Comparing two high-performance smartphones like the Galaxy S8 and the HTC U11 is no task for just one publisher. In order to show the main features of each model, instead of just saying which is the best in it, we decided to share the experience of using two editors with these two flagships. In the end, you are the one who will choose which model suits you most.
In this contest, I will talk about the features and functions of the Galaxy S8 that make me believe that this is the best device launched in 2017. On the other hand, from my colleagues, they will say what leads them to believe that it is The HTC U11 that deserves the title of best smartphone of the year.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11: design and screen
I have been doing research of the Galaxy S8 for almost two months and have not yet seen a smartphone that can get close to such a modern design. The footprint of the handset is so good that I forget that I have a handset with a 5.8-inch screen. The features for using the S8 with one hand are varied enough that you hardly ever need to use it with both hands.
Because I find it a sin to hide the device using a protective cover, especially those manufactured by Samsung, I got a lots of information about the Galaxy S8 as it came out of the box and, I already got rain with the handset and I can say that this is one of the smartphones that best handles touch screen in these conditions.
As for the display, in addition to offering a super clear experience, with brightness and balanced contrasts, realistic colors and at the same time vivid, allowed Samsung to develop functionality based on the edge screen. So without even getting the chance to quickly access the S8’s notification bar with a swipe on the screen, we can slide from right to left and use the edges of the edge screen. These are extremely customizable and can fit the needs of each user.
The Galaxy S8 is longer than most handsets on the market today because it brings a new aspect ratio, it’s 18.5: 9 instead of the traditional 16: 9. In addition to this feature increase the “lifetime of the device” by offering the latest industry standard, it also enhances the experience by enabling you to see more content on the screen. It is true that there are still many applications of the Android ecosystem that need to be adapted to this new aspect, but this is the price to pay to be among the first.
The screen of the HTC U11 has a traditional format, which we are accustomed to. Games are not cut and there are strange reflections of light that appear on the edges of the screen, as in the case of the Galaxy S8. YouTube videos take full advantage of every corner of the 5.5-inch panel. Another positive point for games and videos is the presence of the Adreno 540 GPU, which few S8 users can enjoy, since only in selected countries do we have the Qualcomm processor packaging the model.
The quality of the finish is excellent, and the feel provided by the blend of glass and aluminum is fabulous. Models with blue colors are especially prettier, and give me the impression of elegance.
The rear camera is slightly prominent relative to the rear surface of the device, which has side edges made of glass. It is a solid finish and gives a feeling of security.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. HTC U11: Special Features
As I said in the previous topic, the S8 screen not only offers a great visual experience, but also useful features, such as the Edge Screen. Here, you explore direct shortcuts to system functions as well as most frequently used applications and favorite contacts. This is very functional for using the device with one hand.
The most used function on the Edge Screen is Device Maintenance, because it allows user to quickly access Performance Mode. Here, They can choose between four performance modes and save battery when needed or have the best experience with audio, video and games.
Incidentally, it’s impossible not to cite the Game Launcher as a special feature of the Galaxy S8, since you’ll rarely find such a complete gaming console in Android-based smartphone software. As much as Google Play Games offers to record matches and share them, it does not give you the chance to block pushbuttons (eg physical start button) or even other features that might interfere during a match, such as inadvertently triggering the screen Edge.
Sense Edge is the best innovation we saw on smartphones in 2017. It represents a new way of interacting with the smartphone. In my opinion, we have something that is almost a parallel with the invention of the mouse, which has extended the functionalities of the computer and today is essential.
So far, you can do two actions with Sense Edge: a strong pressure and a less intense one. Thus, by pressing the edges of the phone, you have access to applications or tasks, such as starting or stopping a video recording. Of course these functions are simple, but the best is yet to come.
That’s because developers can incorporate Sense Edge technology into their apps, allowing for a differentiated interaction between hardware and software. By analyzing it well, it may replace the volume buttons in the future.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. HTC U11: Quality and Audio Features
One of the most used audio functions in the Galaxy S8 in recent months is the result of Bluetooth 5.0. Due to an extra audio dimension, You can connect two Bluetooth speakers at the same time. In addition, the software also allows you to choose specific audio outputs for different apps.
That means You can use Spotify on Bluetooth speakers, but at the same time, You can talk to your friends by voice on WhatsApp using the smartphone’s speaker, sitting on the sofa at home. This causes the music not to be cut while my Englis teacher gives me homework.
Finally, software functions that allow you to optimize the audio quality when the headphones are connected, make a difference depending on the quality of the audio file and the equalization mode used. But I have to be honest, the sound quality of the AKG headphones would be much better if they offered noise cancellation, or even better insulation from outside noise.
