According to The Verge, “Google made an abrupt change to its Pixel phone plans this summer, shelving its original successor to the Pixel XL, which was codenamed “Muskie,” in favour of another device bearing the code title of “taimen.” Taimen went on to become the LG-manufactured Google Pixel 2 XL, while muskie seemed to fade into oblivion”. Taimen didn’t fade into oblivion. It became the HTC U 11.
The Verge has confirmed with sources close to both HTC and Google that muskie is indeed the HTC U11 Plus. Google apparently rejected it in favour of LG’s design for the smartphone. For those unaware, this isn’t the first time that LG made a phone for Google. The first phone made by LG for Google was the Nexus 4. LG went on to make the Nexus 5, and 5X for Google.
The Verge also spots a lot of similarities between the HTC U11 Plus and the Google Pixel 2 XL. “The U11 Plus is the first HTC phone to feature a fingerprint sensor on the back for a long time, maybe as far back as the HTC One Max in 2013. When I spent some hands-on time with the U11 Plus, that fingerprint reader struck me as being essentially the same as that on Google’s Pixel phones. Now we know why: that’s what it was initially intended and designed to be.”
The display size is also similar to what we find on the Pixel 2 XL. The U11 Plus has a 6-inch 18:9 display with a 2880 x 1440-pixel resolution. The difference, however, is with the panel. The Pixel 2 XL has LG’s pOLED panel, whereas the U11 Plus has an LCD panel. With all the issues plaguing the Pixel 2 XL’s display we wonder whether Google is happy with the choice of LG over HTC.
The HTC U11 Plus is priced at 699 pound (Rs 60,000 approx, directly converted) in the UK for the 6GB + 128GB variant. There is no information about an India launch for the smartphone.