HTC Joins the Android One Parade

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.

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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.


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Conversation 8 comments

  • Jaxidian

    02 November, 2017 - 9:45 am

    <p>A couple things:</p><p><br></p><ol><li>In your last paragraph, I think you mean the "HTC U11+" (which was just announced) and not the "HTC U11" (which was released half a year ago).</li><li>I think the HTC U11 Life will only be Android One outside of the US but will be Sense-based in side the US.</li></ol>

    • edboyhan

      02 November, 2017 - 6:56 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#212745"><em>In reply to Jaxidian:</em></a> The HTC U11+ will not be available in the US (at least not anytime soon). Also, if your carrier is AT&amp;T, HTC phones are not sold in their stores. While you can buy an unlocked HTC (or other MFR's phones), and it will work on AT&amp;T's network. AT&amp;T has decided not to support certain features (like VOLTE) on phones that they do not sell. So even though a phone may support these features, the carrier may not support them even though they support those features on phones they sell.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • X911ty12

    02 November, 2017 - 11:24 am

    <p>US version is NOT Android One as per the embedded vid.</p>

    • Ron Lautmann

      04 November, 2017 - 1:52 am

      <blockquote>So will the u11 with the 6 inch screen be AndroidOne and support Project Fi in the US?</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • Polycrastinator

    02 November, 2017 - 3:56 pm

    <p>That T-Mobile is carrying this is great, and even with the cheap price and nerfed processor I might have gone with it to get pure Google, but no OIS. It feels like every phone that comes out this year just has a fatal flaw that means I don't want it. At least the phone is cheap so I wouldn't feel so bad about replacing it quickly.</p>

  • Polycrastinator

    02 November, 2017 - 3:57 pm

    <p>Google really needs to convince some OEMs to let them do this with a premium device, as well as the low to mid range phones Android One seems to be confined to. The news today that the U11+ was originally going to be the Pixel 2 XL until a last minute change is, IMO, extremely galling. It would have been a far better device than what LG produced.</p>

  • edboyhan

    02 November, 2017 - 7:01 pm

    <p>I just bought a Moto X4 as an Amazon Prime premium phone. The Android One and Project FI phones have slightly different feature sets from phones bought from a MFR (or Amazon). For me the killer is Google strips out the Alexa support on their Android One/Project FI phones.</p>

  • Waethorn

    04 November, 2017 - 1:09 pm

    <p>I'm curious to look into the Android One requirements for OEM's. I'm wondering if it includes all of the following:</p><p><br></p><p>1) the new encrypted boot specification which shortens bootup, but decrypts on initial unlock instead of in the middle of the boot process, and a dual partition update system like ChromeOS</p><p>2) the new modular carrier service feature that allows carriers to add their own optimizations without affecting the standard operation of the OS, or preventing updates by Google</p><p>3) specific hardware requirements (are they allowed to use this on flagships that compete with Pixel, or do they have to gimp the phones, since most seem to be mid-range phones so far?), as well as camera specs (Nexus have always had good cameras approved by Google to meet certain performance criteria)</p><p>4) Project Fi support (….in the US)</p>

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