New HTC U11 Plus is a rejected Pixel 2 XL, report claims

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The colour still looks good, particularly the Sapphire Blue option, but it doesn't feel as luxurious or expensive.

It's also a magnet for greasy fingerprint marks, which show up very clearly against the shiny glass.

Powering the HTC U11 Plus is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor that is present in all the current flagship smartphones. The "Plus" comes with a 6-inch Quad HD+ (1440x2880) LCD display with an 18:9 aspect ratio that is in line with the likes of Samsung's Galaxy S8, LG V30 and iPhone X. Apart from the height, the HTC U11+ is slightly thicker than the U11 measuring at 158.5x74.9x8.5mm and is heavier as well at 188 grams. In Canada, the U11 Life carries a pricing of $449 CAD and can be bought through the offical site.

The U11 Life - which aims to be the HTC U11's almost identical, cheaper sibling - comes with free headphones in the box called HTC USonic.

Unfortunately though, it isn't a pure version of Oreo. It looks the same, sure, but it's actually a smaller and lighter version, since the HTC U11 has a 5.5-inch display, while the life packs a more compact 5.2-incher.

It's joining Google's Android One program. The battery has been upgraded to a 3930mAh unit, so battery life should be significantly better than the U11. The same goes for your apps library, which you can dive into by swiping up on any part of the screen. HTC's Sense UI has slimmed down greatly over the years, and Edge Sense has also been enhanced with the addition of the Edge Launcher.

The U11+ also comes pre-loaded with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, two voice assistants.

We'll test out battery life soon but for now HTC claims you'll get an extra two hours of video playback or web browsing compared to the HTC 10. The company is yet to announce pricing and availability for other markets including India.

For such a cheap phone, it's great to see the U11 Life supports 24-bit Hi-Res audio playback.

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My favourite use-case for it, however, is taking pictures.

The Android One model runs a bare-bones version of Android (which will help HTC provide quicker software updates to the device), and will still feature Edge Sense.

Better still, it's completely reprogrammable and HTC says you can use it on any app.

According to The Verge's sources, the handset was rejected by Google ahead of the recent Pixel launches.

Oh, one other thing: this phone also has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, which means it can withstand submersion in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.

In terms of optics, the smartphone features a 16MP camera on the back with 4K video recording support.

We haven't had the chance to test it yet, but HTC has its work cut out if it wants to match the performance of the Pixel 2's outstanding camera.

That's much the same, but this time around there's a 6in QHD+ display on the front and a slightly bigger battery, complete with a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, with a wide f/1.7 aperture.