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'Squeezable' smartphone unveiled by HTC

Press Association logoPress Association 17/05/2017 Martyn Landi

A smartphone that can be squeezed to take selfies and open apps has been launched by tech giant HTC.

The Taiwanese manufacturer's U11 device uses Edge Sense technology based around sensors built into the side of the phone that respond to being squeezed.

It works when the phone is wet and if the user if wearing gloves and also supports voice dictation for messages.

The HTC U11, which will cost 649 pounds ($A1,130), was unveiled during a live event in Taiwan and is the tech giant's challenger to the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 7.

The phone also has a 12 megapixel, UltraPixel 3 rear-facing camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS) which smooths shaky photography.

The front-facing 'selfie' camera is 16 megapixels and can be triggered by voice command.

HTC has also become the first to include support for both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smart virtual assistants.

HTC's own Sense Companion assistant - which uses artificial intelligence to 'learn' user habits and suggest content based on that - is also built into the phone.

HTC, which marks its 20th anniversary this week, is hoping to keep stride with Samsung and Apple in the smartphone market, while also putting pressure on its new, emerging rivals from China - OnePlus and Huawei.

The company has already launched two phones this year - mid-range U Ultra and U Play - to a mixed critical response.

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