The HTC U11 falls squarely in phablet territory, while the iPhone 7 is one of the smallest premium flagships you'll find. The U11 is about 10-percent taller, 12-percent wider and 10-percent thicker.
Fittingly, the HTC U11 also weighs 18-percent more.
The iPhone 7 has the same aluminum unibody we've seen from Apple over the last few generations. The HTC U11, no doubt inspired by phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, has an all-glass body with an aluminum frame.
Both makers offer a variety of color options, but availability varies. The HTC options marked with an asterisk are not currently available in the US. The red iPhone variant is a special Product (RED) edition.
Both phones have an IP67 water resistance rating, so you don't need to worry about splashing or a shallow quick dip.
Even without touting super-narrow bezels, the 5.5-inch HTC U11 handily trounces the iPhone's 4.7-inch display area.
The U11 also has considerably higher display resolution, though pixel density is far from the only indicator of display quality.
Both makers opt for IPS displays instead of the AMOLED alternative.
The iPhone 7 has a pressure-sensitive display, a bit of technology that Apple calls 3D Touch. 3D Touch adds a new way to navigate through your phone. It launches different actions depending on how long and hard you press the screen.
While the U11 does not have a pressure-sensitive display, it does add additional interactions with its pressure-sensitive edges. You can perform simple actions like snapping the camera shutter or launching voice-to-text with just a squeeze to your phone.
Both phones have an off-screen home button with an embedded fingerprint sensor.
HTC uses the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset, while Apple uses its own A10 chip.
The HTC U11 has double the RAM of the iPhone 7, but to be fair, the two operating systems use memory differently.
Apple offers three built-in storage tiers starting with an entry-level 32 GB. HTC keeps things simple with one 64 GB amount.
HTC further safeguards against storage issues with a microSD slot, for expandable storage.
HTC is one of the few smartphone makers that caters to audiophiles with Hi-Fi audio support.
However, HTC has opted to follow in Apple's footsteps and nix the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. You'll need either an adapter (included), USB-C/Lightning port headphones or a pair that connects via Bluetooth.
Both makers bundle a pair of headphones in the box. HTC adds a pair of U Sonic active noise cancelling headphones that plug into the USB-C port. Apple includes a (wired) Lightning port version of its earpods.
The U11 has considerably more battery capacity than the iPhone 7. Battery size isn't the only indicator of overall battery life, so we'll have to see how well the U11 fares in a benchmark test to get a better idea.
The U11 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.
Neither phone supports wireless charging.
Both phones have 12 MP in the rear (main) camera, but HTC makes an unusual move and adds even higher 16 MP resolution in the front camera. The U11 should be able to take seriously sharp selfies.
Camera aperture (rear)
The U11 has a slightly higher camera aperture, which should mean competitive low light shooting and depth of field effects.
Optical image stabilization (OIS)
Both shooters include OIS, which minimizes image blur by counteracting hand shake.
Both phones contain NFC, the requisite technology for making payments at brick-and-mortar retailers with a swipe of your phone (at participating merchants). The U11 supports Android Pay; the iPhone 7 supports Apple Pay.
The iPhone keeps things simple with Siri. On the other hand, the U11 has Google Assistant (like all recent Androids) along with wake word access to Amazon Alexa, as well as its own HTC Sense Companion voice-controlled assistant.
Neither of these phones support mobile virtual reality beyond basic Google Cardboard functionality.
The iPhone 7 has been around since late last year, but the newly announced HTC U11 hits stores next month.
Starting price (full retail)
Despite all of their differences, these phones share the same US$649 starting retail price. Of course, prices vary according to carrier, payment plan and configuration.
If you're an Apple fan, the choice will be obvious, but otherwise, features like a large display and Hi-Fi audio might win you over.
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