HTC has announced the U11+, a slightly larger, more exciting version of the U11 flagship that appeared earlier this year. The new device follows the trend of super slim bezels and a huge display but without the huge footprint, putting it on par with the likes of Google, Samsung, LG and Apple.
How does the HTC U11+ compare to the Google Pixel 2 XL though? Here are the two devices against each other.
HTC U11+ vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Design
- Both have squeezable frames
- Both water resistant, though U11+ has higher IP rating
- Pixel 2 XL is slimmer and lighter
The HTC U11+ follows in the footsteps of its smaller brother, offering a liquid surface design that delivers a striking finish. It is available in Ceramic Black and Translucent Black, the latter of which shows some of the device’s internals for a unique look. Both are IP68 water and dust resistant.
A single camera lens is positioned on the rear, along with a circular fingerprint sensor below and the HTC logo, while the front is almost all screen with very slim bezels surrounding it and the sides are squeezable. There is USB Type-C at the bottom of the U11+, a volume rocker and power button on the right and no 3.5mm headphone jack anywhere.
The Google Pixel 2 XL’s design is a combination of metal and glass, with a small glass panel at the top of the rear housing the single camera lens and flash. Like the U11+, there is a circular fingerprint sensor on the rear of the Pixel 2 XL too, allowing for the large, slim-bezeled display on the front.
Colour options for the Pixel 2 XL are limited to Just Black and Black and White, both of which are IP67 water and dust resistant. The bottom of the device sees USB Type-C, while the right edge sees a coloured power button and a volume rocker and there is no headphone jack on this device either. The Pixel 2 XL also has squeezable edges, but rather than called Edge Sense like HTC’s device, they are called Active Edge.
The HTC U11+ is the narrower of the two devices measuring 158.5 x 74.9 x 8.5mm and weighing 188g, but the Pixel 2 XL is the shorter, slimmer and lighter measuring 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm and weighing 175g.
HTC U11+ vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Display
- Both have 6-inch, 2880 x 1440 resolution, 18:9 displays
- U11+ has LCD, Pixel 2 XL has OLED
- Both will offer mobile HDR eventually
The HTC U11+ comes with a 6-inch Super LCD 6 display that pumps out a 2880 x 1440 resolution for a pixel density of 538ppi. It doesn’t offer any fancy extras like an Always-On display, but it is protected by 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and it will support HDR10 after an update.
The Google Pixel 2 XL meanwhile, also has a 6-inch display but Google opts for an AMOLED panel over LCD, which hasn’t been received overly well among reviewers, with many claiming it is duller than it should be. It too offers a 2880 x 1440 resolution though, meaning the same pixel density as the U11+ and it also has 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection and mobile HDR compatibility.
Both the HTC U11+ and the Google Pixel 2 XL feature 18:9 aspect ratio displays compared to the standard 16:9 aspect ratio we were accustomed to until 2017 hit.
HTC U11+ vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Cameras
- Both have 12MP rear cameras
- Both have 8MP front cameras
- Both capable of 4K video recording from rear and 1080p from front
The HTC U11+ features a 12-megapixel sensor on its rear featuring an f/1.7 aperture and 1.4µm pixels. There is a dual-LED flash, optical image stabilisation, UltraSpeed Autofocus and up to 4K video recording capability with Hi-Res audio.
On the front of the U11+ you’ll find an 8-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.0 and an 85-degree field of view. It offers up to 1080p video recording capability, along with Auto Selfie and Voice Selfie features.
The Google Pixel 2 XL features a 12.2-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.8 aperture and 1.4µm pixels. There is a dual-LED flash on board this device too, along with optical and electronic image stabilisation and autofocus with laser and dual pixel phase detection.
The front camera on the Pixel 2 XL is 8-megapixels, like the U11+. It offers an aperture of f/2.4 with 1.4µm pixels and fixed focus. The rear camera on the Pixel 2 XL is capable of up to 4K video recording while the front can handle up to 1080p.
HTC U11+ vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Hardware
- Both run on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- Option of more RAM on U11+ and microSD supported
- Larger battery capacity on U11+
The HTC U11+ runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform, supported by either 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, both of which offer microSD for storage expansion.
There is a 3930mAh battery capacity, with support for Quick Charge 3.0 and in terms of sound, the U11+ features HTC’s USonic with Active Noise Cancellation, along with HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition speakers and support for Hi-Res audio.
The Google Pixel 2 XL also runs on the Snapdragon 835 platform, which is supported by 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage, neither of which have microSD support for storage expansion.
The battery capacity is a fraction smaller in the Pixel 2 XL too, at 3520mAh, though fast charging is also supported on this device, with Google offering up to seven hours charge in 15 minutes. Audio-wise, the Pixel 2 XL has front-firing stereo speakers, which are positioned in the bezels above and below the display, while the device also offers noise suppression.
HTC U11+ vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Software
- Both run Android Oreo
- U11+ has HTC Sense over the top
- Both offer Google Assistant
The HTC U11+ launches on Android Oreo with HTC Sense over the top, while the Google Pixel 2 XL offers pure Android Oreo with no bloatware.
HTC Sense has been significantly stripped back over the years but the software experience will still be a little different between these two devices, even though they are almost both vanilla Android.
Both devices offer Google Assistant, but the HTC U11+ also offers Amazon Alexa as an additional assistant.
HTC U11+ vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Price
- U11+ is £200/$264 cheaper for same storage capacity
The HTC U11+ will cost £699/$909 in the UK for the 128GB variant.
The Google Pixel 2 XL costs £899/$1187 for the 128GB model.
HTC U11+ vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Conclusion
The HTC U11+ and the Google Pixel 2 XL are on par in that they both offer premium designs, waterproofing, huge displays and similar hardware, thought the U11+ does pip Google’s device to the post in a couple of areas.
Firstly, the U11+ is £200 cheaper for the same storage capacity (128GB), while also offering microSD support and more RAM. It also offers a larger battery capacity, higher water and dust resistance rating and the company’s signature BoomSound technology.
The Pixel 2 XL is the lighter and slimmer of these two devices however, whilst also running pure Android software with no bloatware and it is an excellent device, even though it currently has some screen issues. The question is, are those pros worth the extra cash to you?