US$710 / htc.com
This might be the year of barely there bezels and dual-camera cleverness, but for the U11, HTC has gone for something different. It’s a world’s first: a handset with hug-friendly haptics.
Those squeeze-sensitive touch panels at the sides give you a new way to interact with your phone – one that doesn’t involve tapping on a touch screen. If developers support it, and HTC gets the customisable app ready for download, it could be really useful. The accessibility potential for people who struggle with standard phones is huge.
There’s more to it than that, of course. The U11 packs in top-end specs, a laser focus on sound quality, and a set of AI assistants that are meant to streamline your life. Oh, and it’s utterly gorgeous. Let’s not forget about that.
It does have niggles, though. The missing headphone jack is annoying and the camera’s raw speed isn’t a strong point. But are they enough to dissuade you from claiming this uniquely squeezable phone?
1 Art of glass The back of the phone is covered in stunning, mirror-like Liquid Surface glass. It reflects like a pool of water, with different-coloured layers baked into the glass to create crazy combinations that look so much cooler than the flat colours on other phones.
2 Squeeze me, please me HTC calls the touch-sensitive panels built into the sides of the phone Edge Sense