There are rumours about the name of the next flagship from the Taiwanese major HTC, is it HTC 11 or HTC U Ocean? There are also rumours that the device itself could be released in the shape of a phablet rather than being a pure-play smartphone. There is a possibility the customers might see both the smartphone and the Note together as well. It is important to add the caveat that much of the information being published here is in the form of speculation.
The CPU is on top of the agenda
Based on the reports available, it can be deduced that HTC has been cautious while disclosing its plans for this year. It appears from the official statements given by the company that HTC was firm in its resolve to have its next flagship phone fitted with the latest Snapdragon 835 chip instead of the 821 version. Samsung had virtually blocked 835 for its prestigious Galaxy S8 and S8+. This made it difficult for the other manufacturers to source the CPU. Companies like LG did not wait and went ahead and released their phones with the Snapdragon 821 processor, but HTC does not want to follow that route. It is now believed that with the Galaxy S8 having been launched, the pressure on Qualcomm will ease and HTC will have no difficulty in releasing the HTC 11 with the Snapdragon 835 Octa-core CPU come May 2017. It will be coupled with the Adreno 540 GPU.
Specs and Features
There have been leaked images of the phone and they are, indeed revealing (pun intended). The expectation is that the HTC 11 will not have any physical button and it is going to be a 5.5inch phone. The display will be 1440x2560. The phone is likely to be made available in two models with 64GB and 128GB storage with the RAM being 4 and 6 GB respectively. There are other rumours which suggest the RAM could be a higher 8GB and the storage 256GB. The HTC 11 will run on the Android 7 or Nougat. The phone will sport a 3000mAh battery with the Quick Charge facility. And as has become the new normal with almost all new releases, the fingerprint sensor will be integrated with the home button.
AI-based Virtual Assistant
The talk of the town has been the way Google is offering its Google Assistant to be used by other phone makers. One has already seen the LG 6 featuring the AI-based technology while a lot of noise out there has been on Samsungâ€™s Bixby and how it will fare against Appleâ€™s Siri. But the general refrain was that since LG had been making the Nexus and Pixel series phones for Google, they got it. But HTC has also been making the Pixel range and it should not be a surprise to anyone if the HTC sports this Assistant in preference to its own HTC Sense. There may also be a combination of both, with Google Assistant for the cloud-based activities and the HTC Sense handling the activities from inside the phone.
One will have to wait for a month or maybe a little more for a final confirmation on all these points. One will also know the pricing and other details, though the initial indications place it around $550 (Rs. 36,000).