Google announced today that the awkwardly-named HTC U11 life will join the rapidly-expanding family of Android One smartphones. The device will arrive first in Germany and will expand to other countries in Europe and Asia Pacific later this year and into 2018, Google says.
As you may recall, Google recast its Android One program as a Signature PC-like program for smartphones about two months ago. Previously, the search giant had pushed Android One as a way to adapt its mobile platform for low-end hardware and emerging markets. But now it offers Pixel-like pure Android experiences, but on third-party hardware.
Several handset makers have signed up for the program in the intervening time, though availability varies wildly by market. Here in the United States, the Moto X4 is available in an Android One configuration, and it’s even sold through Project Fi, Google’s wireless service.
As with other Android One phones, the HTC U11 will be available in non-Android One configurations too. But in this case, the “normal” HTC U11 is quite a bit different from the Android One phone, with a near bezel-less display 6-inch 18:9 display, higher-end specs, and numerous other advantages.