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HTC Launches 'U11' Squeezable Smartphone With Snapdragon 835 CPU, No Headphone Jack (theverge.com) 69

HTC has officially launched its newest flagship smartphone today, the U11. While it has competitive specifications for a flagship smartphone of 2017, such as a 5.5-inch, Quad HD display, and Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB RAM, it has some unique features of its own. HTC is introducing a new way to interact with the U11 by letting you squeeze the sides of the device to perform different functions. The Verge reports: This new feature is called "Edge Sense," and it can be configured to do a variety of tasks with either short or long squeezes. You can set a short squeeze to open the camera and then take a picture when the camera app is open. A long squeeze can be configured to launch the Google voice assistant or toggle the flashlight on and off. In addition to Edge Sense, the U11 has a similar design to the U Ultra from earlier this year. That means it's metal and glass -- a departure from the all-aluminum unibody designs of past HTC phones -- with curved panels that blend into the metal frame and vibrant, pearlescent colors. That also means it lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, instead relying on its USB Type-C port for charging, data transfer, and audio function. HTC says removing the headphone jack has a number of advantages, including allowing the company more room inside the phone for other components and making the design of the bottom edge smoother. It also allows for a better audio experience, as the included headphones have both audio tuning and active noise cancellation, without having to rely on a secondary battery. In addition to the headphones, HTC is including a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter for use with other headphones, which it didn't for the U Ultra.
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HTC Launches 'U11' Squeezable Smartphone With Snapdragon 835 CPU, No Headphone Jack

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  • by CapOblivious2010 ( 1731402 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:03PM (#54429629)
    So... every time I pull the phone out of my pocket, it's going to activate some feature? No thanks. P.S. Frist!
    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      You can set it to call your psychiatrist, or a massage therapist to make an appointment, on a long squeeze.
      That way when you're upset and gripping your phone tightly it will know what to do.

      • You can set it to call your psychiatrist, or a massage therapist to make an appointment, on a long squeeze. That way when you're upset and gripping your phone tightly it will know what to do.

        Where are my moderator points when I need them???

  • This new feature is called "Edge Sense," and it can be configured to do a variety of tasks with either short or long squeezes.

    Are they talking about a phone or a fleshlight?

    • They're really, really running out of ideas for what to do with cellphones now, aren't they.

      Which in a way is reassuring, it means the market is mature, like the PC market ten years ago, and there's no longer any need to upgrade every year or two because for the average user nothing new is being added any more.

      • In the third year your phone's battery capacity starts to decline.

        Upgrade is not the word you were looking for. Replacement.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Only if you have it to handle rhythmical thumping.

  • COURAGE! AND KARMA TO BURN!
  • Yet another phone to do away with the audio jack.

    LG seems to be the only one committed to supporting headphones right now, and I have to wonder how long that'll last.

    • Also note that I saw no mention of an FM tuner on this thing either. Generally, phones with tuners use headphone cords as antennas.

      Yeah, why bother getting local music and information free over the air when you can stream it and burn through your monthly data in a few days?

      • FM band antennae are somewhat more challenging to fabricate in the available space. The horrors of real life.

    • Phone manufactures might as well do away with the screen, radio and cpu components and just sell a fancy little box/pretend phone with little Christmas lights inside, like those fake choke hazard toy phones you find at the dollar store. I bet plenty of hipster morons would buy it.
    • Sony also keeps them in the latest models.
  • How long until some bodybuilder squeezes one to death and wants his money back?

    • by beckett ( 27524 )

      some bodybuilder

      for slashdot visitors, this term refers to: "an individual of average strength"

  • Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jddj ( 1085169 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:29PM (#54429793) Journal

    After one great (M8) and one good (M10) flagship HTC smartphone, no headphone jack kills the relationship.

    a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack is basic equipment. Take a little note.

    Deal breaker.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      The M7 was good, the M9 bloated and it was my last HTC due to the disappointment I got from it.

