HTC U11+ review

GSMArena team, 27 November 2017.


Sense UI includes a straightforward dialer. There are five tabs: Call History, Phone, Favorites, People, and Groups. The cool thing about this dialer is you can switch between a number pad and a full keyboard.

Call History and dial pad - HTC U11 Plus review Favorites - HTC U11 Plus review Phonebook - HTC U11 Plus review A contact - HTC U11 Plus review
Call History and dial pad • Favorites • Phonebook • A contact


HTC has retired its app suite and now it's up to Google's default apps for handling everything. Those are more than capable, of course. You get Photos for pictures and videos, Play Music for your audio files, YouTube for online streaming, and Chrome for web browsing.

Photos - HTC U11 Plus review Photos - HTC U11 Plus review Play Music - HTC U11 Plus review YouTube - HTC U11 Plus review Chrome - HTC U11 Plus review
Photos • Photos • Play Music • YouTube • Chrome

Other noteworthy pre-installed apps are HTC's Files manager, News Republic, Record fitness app, and Amazon's Alexa.

Files - HTC U11 Plus review News Republic - HTC U11 Plus review Record - HTC U11 Plus review Alexa - HTC U11 Plus review
Files • News Republic • Record • Alexa

Boom Sound

Though is wasn't the first to pioneer it, the HTC One M7 was among the first modern smartphones to feature front-facing stereo speakers and the company does not intend to get rid of the feature from its flagships anytime soon.

HTC U11+ has two different modes for its Boom speakers - Music and Theater. Music mode is optimized for reaching all the highs, mids, and bass notes in the cleanest way possible. Theater mode is a more immersive experience while watching videos, as the speakers are set to project toward the front of the phone.

No matter which mode you choose, the HTC U11+ offers the loudest speaker output we have measured to date. For once HTC's Boom speakers are really boomy!

As far as the sound quality is concerned, although subjectively, it's equally impressive. You just have to hear it for yourselves.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 62.9 65.2 71.6 Below Average
Sony Xperia XZs 62.4 65.5 73.3 Average
HTC One (M8) 65.8 64.7 75.7 Average
Samsung Galaxy Note8 67.8 69.5 71.5 Good
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 68.5 69.4 71.6 Good
Apple iPhone X 68.9 74.0 76.2 Very Good
HTC U11 (Music) 68.7 73.0 79.1 Very Good
HTC 10 evo 65.8 75.4 80.6 Very Good
LG V30 66.9 72.3 84.5 Very Good
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 76.0 74.6 79.0 Excellent
Huawei Mate 10 90.6 73.7 84.0 Excellent
HTC U11+ 91.5 75.4 90.5 Excellent

USonic earbuds

HTC first introduced its USonic headphones on the HTC 10 evo (a.k.a. Bolt), which was coincidentally the first HTC device without a headphone jack. With the U11+, HTC is debuting a new feature to its USonic earbuds: active noise cancellation. The included earbuds can actively cancel background noise thanks to all the processing of extraneous noise taking place on the phone rather than in the earbuds.

Toggling active noise cancellation - HTC U11 Plus review Toggling active noise cancellation - HTC U11 Plus review
Toggling active noise cancellation

In addition to ANC, the USonic earbuds can be tailored to any person wearing them. Sonar sensors in the earbuds detect the echo in your ear canals and create an optimal profile. The calibration process involves a short static noise emitted through the earbuds. The whole process takes about 5 seconds.

Creating a custom audio profile - HTC U11 Plus review Creating a custom audio profile - HTC U11 Plus review Creating a custom audio profile - HTC U11 Plus review Creating a custom audio profile - HTC U11 Plus review
Creating a custom audio profile

The sound quality coming from these earbuds are light-years ahead of the "AKG" earbuds that Samsung bundled with its Galaxy S8. In fact, HTC demoed USonic to us by comparing the sound output from the bundled AKG earbuds hooked up to an S8.

It's very difficult to put perceived sound into words, but if we had to describe it: HTC's USonic earbuds are like if music was deconstructed and reconstructed to where you can hear all the instruments. It's truly something you need to hear for yourself.

HTC should set up demo booths around shopping malls showing off both Boom Sound and USonic. We feel these are one of the better selling points of the phone.

Excellent audio quality

Section Added on: February 19, 2018. The HTC U11 did an amazing job in the first part of our audio test. When hooked to an active external amplifier it delivered very loud and perfectly accurate output.

When headphones come into play the volume remained impressively high and there was barely any distortion to note. Even the stereo crosstalk barely increased, making up for another great performance. Certainly one of the most talented musicians of the season and one for audiophiles to keep on their shortlist.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
HTC U11++0.03, -0.17-93.993.90.00660.013-94.0
HTC U11+ (headphones)+0.19, -0.06-
HTC U11+0.05, -0.11-
HTC U11 (headphones)+0.05, -0.02-93.793.80.00180.105-53.7
Honor View 10+0.02, -0.01 -92.692.60.00210.012-94.4
Honor View 10 (headphones)+0.17, -0.03-
Samsung Galaxy S8++0.01, -0.03-
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (headphones)+0.03, -0.03-92.592.50.00240.046-77.3
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2+0.02, -0.02-94.394.30.00380.0072-93.5
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 (headphones)+0.31, -0.01-93.393.30.0160.243-63.8
LG V30+0.02, -0.01-
LG V30 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-92.992.90.00570.051-68.1
HTC U11+0.05, -0.11-
HTC U11 (headphones)+0.05, -0.02-93.793.80.00180.105-53.7

HTC U11+ frequency response
HTC U11+ frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Ken Briggs
  • 15 Apr 2021
  • fnE

Best phone I've ever had. I've had HTC ONE M7, M9, iphone 7, iPhone6

  • plmplm
  • 06 Dec 2019
  • mAQ

long story short. Had alot of phones(one plus 7, pixel 3, etc. in the last year) ended up using a U11+ (dirt cheap 150 dollars). Disapointed at first - screen a little meh but quite nice natural colours 8/10, nice camera 8/10, ergonomycs 6/10...but t...

  • Princemounir
  • 25 Oct 2019
  • N6S

Is the problem of brightness have solutions in updates?