Smartphone Supertest 2017: What's the best phone right now?

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HTC U11: The headlines

The HTC U11 has a secret. It’s the first phone with hug-friendly haptics, with touch-sensitive side panels that act as shortcuts to apps and features, so you really can squeeze for a selfie. They let you wake up Google Assistant without having to shout at your phone first, too.

Funky features aside, this metal-and-glass sandwich is still one of the most powerful phones around, thanks to a Snapdragon 835 CPU and 4GB of RAM. 64GB of storage is more than enough for all your apps and games, but there’s a microSD card slot if you’re caught short. Battery life is great, too, easily getting you through an entire day without a recharge.

HTC has learned a few things from building the Pixel for Google, so while the 12MP rear camera doesn’t have a crazy number of pixels, the combined electric and optical image stabilisation should help keep your shots shake-free. Those squeezy sides can work as a camera shutter, too.

There are a few annoyances, like the missing headphone jack. Glass back not withstanding, the design doesn’t look as modern as the G6 or Galaxy S8. Edge Sense isn’t all that crucial right now, either - but even if you ignore it altogether, you’re still left with an excellent all-rounder that takes excellent photos.

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