      At least once I got hijacked by that "Kid Mode" that's one of the bloatwares added to the phone that couldn't be removed and only after serious effort I was able to undo it to find that the desktop I had populated had reverted back to system default. Definitely caused me to flag it as a non-wanted brand.

    • Yep, dealbreaker for me too. Simply: no headphone jack, no deal.

    • There is the XZ Premium, soon to be on sale. Headphone jack and all.

  • lemon squeezy. or something like that.
  • by jediborg ( 4808835 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:58PM (#54429969)
    is just another phone I'm not going to consider buying.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 )

      is just another phone I'm not going to consider buying.

      Great! that's the wonder of having choices. Some of us find the headphone jack the most important part of a phone. And a whole lot of us don't. Buy what you like.

      If enough of you jackers vote with your wallets, they'll install a chip in your arm with a quarter inch jack when smartphones go to implants and retinal displays.

  • by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @07:04PM (#54430025)
    Dear phone designers - stop. You're getting as bad as the programming UI guys. I don't WANT to have to learn a whole new way to interact with phone. I don't want to have to learn long presses versus short presses, hard versus soft. I don't want to learn all the different swiping. Palm swipe. Two finger swipe. 3 finger zig zag backward swipes.

    Just, NO.

    99% of the folks buying phones don't know how to take a screen shot, don't know swiping different directions on contacts does different things, and don't give a shit.

    Simple is beautiful, and a good phone with a great camera and good battery life is going to sell. I don't want modular, I don't want "no sd card", I don't want magical levitation with eye-following hands-free masturbation. Just stop. Please.
    • This shit is making me want to go back to the clunky old WM Treo 650. As bad as that interface was, at least there were no secret handshakes and other stupid weird bullshit just to perform basic functions.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...I don't want magical levitation with eye-following hands-free masturbation.

      Dear Phone designers,

      I want that! please ignore him.

      Thanks

    • While we're on the subject, after about 1cm, I don't give a shit about how much thinner my phone is, and I don't give a shit about how small of a bezel it has, and leaving out a headphone jack sounds like the economy-version to me. Seriously, phone industry: STAAAAAAAAAAAHP.

      If someone comes up with a nice thick, rugged phone with great battery life and they market it properly, they will sweep the whole industry. I'd even buy from Apple for the first time since the 1980s if they could pull that off.

      And i

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @07:13PM (#54430091)

    This new feature is called "Edge Sense," and it can be configured to do a variety of tasks with either short or long squeezes. You can set a short squeeze to open the camera and then take a picture when the camera app is open.

    My phone can already do that using its cutting edge button technology.

  • Was anyone else waiting for the corner of the falling phone in the animation to break the screen of the phone below, only to be disappointed when it stopped?

  • "it can be configured to do a variety of tasks with either short or long squeezes." -- Something tells me the designers of this phone haven't read Of Mice and Men. I wonder how good the accidental damage warranties will be?
  • Yep, those sound like very "courageous" design choices to me, if you get my drift.

  • When can I have a phone without any connectors whatsoever? Bluethooth, wlan and wireless charging should be enough. Such a phone could be 100% waterproof and very shock-resistant. And rubber coating, please.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      When can I have a phone without any connectors whatsoever? Bluethooth, wlan and wireless charging should be enough. Such a phone could be 100% waterproof and very shock-resistant. And rubber coating, please.

      Boardroom comic:

      UXTard: "Hey, no connectors, no options! We can do that!"
      Marketroid: "Hey, no connectors, everything goes through the cloud, we can monetize that!"
      Engineer: "Hey, rubber coating, it would actually survive a fall."
      ...
      *sound of shattering glass as the Engineer is thrown out the wind

    • The Samsung Galaxy S5 needed a plate to cover the connectors when not in use, but beyond that, it pulled off water resistance very well. As far as durability, I'd love it if phones started getting into composites. No need for carbon-fiber; just plain old fiberglass-reinforced nylon, the stuff used in higher-end powertools, that would be enough to totally change the game.
  • Apple should sue for design infringement...

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