HTC U11 Life review

Orlin Milinov, 04 December 2017.

Benchmarks and performance

The HTC U11 Life is among the first smartphones to use the new mid-range chipset by Qualcomm - the Snapdragon 630. It is replacing the widespread and very efficient Snapdragon 625 that was the heart of a lot of smartphones throughout 2017.

HTC U11 Life review

The Snapdragon 630 chip offers a classic octa-core Cortex-A53 processor now clocked at 2.2GHz (up from 2.0GHz in S625). The GPU in charge of graphics is Adreno 508 and should improve on the average gaming performance of its predecessor.

Finally, the U11 Life may come with either 4GB or 3GB of RAM, depending on the region and base storage.

GeekBench is where we go first, and the U11 Life scored some odd results here. They are not bad, just on the contrary, but the scores are on par with the slower 2.0GHz CPU available on the Snapdragon 625 inside the Xiaomi Mi A1.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    916
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus
    901
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
    888
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    877
  • HTC U11 Life
    873
  • Motorola Moto X4
    866
  • Moto G5 Plus
    847
  • Huawei P10 lite
    834

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    4292
  • Moto G5 Plus
    4255
  • HTC U11 Life
    4140
  • Motorola Moto X4
    4136
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus
    3783
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
    3509
  • Huawei P10 lite
    3344
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    3251

We mentioned the GPU upgrade and the benchmarks this time around show the boost. Looking at some GFXBench offscreen fps scores, the Adreno 508 inside the U11 Life is on par with or better than the Mali-T830MP3 that's in charge of the graphics department in the Galaxy A5 (2017). Those two GPUs are on top of the charts in this selection.

Since all phones we picked have 1080p screens, the onscreen benchmarks scores are the same as the offscreen ones.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    15
  • HTC U11 Life
    14
  • Motorola Moto X4
    14
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    9.9
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    9.8
  • Moto G5 Plus
    9.7
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus
    9.6
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
    9
  • Huawei P10 lite
    7.8
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    6.5

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Moto X4
    9.8
  • HTC U11 Life
    9.6
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    9.1
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    6.4
  • Moto G5 Plus
    6.4
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus
    6.2
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    6.2
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
    5.8
  • Huawei P10 lite
    4.6
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    3.8

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • HTC U11 Life
    5.4
  • Motorola Moto X4
    5.3
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    5.2
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
    4
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus
    3.7
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    3.5
  • Moto G5 Plus
    3.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    3.4
  • Huawei P10 lite
    2.8
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    2.6

The HTC U11 Life shows a 40% improvement over S62x phones in the BaseMark X test - quite a significant increase.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Motorola Moto X4
    14479
  • HTC U11 Life
    14286
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    10472
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    10446
  • Moto G5 Plus
    10406
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus
    9543
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
    9034
  • Huawei P10 lite
    7588
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    7004

With comparable CPU performance and superior graphics results, it's no wonder the U11 Life excels in compound benchmarks as well. In AnTuTu test, for example, the U11 Life is comfortably ahead of the competition and it's doing great in BaseMark OS 2.0, too.

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • HTC U11 Life
    72854
  • Motorola Moto X4
    71224
  • Moto G5 Plus
    63390
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    61762
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    61616
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    61020
  • Huawei P10 lite
    60895
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    58068
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
    57996
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus
    55657

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Motorola Moto X4
    1532
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    1417
  • HTC U11 Life
    1342
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    1309
  • Huawei P10 lite
    1284
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    1262
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus
    1198
  • Moto G5 Plus
    1089
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    1050
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
    379

The HTC U11 Life delivers performance to be expected from its class, but punches above its weight when it comes to 3D graphics. Or rather, the Snapdragon 630's GPU has taken the lower tier of the 600 series (65x and 66x excluded here) a notch higher, and the U11 Life is reaping the benefits.