HTC's new flagship U11: Just squeeze it to take photos, open Alexa, Google Assistant

HTC U11's squeeze controls can be set up with short or long squeezes for different commands.

HTC U11 preview (Video)

HTC has taken the wraps off its new high-end smartphone, the HTC U11, which introduces a new squeeze command for opening apps and voice assistants.

The 5.5-inch QHD display U11 succeeds last year's HTC 10, featuring its "liquid glass" design, Snapdragon 835 processor, 12-megapixel rear camera, and 16-megapixel selfie camera.

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The specs are pretty close to details leaked in March, but the new phone now officially introduces HTC's new squeeze interaction, dubbed Edge Sense. HTC unveiled its latest flagship in Taipei, Taiwan today.

Edge Sense can be set up with short or long squeezes for different commands and used in conjunction with voice commands with Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa.

In China, it will use Baidu's voice assistant, DuerOS. The squeeze action can be used to take photos, launch apps, or send texts.

Sensors on the edge of the device are meant to help complete tasks with one hand, for example, when the user is doing an activity and taking photos.

As with the recently released U Ultra, HTC's U11 eschews the 3.5mm headphone jack for USB-C. The U11 includes USonic earbuds, which now feature active noise cancellation and automatic personalized tuning. It's also updated its BoomSound top tweeter and bottom woofer speakers.

The phone will ship with Android 7.1 Nougat, and includes 64GB storage, 4GB RAM, and a microSD slot. It has a 3,000mAh battery with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 and is IP67-rated for water and dust resistance.

The U11 also contains four microphones for recording in 360 degrees, with an Acoustic Focus feature that can be targeted in a specific direction by zooming on the target in the video.

The U11's exclusive carrier partner for the US is Sprint, but it will also be available unlocked for $649. The U11 costs £649 in the UK and is expected to ship on June 1.

The phone will be available in silver, sapphire blue, black, red, and white.

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