Can HTC U12 Plus Win Over HTC Fans Again?

HTC U12+ Highlight Features

  • 6-inch Quad-HD+ LCD Display.
  • Edge Sense 2.0
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Impressive Quad-Camera Setup.
  • 3500 mAh battery, USB-C, Quick Charge 3
  • Android Oreo 8.1
  • IP68 water-resistance, Edge Sense 2, Hifi Sound

In a faster-than-ever growing array of smartphones coming equipped with dual-camera tech, HTC recently launched its 2018 Flagship – U12 Plus.

With more affordable flagships (OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi Mi 8) offering killer features, it is becoming exceedingly difficult to ask a premium from the buyers. Of course, Apple and Samsung have been doing it, and people are paying them as well, but HTC, Sony, and LG are struggling to keep up the pace.

HTC-U12-Plus

As per the latest information, it is likely that HTC will launch the U12 Plus in India in June 2018.

Let’s look at the top features and details of the HTC Flagship phone.

Design and Display

Walking the footprints from it’s older sibling (HTC U11 Plus), U12+ looks fairly conventional aesthetically (at least the Ceramic Black and Flame Red), yet very different.

Noticeably, there is newness in the translucent Blue variant that looks stunning with a see-through back design.

HTC has beaten Xiaomi Mi8 Explorer Edition with this design, but the Xiaomi Mi 8 explorer edition looks better with a sneak-peek at the Snapdragon processor.

HTC-U12-Plus-image-1

Unlike its predecessor, it doesn’t have any buttons on the front side. There is no headphone jack either. The USB Type-C port sits at the bottom along with the speaker.

The phone now looks taller, thanks to 6-inch Quad-HD+ (2880*1440 pixels resolution), 18:9 full-screen LCD display that offers 537 ppi. Since there is no room below the screen, the fingerprint scanner is shifted to back panel below the horizontally aligned Dual cameras.

Notably, when most companies are jumping to OLED technology, HTC is still using an IPS LCD panel. However, it comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The phone comes with the IP68 rating and is water and dustproof.

Also, in the times when the notch is slowly becoming a norm in high-end phones from most companies, HTC has kept U12+ the Samsung way, by reducing the bezel size to make more room for the screen instead of jumping onto the bandwagon.

Edge Sense 2.0

The most striking feature of the phone, touted as Edge Sense, lets you physically squeeze the U12 Plus for quick launching the apps or clicking images. You can even launch the Google Assistant or Alexa voice assistant by squeezing the frame.

Furthermore, squeezing and holding the U12 Plus for an amount of time registers the pressure, and is shown by haptic feedback.

We saw the similar gimmick from HTC when the U11 was launched. Updated Edge Sense technology lets the user squeeze the phone from side to make the phone register the pressure without actually pressing of physical buttons.

Sound and OS

HTC flagship phones are incomplete without terrific sound, and the U12+ is no exception. It comes with a Hi-resolution Audio LDAC and even has HTC USonic sound technology with Active Noise cancellation. Also, there are stereo speakers that increase the sound output from the bottom firing speakers.

Further, it runs on the Android Oreo 8.0 Os along with the HTC Sense UI that enhances the user experience.

Cameras

Importantly, just like almost every other flagship phone coming out these days, it now features dual-camera tech, that too for both front and rear camera setups. Four cameras in total, Huawei P20 Pro you have a competitor.

HTC-U12-Plus

DxO mark the proclaimed camera testing company has crowned HTC U12 Plus number 2 in the camera race, behind the Huawei P20 Pro. The U12 Plus scores an impressive 103 on the overall DxO mark score, with photo test having a score of 106 for the photos and 95 for the Videos.

Huawei P20 pro scores an overall 109 while the Samsung S9 Plus scores 99 on the benchmark results. The DxO mark is a good indicator of camera capability but not the decider for many buyers. As for many people, selfies and camera features (960 Fps Slow Motion, etc.) are more critical in judging the camera prowess.

Furthermore, the HTC U12 Plus comes with a 12MP main rear camera, and there is a secondary 16 MP camera that offers a 2x optical zoom. The primary camera comes with Optical Image Stabilization, a f/1.75 aperture, 1.4-micron pixel size sensor.

Its video recording capabilities extend to 60fps at 4K resolution, and you can record the slow-mo videos in Full HD resolution at 240 FPS.

On the other hand, phone features two 8 MP cameras at the front for taking selfies in a trendy bokeh mode.

Performance & Connectivity

Powering the phone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and Adreno 630 GPU, running on a 3500 mAh battery that has Quick Charge 3.0 support.

Rating of the battery is bumped up from what we saw in last year’s flagship.

Interestingly, at 188 g, HTC U12 Plus mimics the S9 Plus which weighs just a gram lesser. Aforementioned, the phone doesn’t come with a headphone jack, nor HTC plans to ship an adapter for converting the USB Type C port to 3.5 mm, however, you can buy it from official HTC store for $11.99.

HTC-U12-Plus-Headphone-adaptor

Other connectivity options include NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type C 3.1, Wifi with 2.5 GHz / 5.0 GHz support.

Availability and Pricing

HTC U12 is available in 3 colors ­– Flame Red, Ceramic Black, and Translucent Blue. Undoubtedly, the Blue variant looks stunning, and a far cry from the conventional and me too design but may suit enthusiasts rather than the general audience.

Pricing for the US is set at $799 for the 64 GB model, whereas 128 GB model retails for an eye-watering $849.

Thoughts

Undeniably, there is a pressure on HTC for improving global shipments for this year’s flagship in comparison to the meager sales of its predecessor.

It is is not easy for the brand to cope with much cheaper value-for-money offerings such as the OnePlus 6 / Mi 8 Explorer.

Going by the past experience, HTC and pricing don’t go too well.

They have kept it at a hefty price in the US just like last year, making it a no-go options for many people, yet lots of HTC fans in India will like the company to price it reasonably.

The HTC U12+ ticks a lot of right boxes and comes with some nifty features that we expect from a modern flagship. But can HTC get the pricing right this time, let’s wait for some more days to find out.

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