HTC U11 comes with a 16 megapixel front facing camera, a higher resolution count than their primary camera. Unfortunately, its pixel pitch is much smaller than the primary camera. It’s weird to see manufacturers get into the megapixel race once again. Unless you’re putting a large sensor in the front, such a high megapixel count just isn’t warranted. While there are smartphones which are selfie-centric and utilize larger sensors for the front facing cameras than the back, this isn’t the case for the HTC U11.
In our use of the HTC U11 for taking selfies, we found that the day time shots had good colour and sharpness, but lacked in texture detail. The camera does have impressive dynamic range, being able to handle photos in harsh light, but the softening of detail is just not working in the camera’s favour. Full disclosure though, we are yet to come across a smartphone camera which doesn’t aggressively soften details in photos shot from the front facing camera. In the case of the HTC U11, we found that even in good light, the detail was being lost.
Moving past the lack of detail, the camera does perform surprisingly well in low light, in comparison to its peers. The photos shot in low light are passable and can be used for social media posts after a bit of editing.
Overall, the front facing camera on the HTC U11 doesn’t throw up any red flags or give us any cause for concern. It performs at part with what you see on most other smartphones, although we feel that the image quality could have been significantly better had HTC opted for better compression for the images, one which does not compromise on the texture detail.