Mobile Geeks

HTC Launches a Transparent Smartphone – HTC U11+ Hands On

The future I’ve been waiting for includes flying cars, robot roommates and transparent phones. I’ve seen signs that the first two are well on their way and today HTC has made my dreams come true by launching the U11+ with a color called Translucent Black.

The Htc U11+ has a Super LCD 5 display with Gorilla Glass 5 and is in an 18:9 format and a liquid surface back-cover. It has the same DNA as the U11 but it’s in line with the longer larger phones that are dominating the high-end smartphone game.


Speaking of gaming that’s kind of where the inspiration was drawn from for going see through. Gaming towers often have see though panels, the Nintendo switch is showing off its bits and of course and of course there was the iMac. Even if you’re not a gamer at least this is something different, everyone is playing it safe this year! In a sea of phones that look the same, the U11+’s looks combined with strong sound and camera make it serious competition.

In the style of our straight to the point reviews, I’m going to try to pack this hands on with as much information as possible


The U11+ has the same design language as the flagship U11 but thinner, longer and more refined.
bezels at the top and bottom have been reduced making the phone feel more modern and high-end



Photos from the HTC U11 +



HTC U 11+ Specifications

PlatformAndroid 8.0 Oreo with HTC Sense
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 835, 64-bit octa-core up to 2.45GHz
Display6-inch SuperLCD 6, 2880×1440
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
RAM4/6GB (Varies by region)
Storage64/128GB (Varies by region)
microSD up to 2TB
Quick Charge 3.0
Main Camera12MP UltraPixel 3, 1.4-micron pixels, f/1.7
UltraSpeed Autofocus, BSI sensor, OIS, Dual LED flash
Front Camera8MP, f/2.0, 85-degree field of view
BSI sensor, HDR Boost
SoundHTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation
HTC BoomSound™ Hi-Fi edition
Hi-Res Audio stereo recording,Hi-Res audio certified
Qualcomm aptX HD, LDAC 24-bit high resolution wireless audio
NetworkHSPA: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
FDD-LTE Band 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 28, 32
TDD-LTE Band 38, 39, 40, 41
SensorsEdge Sensor, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Motion G-sensor, Compass sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor, Fingerprint sensor, Sensor Hub for activity tracking
ConnectivityUSB 3.1, Type-C
802.11ac Wi-Fi Dual-band, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
HTC Connect, AirPlay, Chromecast, DLNA, Miracast
Additional FeaturesAlways-on voice commands, Motion Launch, Quiet ring on pick-up, Pocket mode, Flip to mute, Display color personalization
Size 158.5 x 74.9 x 8.5 mm
Weight 188 g


We have to give it to HTC, the sound on the U11+ is brilliant, Boom Sound has yet to disappoint though what we do wish they’d given us is a headphone jack! There will be a Type C to 3.5mm adapter in the box, but we still aren’t used to phones without the jack, with all the options in the office I lean to ones with jacks since I’m always misplacing my headphones. I need 5 adapters for all my different headphones.

Other features like Bluetooth 5.0 which allows you to connect to multiple speakers and a slew of high end capabilities make it feel worthy of it’s more expensive price tag.


We loved the HTC U11 camera and the rear camera has remained the same 12MP HTC Ultrapixel 3 with OIS and EIS. However, the front is now only 8MP instead of 16MP but we’re still capable of 1080p and HTC does a great job with selfies, and with the few we tried out we think we’re going to be pleased.

main camera

front camera


HTC has given some thought to the way that they’ve added to Android Oreo (great news it will be available at launch). Since the handset is 6 inches and has a longer 18:9 format they’ve enabled the Edge Sense squeeze gesture to open a circular launcher. If you remember swipe from the original Phablet days, it’s very similar. Move your thumb up and down to scroll through a customizable list of apps, a calendar appears at the top. It’s nice to the days of the month, but it would be great if one of the commands on the scroll wheel would change it to my schedule for that day (I couldn’t figure how to change that in my limited hands on time, fingers crossed they’ve thought of that).

The screen itself is also gesture enabled, small features we’ve seen around for years are included. Swipping down on the display to pull down the notification bar, repeat the action and it opens the settings. The navigation bar at the bottom is also two pages, slide across it to see a whole new set of actions.

It’s a reality that you’re going to use your phone with one hand sometimes, it’s nice that they’ve made it less likely that I’ll drop it when I’m trying to reach the other side or top of the phone.

We’ve also got the choice to go between Google’s assistant and Alexa voice AI with dual wake words.


The HTC U11+ will start at 799EUR and be available beginning of November in Sapphire Blue and Midnight Black, the Translucent black will be available in Asia early to mid-November and in Germany sometime later that month. So since Mobile Geeks has an office in Taipei, we’re hoping to be one of the first in Germany to really spend quality time with this sexy, sexy phone.

HTC has been making great phones that have sadly been poorly received in terms of sales, I’m hoping that the Translucent Black will help to bring attention to the strong products they’ve been bringing to the market.