The HTC U11’s killer feature could be coming to a mid-range phone

Edge Sense is the HTC U11’s headline feature, letting you squeeze the phone to interact with it in a variety of ways, but you might not have to buy HTC’s flagship to get a squeezable phone of your own, as rumors suggest a mid-range HTC handset is on the way with Edge Sense baked in.

Revealed by TheLeaker and @LlabTooFeR, the phone is apparently called the HTC Ocean Life, though we wouldn’t be surprised if it launches under a different name.

Along with Edge Sense it’s said to have a 5.2-inch 1080p screen, a mid-range Snapdragon 660 chipset, 16MP cameras on both the front and back, a 2,600mAh battery, Android 7.1.1 and Bluetooth 5.0.

It will also supposedly run HTC’s Sense 9 interface on top of Android, and come bundled with HTC’s USonic headphones.

Making sense

While it’s not clear where this information was obtained, @LlabTooFeR has a solid track record, so it could well be accurate. And it would make sense for HTC to bring its Edge Sense feature to more phones.

That said, while being able to take photos or launch apps with short or long squeezes is a nice idea, we found that it wasn’t sensitive enough on the HTC U11, and that it felt a bit half-baked, so the HTC Ocean Life might not be worth buying for that alone.

But it sounds like the phone has a decent assortment of specs and features, assuming the price is right, and the more phones that have Edge Sense the more incentivized HTC will be to keep improving it.

There’s no word on when the HTC Ocean Life will launch, but assuming it’s a real thing we’d expect to see it sometime this year.

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.