Most of the top Android smartphone manufacturers have announced their flagships for the year 2018 and they generally follow the same template: Dual cameras, 18:9 displays, the latest and greatest Snapdragon system on a chip and dazzling design choices.
HTC has abided with this ‘unwritten rule’ except for one thing with their new flagship: The U12+. They had teased this unveiling for a while and now we get to see the what they have been working on for the last year.
In terms of design, The HTC U12+ follows the same design principles they introduced with the U11.It has the ‘liquid glass’ design with a ‘3D glass’ front which makes it look incredibly premium. There is no notch (THANKFULLY!) at the front, just the usual earpiece, sensors and cameras.
The display is a 6 inch 18:9 2880 x 1440p ‘Super LCD’ display that has DCI-P3 support (support for a wider colour support) and HDR 10 support (for HDR video content like other top Android phones and the iPhone X).
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 powers this phone just like the other 2018 flagship Android phones and now HTC has bumped up the RAM to 6GB, which is sweet. Internal storage options are either 64GB or 128GB and thankfully, they didn’t axe off the ability to expand your storage via microSD. It runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with HTC Sense skin on top, IP67 water resistant and it gains new pressure sensitive buttons that we saw with the HTC U11 family.
With the U12+, HTC went crazy on cameras. HTC saw the light with cameras when they announced the HTC 10 and they have been underrated since then. The U11 took great photos and now they have given that camera a telephoto camera sidekick.
The main camera is a 12MP 1/2.55″ unit with 1.4μm sized pixels and a f/1.75 with OIS, not strange at all. However now they have added a 16MP with 1.0μm sized pixels and an aperture of f/2.6. This combination allows you to have optical zoom of upto 2x and digital zoom of upto 10x.
HTC U12+ also has two 8MP wide angle selfie cameras with 1.12μm sized pixels and an aperture of f/2.0. There is a bokeh mode since the world is crazy about portrait mode selfies now.
The main camera can shoot upto 4K at 60fps joining the latest iPhones, Galaxy S9 family and the OnePlus 6. There is also HTC’s Sonic zoom which allows you to ‘zoom’ on a specific audio source and they say that the phone shoots high quality audio (96khz, 24 bit files). Slo motion is also here at 1080p at 240fps, but no super slo more here on the HTC U12+. The main camera has been rated highly on DxOMark, which has become a recent tool to market phones by companies in the past two years.
Fortunately, HTC hasn’t skimped on the battery capacity. the HTC U12+ has a 3500mAh unit, which is less than the U11+ but still good enough for a device of its calibre. Fast charging is here (HTC says 50% charge in 35 minutes) and the usual power saving and extreme power saving modes for those rare instances.
A key feature that HTC didn’t mention is the fact that it has dual LTE where both SIM cards support LTE. We are used to seeing phones supporting LTE on one SIM card (usually SIM 1) and this is great if you have multiple SIM cards (like me). Also, the phone will ship in three colours: Translucent Blue, Ceramic Black and Flame Red.
The HTC U12+ is going for $799 for the 64GB and $849 for the 128GB, which sets it at the premium end of smartphone pricing. This is a solid phone from specs alone by HTC and we wonder if it will be enough to convince users from buying smartphones from other manufacturers.