HTC debuts new ‘squeezable’ U11 halo smartphone

Your new main squeeze?

HTC has unveiled their new top-of-the-line phone, the somewhat robotically named U-11. Indeed, like many robots, it’s very, very shiny. That’s due to its “liquid glass” design, which give the phone a smooth, kind of shiny-pebble-like feel – and we dig it. The U-11 features a 5.5-inch screen, and HTC decided not to get on the “minimal bezel” train as the phone has reg-ler bezels, buttons and cameras on the front.

Inside, the base U-11 is packing a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 gigs of RAM and 64gigs of memory. There’s also a 6-gig and 128 gig variant that will be available in some countries. If you still need more space, a Micro SD card slot is ready to serve. Out back, there’s a 12-megapixel camera with optical stabilization. In front, the selfie cam has 16 megapixels… for some reason. The U-11 also features Edge Sense, so when you squeeze it, it’ll do specific things.

The phone is also IP67 rated, so those accidental drops into the loo at the club shouldn’t end up being fatal. DT mobile editor Julian Chokkattu has the lowdown on the U-11, so hit this link for all the details and a hands-on video.

Alexa, is there anything good on?

Amazon has a hit on their hands with the Echo line of homebot hubs that feature A.I. agent Alexa, and in case you aren’t sure you want one of those round things in your house, maybe you’d feel better if Alexa lived in your TV.

Well happy day, your Alexa TV has just arrived, and will likely be joined by many more in the near future. Amazon posted up their first series of new “Element” 4K TV’s for pre-order earlier today, and they range in size from 43 to 65 inches, and an affordable 450 to 900 bucks in price. Amazon includes an HD antenna in the deal, and their Fire TV service is baked right in of course. To chat up Alexa, just talk into the remote.

The TVs are from Chinese company Tongfang and marketed under the “Element” brand name, but they’re assembled in the U.S., and while they may not quite achieve videophile levels of performance, for most people they’re going to be just fine, and they’ll probably make for a more functional home for Alexa as well. Hit this link for more details.

Yeah, we’d update now too

If you’re an Apple user, there’s a big slate of updates on tap for you today. No, they aren’t in response to the WannaCry ransomware attacks, which did not target Apple gear. But Apple is pretty much updating everything that uses any Apple OS, from Macs to iPhones to watches and Apple TV set top boxes. The updates aren’t major in scope, but they do include some security updates, and considering the ferocity of the latest attack, we advise you do update now.

The MacOS update does include some useful new stuff besides security bits, including more RAW format codecs for photographers, a Boot Camp update, an audio bug fix and an iTunes update. Here’s a link to more info on all the updates, so back up your data, pour yourself a cold one and hit the go button.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.