Smartphone as the main working device
Anyone who reads my equipment tests regularly knows that for me the cell phone is the most important work tool. It helps me, for example, my eMails also to check on short stretches in the tram or just briefly to research important facts - tasks, so, for which it is too cumbersome to unpack the laptop extra. But blog posts I've written with the smartphone already on the go and edited.
Recently, a new functionality has been added: photography and image processing. On the one hand, I want to be able to edit the photos immediately after recording, such as brightness or corrections, then upload them to Instagram and or label them for later use in the blog for illustration.
Which equipment is important
To enable this workflow, it is not only important to me that the phone performs optimally, has a large dispay and all important functions, but also has an excellent camera. Therefore, I was very pleased that HTC has provided me its top device, the U11, free of charge for a long-term test.
For the U11 was rated positive in several tests, especially for his camera. What is my personal impression of the capabilities of the smartphone?
The equipment of the HTC U11
The HTC U11 comes standard with Android 7.1, but can be upgraded to Android 8 immediately. It is equipped with an Octa-Core Snapdragon 835 CPU, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal memory, which are further expandable via Micro-SD. The connector is, as with all newer smartpones, USB Type C 3.1. Old micro-USB cables do not fit on the phone, but can be adapted with a simple adapter.
Likewise, HTC does not use an 3,5mm audio connection, but does provide an adapter for headphones. However, I was not very enthusiastic about the built-in noise-canceling feature along with the included headphones - maybe because I'm a little spoiled with my real noise-canceling headphones.
In general, the sound is relatively good: This is because the phone has two speakers, a stereo speaker on the front above the display and one at the bottom for the bass.
The display is a little too small with 5,5 inch for my taste, because it is comparatively stable, however, with Gorilla Glass 5. In fact, the phone has already fallen down several times and has not even got a scratch.
As a special feature, the device is equipped with pressure-sensitive housing edges, a so-called squeeze function, ie when you squeeze the device on the sides, the camera takes pictures, for example. About the usefulness of this function can be argued, as well as chic, the reflective case back is - since the device is supplied with a transparent protective cover, annoying me a little bit.
The camera function
Ultimately, these are only appearances, but the more important question to me is: How good is the camera function really? The main camera of the U11 is equipped with a 12MP “UltraPixel 3” sensor, which has an f / 1.7 aperture and optical and electronic image stabilization (OIS and EIS).
Everyone can convince themselves of the result with my Instagram account: In contrast to earlier recordings the pictures of the U11 are not oversaturated, at the same time however extremely sharp and detailed. And so they look much more natural and less pixelated with all filters than the older recordings.
RAW mode and HDR boosting
Incidentally, the U11 can also save images in RAW mode by selecting the Pro feature. For Instagram, this seems simply exaggerated, even if the color quality is better, the differences after editing with filters are rather low.
The app always starts in the last used mode. Exciting is the HDR Boosting: The camera is constantly active, takes pictures and discards them immediately. Only when the shutter-release button is activated will the unit save the last three shots in HDR and HDR auto modes and calculate a JPEG from them.
The selfie camera with 16 megapixels at first glance offers more power than the main camera, but this is not the UltraPixel technology in use. With the selfie camera, users can take normal selfies, videos and panoramic selfies - especially suitable for group pictures.
There are of course many more camera features of the HTC U11, which I can not describe in detail here and would like. And of course, the phone does not replace professional photography equipment with SLR or system camera. Real photographers, especially from the print sector, will hardly be able to convince the mobile phone.
But personally I came to the following conclusion: The U11 with its great camera can replace my much heavier and larger system camera very well, it is due to the direct connectivity to instagram and many editing and Filterapps- and functions even superior.
For me, however, the HTC U11 significantly improves my workflow, since I need in the future a device less in the bag to do my job effectively and the narrow cell phone, in contrast to the camera still saves significantly in weight and size.
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