The Boom Sound is extraordinary. To begin with, we have on the HTC U11 a sound that is quite loud and clear in the speakers, headphones and even while using adapters for minijack, which is a plus point, since the device does not have P2 input .
The sound is not as loud as on devices that have the speaker on the front. The volume at the bottom is not very strong, but it is the best that any one you can find among competitors.
HTC USonic headphones provide the best experience I’ve ever had with this kind of accessory (in-ear earphone). The sound is crisp and detailed. To use it, however, it is necessary to create an audio profile that will measure and adapt the auditory channel in order to find the most appropriate audio.
The absence of the P2 input may be considered a delay for some users, but in relation to audio quality, the delay is not to use the USB Type-C port for this purpose.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11: camera
The Galaxy S8 camera is quite competitive and is among the best you can find on a smartphone today. In good lighting conditions you just need to launch the camera app and make the photo or video without worry, it is the dream of any consumer. Autofocus responds quickly, has a good white balance, and does not go beyond image processing, which provides a good margin for editing images in programs such as Photoshop. For more options we always have the professional mode and the chance to make RAW images.
In cloudy weather, the Galaxy S8’s 12MP aperture and f / 1.7 aperture can maintain a high level of color and contrast. And in video recordings or photo capture in dark environments, it’s still superior, just as we had last year with the Galaxy S7 .
The front camera of the Galaxy S8 features balanced, realistic colors.
Check out the Galaxy S8 camera test here .
The camera of the HTC U11 is very convincing. So much so that it managed to get a high score on the site DxOMark, specialized in analyzing cameras, and made me admire the device right away, as happened with the LG G4 at the time of its launch.
In my opinion, the U11 is proof that a lens can do better work than two, since I believe that this double lens system is a marketing strategy, and that it needs a lot of maturity to surpass a quality sensor.
That said, I can assure you that the dynamic range of U11 is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I love the representation of colors, which combines natural colors with a soft touch that highlights the details of the images. Optical stabilization and rapid firing are the icing on the cake.
Check out the HTC U11 camera test here.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. HTC U11: Security and Privacy
If you read my review of the Galaxy S8, you may have wondered at the beginning of this comparison why I did not talk about fingerprint sensor positioning in the first topic, right? Yes, this impairs the use of the camera when used as standard, since we can dirty the lens with the fingers. However, it should not be a reason to discard the Galaxy S8, because in terms of security, Samsung knew how to defend its bases with a varied option of screen blocking and limiting access to the system.
The use of the iris scanner and the digital reader for payment validation is safe, fast and easy to use. In conjunction with one of these, you can use Samsung’s facial recognition as a screen lock option, and PIN or Password as backup. So you will have at least three levels of security.
Added to that, the South Korean manufacturer still offers a number of secure applications through Knox, a complete security system that protects from the hardware to the application layer of the smartphone.
We have some security options that unlock the HTC U11, such as a fingerprint sensor, which is fast and is positioned discreetly on the front of the device. As an alternative, we can also count on the Smart Lock, which registers the user’s face and to unlock the device. This option works like the Galaxy S8’s facial recognition, although there are some inaccuracies in its operation.
Within the system security options is the function that blocks third-party access to user-selected applications with a specific password pattern.
Samsung Galaxy S8 or HTC U11?
If you want a smartphone that has style, you can offer virtually unique options on a single device – such as Bluetooth 5.0, 18.5: 9 aspect ratio, iris scanner and different performance modes – then you want the Galaxy S8 .
The device comes with a high-performance processor, the Exynos 8895, which, combined with 4GB of RAM, ensure optimum performance, especially since Samsung has also wiped out its interface, Experience 8.1. The software is packed with features that, when used properly, can increase battery life from hours to days, for example.
As always, two months are still little time to feel loss in the performance of a smartphone like the Galaxy S8, so I have no complaints in this regard. However, of course I’ve had application and game freezes, but this is an exception rather than a routine. Between the Galaxy S8 and the HTC U11.
The HTC U11 may not be as spectacular as the Galaxy S8, which causes love at first glance in some people, but has its differentials. We have innovations, such as digital audio output and Sense Edge technology, and it is also within the design standard of the models that are sold in the market.
Aesthetics aside, we have a practical and well built device. It has the most powerful processor on the market, and will receive updates for the next two years. Still with regard to hardware, we have a single problem that is related to the capacity of the battery. However, this is a disease that also affects the Galaxy S8 and other high-end devices today.
The Galaxy S8 is very good, but if you want to use a real smartphone, what you need is the HTC U11.
Now it’s up to you: