The HTC U11 Life is affordable, beautiful, and coming to Android One

The HTC U11+ in Translucent Black

The U11 Life - which aims to be the HTC U11's almost identical, cheaper sibling - comes with free headphones in the box called HTC USonic. Noise-canceling headphones are usually pricey, and not free with the purchase of a $349 smartphone (they cost $39.99 if you choose to buy them separately). It will still include Edge Sense and other hey HTC software features.

We'd also understand no waterproofing at this price point but the U11 Life is IP67 like its bigger brother.

It's protected by Gorilla Glass 5, which is said to be capable of surviving 1.6m drops onto "hard, rough surfaces" up to 80 per cent of the time.

XDA Developers spotted the HTC-made device within the AOSP last week and, although it's not exactly the same as the device unveiled today, it bears numerous hallmarks of the new HTC U11 Plus.

Powering the HTC U11 Plus is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor that is present in all the current flagship smartphones. In our review of U11, we were impressed with the phone's battery, which could go through an entire day for most average smartphone users. The smartphone features a fingerprint sensor on the front.

Starting with the HTC U11 Life, it brings the flagship features and design to the premium-mid range category.

Perhaps Google would have been better off opting for the HTC-made devices across the board?

Although we're impressed with the design of the U11 Life, it's the specs on offer that really show why it's a lot cheaper.

There's either 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage but for the asking price, we get 4/64GB as standard in the United Kingdom which is impressive. Both Android One and Sense versions of the U11 Life are identical and it is only the software that is different. Either option nets you microSD support as well.

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The front camera has 8 MP resolution, 85-degree field-of-view, f/2.0 aperture, and 1080p video recording.

The U11 Life is a mid-range offering in the U11 lineup. It's limited to 1080p video, though.

Inside the U11 Life is a 2600mAh battery, not too much smaller than the 3000mAh one found in the U11.

All of this is powered by an impressive 3,930mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.

You can use one of them, both of them or neither of them, though HTC recommends Assistant for when you're out and about, and Alexa for when you're at home. HTC's BoomSound speakers are also included here, and Android 8.0 Oreo comes out of the box with HTC's Sense UI.

There are two versions of the U11 Life-the US-bound U11 Life with HTC Sense, and the global version that'll be available through Google's Android One program.

Close observers of the Android rumor mill will know that Google made an abrupt change to its Pixel phone plans this summer, shelving its original successor to the Pixel XL, which was codenamed "muskie", in favor of another device bearing the code title of "taimen".

You also get monthly security patches for up to three years and guaranteed OS updates for two years.

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