My last 3 Android phones have been the HTC M8, HTC 10 and currently the HTC U11. Obviously these have not been the most popular Android devices ever, but they have all been great phones. Build quality, great displays and speakers, front fingerprint sensor, great camera, relatively clean OS customization, etc.
And actually HTC has been fairly speedy with Android updates as well… Although the most recent update to Android 9.0 on the U11 has been delayed quite a bit. No big deal though – it’s not like going from Android 8 to 9 is a huge improvement in any area.
But now, HTC has given me a reason to abandon them and never look back.
Shortly after the Android 9.0 update, the phone no longer passes Google’s SafetyNet check. In other words, Google no longer considers the software running on the phone to be secure. This may be a bug on Google’s side, or it may be an issue on HTC’s side – either way, it is completely unacceptable that HTC has failed to address this issue for almost 2 months now.
With SafetyNet broken, users cannot use Google Pay, cannot install DRM-requiring apps from the Play Store (like Netflix, Disney+), etc.
Sure it’s not the end of the world, but these are major parts of the Android experience, and if HTC is not willing to fix them in a timely matter then I wouldn’t trust any device from them ever again. My advice: don’t buy anything from HTC if you expect it to keep working.