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HTC U 11 teaser points to serious audio skills

While a pressure-sensitive frame is likely to be the highlight of the HTC U11 it’s seemingly not the only trick the phone will have up its sleeve, as a new teaser suggests you’ll be able to record sound in 360 degrees.

Posted on HTC’s official Twitter account, the teaser is a short, silent video of dirt bikes circling a person, and what appears to be a visual representation of sound waves coming from all directions.

Perhaps more telling than the content though, is the caption, which reads “360 real-life recording.” 

It’s all still a bit vague, but recording presumably means either audio or video, and since the HTC U 11 is rumored to have fairly ordinary single-lens cameras on the front and back it’s unlikely that it will be able to shoot 360-degree videos.

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Immersive audio

Audio though is another matter altogether. HTC’s phones are often known for standout sound and there have already been rumors that the HTC U 11 will have 4 microphones, with the ability to record audio in 3D, for a surround sound effect, so we’d say this teaser is almost a confirmation of that.

Last year's HTC 10 had a similar power, and did certainly shoot brilliant 4K videos (among the best we'd seen on a phone in terms of a video and audio combo) but this could be a bigger step forward.

It might sound like a niche feature, but it has the potential to make videos far more immersive, particularly when recording scenes where sound is key, such as a concert – or, as in the teaser’s example, being circled by dirt bikes.

We’ll know for sure whether this is what HTC is teasing soon, as the HTC U 11 is being revealed on May 16.

James Rogerson
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.