Today HTC unveiled the U11+, its newest flagship smartphone that was apparently going to be the flagship for Google at one point.
The Verge reports that the HTC U11+ was originally being planned as the Google Pixel 2 XL, but Google decided to go with a different manufacturer instead, which gave us the model we all know today. You might remember a “muskie” codename which was expected to be the device that would eventually be known as the Pixel 2 XL. It was rumored to be manufactured by HTC, too, and apparently those rumors were spot on.
However, back in June Google reportedly canceled its plans with the “muskie” handset and instead went with something codenamed the “taimen.” That handset was manufactured by LG, and apparently it won over the design folks at Google. Those initial reports also suggested that the handset would feature a larger display than the original Pixel 2, and the HTC U11+ does indeed boast a 6-inch panel, as does the Pixel 2 XL.
This report points out that the HTC U11+ and the LG-made Pixel 2 XL both have minimal bezels, 6-inch displays with an aspect ratio of 18:9, and HTC even adopted the rear-mounted fingerprint reader that has become so popular with Pixel devices. HTC itself hasn’t used a rear fingerprint reader since 2013, instead opting to put it below the display on its recent devices.
The U11+ and Pixel 2 XL also share display resolutions, at 2880×1440, but the key difference is an interesting one. The U11+ uses a Super LCD, and according to first-hand impressions so far, it seems to be rather good. You’d have had to be living under a rock to miss the complaints over the Pixel 2 XL’s pOLED display, which was also manufactured by LG.
Google allegedly made a last-minute decision to go with LG’s Pixel 2 XL variant instead of HTC’s, so go ahead and speculate how it would have saved Google some headaches regarding its flagship’s display had they gone with the original plan in the comments below.