HTC's U11, the company's latest flagship smartphone, has been selling better than its predecessors, and, as far as I can tell, the handset is a success in the areas where it matters: Fans and critics. While the U Ultra didn't really pan out all that well for the company, they made some changes, refined, and made improvements where it mattered most, and the outcome appears to have done the trick.
And companies don't rest on their laurels. Especially smartphone manufacturers. When they think they're doing something right, they'll push ahead with it. That can sometimes mean we see the design of a phone linger a bit longer than some might have originally anticipated (iPhone 6 much?), or we may see certain elements from one phone make the jump to another.
That last bit appears to be what might happen on HTC's front. If rumors regarding the codenamed Ocean Life is any indicator.
Recently, a report surfaced that outlined HTC's efforts to put together what is basically a smaller variant of the flagship handset. We'll get a 5.2-inch display instead of the U11's 5.5-inch, which, admittedly, isn't that big of a reduction. There will also be other changes, like the display's resolution down to 1080p HD, a different processor under the hood, and other areas.
Basically, as we've seen in the past, a smaller phone means slightly altered specifications. And while that might have been a checkmark in the negative column just a few years ago, it isn't so much so these days. Processors are better in general, as are displays, and just about any factor of a smartphone has gotten better over the years. Just because there isn't a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor in the Ocean Life doesn't mean it won't get the job done for the owner.
The smaller handset might be more manageable for some folks, and the handset will also be cheaper than the U11, too. Both of those things could be enough for a potential buyer to make the jump and pick up the handset if/when it launches. And I think it's the right thing for HTC to do, too. As long as a few boxes get ticked in the process.
First, the color options need to be as varied as they are for the U11 right out of the gate. Including that eye-catching Solar Red variant, too. No staggered releases. And while the rumors have painted a pretty straightforward features transfer from the U11 to the Ocean Life, I hope that is indeed the case. Don't skimp on things like Edge Sense or USonic. Put as much of the U11's features into the Ocean Life as you can.
I think these things can be done, and hopefully they will be. Some might want the bezels reduced on the Ocean Life, but I imagine that won't happen. If we do get a change in design, that'll be next year at the earliest. But it'll probably happen, as the U11 is more than likely going to be HTC's benchmark from this point on.
What about you? Do you think you'll pick up the Ocean Life if it is indeed a real device? Let me know!