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HTC U 11 tested: benchmarking the Snapdragon 835

The HTC U 11 scored the coveted Snapdragon 835 chipset – something lacking on the HTC U Ultra. HTCs new darling is among the earliest offerings with Qualcomms top chip, though not the first. That means we have some interesting competition to test it against.

The Xiaomi Mi 6 is another S835 phone, as is the Galaxy S8+. We also tested the S8+ with Samsungs own Exynos 8895 chipset. We also put the Mate 9 that uses Huaweis in-house Kirin 960 chipset as a reference. The other competitors (aside from the iPhone, obviously) came out with the older generation Qualcomm chip, the Snapdragon 820 or 821.

Too many chip names that mean nothing to you? Fret not, bar charts will make everything clear. AnTuTu puts the whole system to a test and here the U 11 came out the winner (well, sharing 1st place with the Mi 6, but on top nonetheless).

It edged out some best-sellers like the iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S8+ (both versions). This puts the HTC U Ultra and LG G6 in a tough spot – both are 2017 models that offer late 2016 performance. And we wont even mention the HTC 10 evo.

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better


HTC U 11 (S835)
177343


Xiaomi Mi 6 (S835)
177326


iPhone 7 Plus (A10)
174987


Galaxy S8+ (Exynos)
174070


Galaxy S8+ (S835)
168133


HTC 10 (S820)
154031


LG G6 (S821)
141895


Pixel XL (S821)
141186


HTC U Ultra (S821)
139750


Huawei Mate 9 (Kirin 960)
122826

We tested the HTC U 11 with 4GB of RAM, though for the next benchmark the CPU is all that matters – all eight cores of it. As you can see, moving from four cores (in the Snapdragon 820/821) to eight cores (in the 835) had a noticeable impact on multi-core performance. The new cores arent that much faster on their own, though.

GeekBench 4 (multi-core)

Higher is better


Galaxy S8+ (Exynos)
6338


HTC U 11 (S835)
6125


Huawei Mate 9 (Kirin 960)
6112


Galaxy S8+ (S835)
6106


Xperia XZ Premium (S835)
5837


iPhone 7 Plus (A10)
5664


HTC U Ultra (S821)
4201


Pixel XL (S821)
4152


LG G6 (S821)
3648


HTC 10 (S820)
3621

GeekBench 4 (single-core)

Higher is better


iPhone 7 Plus (A10)
3473


HTC U 11 (S835)
1993


Xperia XZ Premium (S835)
1943


Galaxy S8+ (Exynos)
1938


Galaxy S8+ (S835)
1915


Huawei Mate 9 (Kirin 960)
1898


LG G6 (S821)
1792


HTC 10 (S820)
1708


HTC U Ultra (S821)
1647


Pixel XL (S821)
1507

The HTC U 11 also flaunts Qualcomms latest GPU, the Adreno 540. The chip maker claims a 25% boost in 3D rendering performance compared to the previous generation chipset

Basemark X supports that claim, the increase compared to HTC 10 is actually a bit over a quarter. Compared to Snapdragon 821 phones like the LG G6, the difference is smaller (~20%) but still a tangible improvement.

Basemark X

Higher is better


Galaxy S8+ (Exynos)
43862


Xperia XZ Premium (S835)
38507


HTC U 11 (S835)
38399


Huawei Mate 9 (Kirin 960)
36519


HTC U Ultra (S821)
35875


Galaxy S8+ (S835)
34951


LG G6 (S821)
32041


Pixel XL (S821)
30861


HTC 10 (S820)
28882

Going up to the newer graphics platform, the Mali G71 GPU (S8+/Exynos and Mate 9/Kirin) seems to have a better handle on things than the Adreno. Still, Qualcomm has delivered extra oomph for flagship games.

Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal

Higher is better


iPhone 7 Plus (A10)
1517


Galaxy S8+ (Exynos)
1111


HTC U 11 (S835)
836


Galaxy S8+ (S835)
817


Huawei Mate 9 (Kirin 960)
794


Xperia XZ Premium (S835)
727


LG G6 (S821)
647


Pixel XL (S821)
626


HTC U Ultra (S821)
582

We know theres more to a phone than just chipset, but the HTC U 11 shows a clear superiority over the U Ultra when it comes to performance. Even outside of HTCs stable the U 11 is a brawler – matching or beating many pretenders to the 2017 flagship throne.