Was The HTC U11 Plus Originally Intended To Be The Pixel 2 XL?

Yesterday HTC unveiled a slick new flagship smartphone called the U11 Plus that it has curiously not decided to sell in the U.S. The official reasoning for that device to skip the States was because HTC didn’t want to offend recent U11 buyers. An interesting new report has turned up that will make you wonder if the U11 Plus isn't being offered in the U.S. for another reason.

htc u11 2

If you looked at the U11 Plus and thought that the specs sounded a lot like the Pixel 2 XL (check out our review), there is a good reason for that according to one report. It seems that Google was going back and forth on which smartphone maker was going to produce the Pixel 2 XL smartphone and it came down to LG or HTC. Ultimately Google chose LG to build the Pixel 2 XL and that left HTC with a slick flagship smartphone with virtually the same specs it needed to sell.

It's easy to assume that a caveat for designing a phone for Google to potentially sell would be that if the device wasn't chosen, you weren’t allowed to sell it in the U.S. and compete directly with the Pixel 2 XL design that was chosen. Both the HTC U11 Plus and the Pixel 2 XL have 6-inch 18:9 aspect ratio screens pushing the same 2880 x 1440 resolution. However, LG chose that OLED screen that is showing "normal" burn-in issues (sometimes after only days of use) and HTC choose a standard LCD. 

If you missed the U11 Plus unveil yesterday, it has some very nice hardware inside. The smartphone runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with two versions of the device offered. One has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The other has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The camera is a 12MP UltraPixel 3 with f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization. On the front, the snapper is an 8MP unit with f/2.0 aperture. Power comes from a 3,930 mAh internal battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and the device runs Android 8.0 Oreo right out of the box.