The HTC 10 was an amazing smartphone that not only nailed the basics but also gave superior audio and build quality in a relatively affordable package. The recent HTC U Ultra was more baffling; it was too big and too expensive. Read our hands-on HTC U11 review.

The HTC U11 looks to continue the new U brand by slimming the device down, removing the odd second screen found on the U Ultra and letting you squeeze the device. That’s right – the headline feature of this phone is that you squeeze it.

The technology is known as Edge Sense and it remains to be seen if this is well implemented into the user experience, or if it’s one gimmick too far. See also: Best new phones coming in 2017.

When will the HTC U11 be available in the UK?

Following the 16 May announcement, the HTC U11 will hit the UK shops from the first week of June.

Clove is expecting the phone to be in stock on 1 June. Read: Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11.

How much will the HTC U11 cost in the UK?

The latest (and hopefully greatest) HTC phone will cost £649 SIM free.

This is the same price as the U Ultra, a phone in the same U range that has a second screen. We review it here

We also expect the U11 to be offered by operators in the UK on contract. It's been confirmed that you'll be able to buy the phone from Carphone Warehouse, EE, O2, Amazon, Very.co.uk, Argos and other online retailers.

We had early hands-on time with the HTC U11 – here are our first impressions.

What are the HTC U11’s features and specs?

Before we get to the squeeze, here are the headline specs of the HTC U11:

  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • 5.5 Quad HD LCD 5 display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64GB storage with micro SD up to 256GB
  • 12Mp main camera, f/1.7 with OIS and EIS
  • 16Mp front facing camera, f/2.0
  • 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4G LTE
  • Nano-SIM
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery

HTC U11 two-tone colour

Is it a powerful phone?

Yes! That’s a pretty normal spec sheet for a high-end phone in 2017. It follows the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the upcoming Sony Xperia XZ Premium in getting the Snapdragon 835 processor, a step up from the 821 in the U Ultra.

This is paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, the latter expandable up to 256GB via the microSD slot. Other regions may get a 6GB RAM/128GB SSD variant, but this isn’t likely to make it to the UK.

How about different colours?

Just like the ‘liquid surface’ glass backed U Ultra, the U11 is one shiny, slippy thing. It will be available in five colours, including the stunning Solar Red, which is frustratingly not available at launch.

Otherwise, the launch brings us (from left to right above)Ice White, Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black and Amazing Silver, with Solar Red on the end.

They all look top notch, but there be fingerprints. Fingerprints everywhere.

How does the squeeze thing work?

The sides of the device do not move, but are sensitive to physical squeezes by the user’s hand, a feature dubbed Edge Sense. This feature is adjustable to your preferred pressure of squeeze, and what those squeezes do can be changed.

Check out our hands-on review here for more details.

For instance, it could launch the included Google Assistant, or it could be reassigned to open your calendar, email – anything. At later date, HTC will launch the Edge Sense Add-On app, allowing granular control of all apps.

Google and Amazon have got involved

As well as Edge Sense and Google Assistant, the HTC U11 will also have Amazon’s Alexa assistant. Here’s hoping you need a lot of help, otherwise all that assisting is going to get annoying, considering there is also HTC Sense Companion on there too. Four is definitely a crowd.

You’ll be able to assign any word to wake up Alexa, which could be fun if you’ve always wanted to legitimise shouting hilarious things loudly on the bus for the reaction. Who hasn’t?

What else is of note?

There is no headphone jack. Which is always a pain. But HTC ships an adapter with built in amp in the box to support the enjoyment of the hi-res 24 bit audio. USB-C USonic headphones are also included, and they aren’t half bad.

The 3,000mAh battery will hopefully be enough for most, and Qualcomm Quick Charge will ensure topping up power is fast.

The front facing camera is a 16Mp beast, while the main camera is 12Mp and uses HTC’s UltraPixel 3 with HDR boost, OIS and 3D audio recording for video – we are keeping our fingers crossed (and squeezed) for great things.

There is also IP57 water resistance, but no dual-SIM compatibility. 

Check out our hands-on review for all our first impressions of the HTC U11.