What can we expect from HTC's next flagship? Based on fresh concept designs, rumors, and the specs of the HTC 10 and the recent HTC-built Google Pixel, we're seeing the possibilities for the HTC 11 (codenamed HTC Ocean) start to take shape. The latest news we have comes in the form of a leaked promo video.
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HTC may aim to launch the HTC 11 in early 2017. Samsung may launch the Galaxy S8 on February 26 at the Mobile World Congress 2017, so around that time it would make sense for HTC to launch a new flagship. But, it's likely it won't be launched at MWC itself.
HTC launched the One M9 at MWC 2015, but in 2016 HTC skipped showing off the HTC 10 there and held its own virtual event instead. In 2017, it may skip on showing off its new flagship at MWC again and launch the HTC 11 just before or afterwards instead. In that case, we could expect to see a launch on January 12 at the company's launch event.
We'd expect the price to be upwards of $700 based on the HTC 10's price when it was released.
The HTC 11 range will most likely include three models, referred to by their specific codenames: Ocean Master, Ocean Note, and Ocean Smart. What these three versions will bring is unknown, but there may be several different screen sizes to choose from.
It is also rumored that two of the devices may launch under the name HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play. The launch event will be live-streamed.
A promotional video has been leaked for the phone by famous leaker Evan Blass. The video below shows that apps can be launched by scrolling and lightly touching the side of the device. This is consistent with the concept video by Danelle Vermeulen released late last year which says the sides of the phone will have intuitive controls.
The HTC Ocean concept phone sizzle reel video below was posted by HTC Source on YouTube with the following disclaimer: "This video of the HTC Ocean does not feature an upcoming HTC device. The 'sizzle reel' created by Danelle Vermeulen merely shows how one might create a short video to show off the main features of a new device."
This surfaced concept video created by a visual and motion designer shows the HTC Ocean with a Sense Touch user interface, and no physical controls. It relies on gestures, touch, and voice: you'll find no buttons here.
The HTC Ocean looks a lot like the HTC 10, with a full metal unibody, and we can expect waterproofing for this device.
For the display, there may be several sizes since there are three codenames floating around for the HTC Ocean: Ocean Master, Ocean Note, and Ocean Smart. The HTC 10 had a 5.2-inch display, with 1,440 x 2,560 pixel resolution, which we may see again with the Ocean. There is no word yet on whether or not HTC will opt for an AMOLED display.
In the concept video above, the HTC 11 features a comeback of the dual rear camera with LED flash. HTC tried out a dual camera setup with the HTC One M8's Duo Camera that had a 4 MP rear camera with a sensor just above it, but that was lackluster even when it was released way back in March 2014. The 2016 Huawei P9 featured two 12 MP Leica rear cameras and an 8 MP selfie camera in the front and is one of the best we've ever tested. If the HTC 11 will have a dual camera, we hope it will have similar specs to the Huawei P9.
There isn't any information on what kind of processor the HTC 11 might have, but we expect one of the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets like the 835 since HTC used the 821 for the Google Pixel. If HTC wants to be the 11 to be competitive and work well with Daydream, it will have more than 4 GB of RAM. We will almost definitely see a USB Type-C connector and no standard headphone jack as with the HTC Bolt.
The HTC 11 will launch with Android 7.0 Nougat, as the HTC 10 already has the update coming to it. There will likely continue to be a more stock-like experience with the new HTC flagship. The big difference will come from interacting with the phone using Sense Touch as featured in the video above, if it comes to pass. Relying more on voice and gestures than any phone prior will mean a major difference in user experience, a choice likely driven by the Google Assistant platform that HTC had experience with when making the Pixel.
Are you looking forward to seeing the latest HTC smartphone? What features do you hope to see HTC bring to the table?