HTC unveils the U11, a gorgeous 5.5-inch flagship phone with Amazon Alexa support

From PC World: You won’t want to hide the HTC U11 in a protective case. HTC’s new flagship phone is just too stunning to conceal behind a chintzy polycarb shell. Imbued with HTC’s new “liquid” design aesthetic, the U11 has an impossibly glossy finish, evoking the T-1000 Terminator for those old enough to remember that robot assassin.

From a basic specs perspective, the U11 is a solid but not remarkable Android 7.1 phone. It includes a state-of-the-silicon-art Snapdragon 835 processor running up to 2.45 GHz, a 3,000 mAh battery, and a 5.5-inch quad HD (2560x1440) display. That’s right: HTC’s Super LCD 5 display has a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, remaining resolutely old-school while Samsung and LG are embracing taller 18:9 aspect ratio displays.

Nonetheless, the U11 still includes a number of surprise-and-delight features that could attract both hardcore HTC enthusiasts, as well as less tech savvy consumers who take the time to consider the phone’s unique bag of tricks. Besides its curiosity-piquing design, the U11 includes Amazon Alexa support, a new way to launch apps and features, and better-than-ever audio from a phone line-up that’s always pushed the audio envelope.

We first saw HTC’s liquid design in the U Ultra, a 5.7-inch phone that’s seen limited release in the United States. Frankly, we don’t like the U Ultra very much. Among other issues, its body, while stunning, also attracts a lot of fingerprints. And my colleague Michael Simon feels the U Ultra is just too slippery.

The U11 looks like liquid metal, but its back panel is actually made of Gorilla Glass. Three U11 colors will come to the U.S.—Sapphire Blue (dark blue), Amazing Silver (light blue) and Brilliant Black (black). The two blue models are particularly gorgeous, and sans fingerprints, all three colors cast reflections with more drama than you’ll find in any other phone.

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