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. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.