It’s a sad fact of cellular life that there’s something about “lite” versions of flagship smartphones which is invariably disappointing. Trying to take what makes a flagship phone special, and distill down from it those core competencies and emotional appeal to a more affordable price point all too often results in a subpar device with a name that over-promises. Trying to escape that black hole of mediocrity is the HTC U11 life, a $300 version of the well-reviewed but niche-selling HTC U11.
While it’s smaller than the U11, the U11 life isn’t as compact a version as you might think. Still, it’s enough of a difference to make one-handed use more practical, without sacrificing screen real-estate too considerably. The 5.2-inch display doesn’t pack the punch of OLED, but it’s bright and colors are good, as are viewing angles. Underneath it there’s a fingerprint reader and capacitive buttons for back and app-switching.
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