[Hands-On] HTC U12+ is the Android phone you’ve been waiting for

Following last year’s design of the HTC U11, HTC announced today the launch of their newest flagship the HTC U12+. The good thing here is that they went all the way, and made sure they had one flagship phone (and not 2) packed with all of the all the latest and greatest features.

I had the chance to play with the HTC U12+ last week in New York. Let me tell you that if you’re looking for the “almost” complete package in an Android phone, you may want to check it out. Here is why.

Design

If you are familiar with the design of last year’s U11, you will definitely love the HTC design of the the U12+. HTC once again used the beautiful liquid glass material to build the 2018 flagship. It comes is 3 colors: Ceramic Black, Flame Red and my favorite the Translucent Blue. The latter allows to check out the component of the phone which, in my opinion, is very cool.

Going onto the display, HTC decided not to follow the herd with the U12+. There is not obnoxious notch on it. The bezels look slim and are more in line with other 2018 flagship phones. This is definitely a plus for me. On the side of the phone, the volume and power buttons are unlike what you will see on the market. They are more subtle and are activated by the same pressure sensors as used with HTC Edge Sense.

Specs

The U12+ packs the latest Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, microSD slot (up to 2TB), dual rear cameras: 12MP wide-angle camera with HTC UltraPixel™ 4 (1.4µm pixel size, f/1.75) and 16MP telephoto camera (1.0µm pixel size,f/2.6), dual front 8-megapixel cameras, 6-inch Quad HD+ 2880 x 1440 Super LCD6 display with 18:9 aspect and 537ppi and an impressive 3,500 mAh battery.

It weighs about 188g and measures 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7mm. The U12+ has an IP68 rating making is water and dust resistant. If you’re a fan of the headphone jack, you will probably be disappointed. You can either use Bluetooth 5.0 or the USB Type-C to listen to your favorite music. Talking about music. You will absolutely love the HTC’s Boomsound Hi-Fi technology. The sounds are crisper and louder than most phones you will see.

Camera

The HTC U12+ camera received a score of 103 from DxOMark making it the second highest rated cameras this year behind the Huawei P20 Pro. There are 2 rear cameras, a 12MP wide-angle shooter wit f/1.75 and a 16MP telephoto with f/2.6. Both use the UltraSpeed Autofocus 2 with phase detection and laser autofocus. There is also Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), Bokeh mode, Pro mode, RAW image support, HDR Boost 2, optical Zoom 1.85x to 2x, digital zoom up to 10x, face detection, AR Stickers, 4K video recording at up to 60fps, 240fps slow-motion video mode at 1080p (Galaxy S9 is at 720p) and more. On the front, you will find a dual 8MP camera with 1.12µm pixel size and f/2.0 which also offer that Bokeh mode and more for those of you who love to take selfies.

HTC Stuff

The U12+ is powered by Android 8.0 with HTC’s skin atop of it, HTC Sense. Remember Edge Sense? It has now been upgraded to version 2.0. Most people called this feature a gimmick last year and boy they were wrong. It is so good, Google borrowed it for its flagship phone last year. Here is what you can do with it:

  • Squeeze to access apps or control the phone
  • Hold for Smart Rotate and Smart Dim
  • Double-tap for a mini screen for easy one-handed use, or as a back key or navigation bar
  • Customizable gestures to launch camera, voice assistant, turn on flashlight, and more

Price + Availability

The HTC U12+ is now available for pre-order via HTC.com for $799, a reasonable price for top-notch Android phone. You can get either get the 64GB model which is available in the 3 colors mentioned above. A 128GB model can also be purchased for $849 and is only available in the Translucent Blue color. If you drop the whole $800 in one shot, you can also take advantage of the 0% financing for 24 months ($34 a month). The U12+ will work with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon (no Sprint).There are also 2 unlocked options if you want to go that route. As far as availability is concerned, Amazon.com is showing June 7 as a release date.

Thoughts

With th U12+, I believe that HTC will make a strong statement this year. There here to stay, compete and reclaim its place among the best Android OEMs in 2018. My advice to those of you who are or will be on the fence, go out and check it out in person. You will be impressed.

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Zack has always been a fan of anything with the tag "Gadget" on it, he has had used almost every phone brand except for the Palm and owns a Pixel XL as his daily driver. His favorite camera is the Olympus EM-1 Mark II. He is a full-time father of two great boys and happily married to his wife. Did we mention the Zack loves Video games? Add him to you circles: Google+

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