen is likely to be always-on, show notifications and provide shortcuts to favorite apps.

TechRadar's take: None of these specs sound unlikely, as HTC is going to want to do something to upgrade its screen and a size boost with curves should do the trick. Don't count on a second screen as that hasn't specifically been attached to the HTC 11, but we wouldn't count it out either.

HTC 11 OS and power

Hottest leaks:

  • Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 256GB of storage

One Chinese source has revealed some details for the HTC 11. The leak suggests the phone will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset under the hood as well as 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

As for the operating system, we'd expect the HTC 11 to come with the latest version of Android Nougat and HTC's own overlay on top.

TechRadar's take: A Snapdragon 835 chip is likely and 256GB of storage is possible, considering the iPhone 7 now features that much room, but 8GB of RAM would be a huge upgrade given the HTC 10 only has 4GB.

HTC 11 camera and battery

Hottest leaks:

  • A 12MP snapper
  • No dual-lens
  • 3,700mAh battery

A Weibo source states that the HTC 11 will have a 12MP rear camera - which is the same spec as the HTC 10, but we'd imagine it will be improved in some ways.

The phone will also apparently have an 8MP front-facing camera, and it doesn't sound like we'll be getting a dual-lens camera.

There aren't many battery rumors, but one source claims a 3,700mAh battery will be powering the handset. That's up from just 3000mAh in the HTC 10, so the HTC 11 could be a long-lasting phone.

TechRadar's take: HTC often does its own thing with cameras, so it's no surprise that it's apparently not jumping on the dual-lens bandwagon.

HTC 11 other rumors

Hottest leaks:

  • A futuristic 'Sense Touch' feature
  • Vive branding
  • No headphone port

A recent leaked video shows an HTC phone with Vive branding. Could this be the HTC 11? We're skeptical, but it's possible that HTC is re-branding the phone, and maybe even making a major mobile VR push, much like Samsung has been doing with Gear VR.

We've also see a concept phone by one of HTC's concept artists, known as the HTC Ocean, which was shown off with a 'Sense Touch' feature, which allowed users to control aspects of the phone by swiping or tapping the metal frame that ran along the edge.

This could be used for example to adjust the volume of your music or the brightness of your screen with a swipe, or to take a photo with a tap.

As the HTC Ocean was seemingly a concept phone it would be reasonable to think the feature is little more than fantasy, but more recently reliable leaker @evleaks tweeted that "Ocean is real and alive." He's since followed that up with a leaked video, showing the feature off.

It's worth noting that a phone known as the HTC Ocean Note is expected to launch imminently under the name HTC U Ultra - that's not the HTC 11, but could be the Ocean phone that's being talked about.

But even if the Ocean isn't the HTC 11, there's a chance that 'Sense Touch' could make its way to HTC's next flagship.

We've also seen leaks of another upcoming HTC handset and it's missing a headphone port. While probably not the HTC 11, this looks to be a high-end, mainstream phone, so HTC may well also cut the headphone port from the HTC 11.

TechRadar's take: Sense Touch sounds more like a concept than a real feature, so don't count on seeing it. A move to Vive branding would seem a little unlikely too - and if it was going to happen we'd expect to have heard more about it by now, but it's possible.

HTC 11 price

We don't know exact pricing details for the HTC 11 yet, but expect it to be an expensive phone with a price tag that rivals the other flagship phones out there.

The best way to judge is taking a look at the pricing for the HTC 10, which cost £570 or $699 (about AU$960) at launch. Expect the HTC 11 to have a similar price.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James is Phones, Wearables and Tablets writer for TechRadar and covers all the big announcements from the best manufacturers making gadgets for your palms, wrists and face. Based in London, James is often testing out the latest and greatest phones, smartwatches, VR headsets and - when he can be motivated to go outside - fitness bands. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest from the mobile world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps.