Google wasn’t kidding around when announcing the “next step” in the Android One program last week, with the Xiaomi Mi A1 clearly just the first of many new high-profile “simple, smart, secure and fresh” releases.
We’re hearing very credible rumors of Motorola and HTC’s future involvement in the affordable stock Android product family that seems to be essentially replacing the Nexus line around the world.
While we don’t have the timeline laid out at the moment, the US is almost definitely looking at a Project Fi-supporting Moto X4 in the coming months, with an Android One version of the as-yet unannounced HTC Ocean Life also reportedly headed to unspecified markets by the end of the year.
The “Ocean Life”, aka the diminutive U11, is tipped to carry the HTC U11 Life marketing label, strutting its stuff in a leaked frontal render last month, with a second one today confirming its rather thick screen bezels and fingerprint scanner/physical home button combo.
The freshly surfaced image showcases what looks like a fairly standard Sense UI, which will be substantially toned down for the Android One edition. “Most of the HTC apps” should exit the native interface, with the stock Android O experience only tainted by a so-called Sense 9.0_A1 build.
Some of the Taiwanese OEM’s proprietary software features will therefore be retained, including squeezable Edge Sense action, USonic audio technology with built-in Active Noise Cancellation, Zoe and HTC Camera.
If we were to take a wild guess regarding the launch date of the HTC U11 Life based on the latest visual leak, we’d say October 20. Also, New York feels like a safe bet for an announcement venue.