HTC U12+ is official: Snapdragon 845, Edge Sense 2.0, and quad cameras
After months of leaks and rumors, HTC has officially launched its new flagship smartphone: the HTC U12+. The phone is the successor of the U11+, which was a mid-cycle refresh of the U11. Most of the specifications of the device were already known thanks to a detailed specifications leak last week.
In some ways, the HTC U12+ is a standard 2018 flagship smartphone, as it features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip, a 6-inch display, and dual rear cameras. However, it does have many differentiating factors, including the lack of a display notch, the inclusion of dual front cameras, better audio, and Edge Sense 2.0.
Let’s take a look at the specifications of the U12+:
HTC U12+ – Specifications at a glance
|Dimensions and weight||156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7 mm, 188g|
|Software||HTC Sense on top of Android 8.0 Oreo|
|CPU||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (4x 2.8GHz Kryo 385 Gold + 4x 1.8GHz Kryo 385 Silver cores)|
|RAM and storage||6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage / 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage; hybrid microSD card slot|
|Display||6-inch Quad HD+ (2880×1440) Super LCD6 with an 18:9 aspect ratio|
|Ports||USB Type-C port (USB 3.1), dual nano SIM (nano SIM/microSD)|
FDD-LTE: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/28/32/66
TDD-LTE: Bands 38/39/40/41
|Rear camera||12MP “UltraPixel 4” camera with 1.4μm pixels, f/1.75 aperture, Dual Pixel autofocus, 2x optical zoom, OIS, EIS|
16MP telephoto camera with 1.0μm pixels, f/2.6 aperture
Video recording up to 4K at 60FPS, Slow motion at 1080p240, Sonic Zoom
|Front-facing camera||Dual 8MP front-facing cameras with 1.12μm pixels, f/2.0 aperture, 84-degree wide-angle|
The HTC U12+’s design is an iteration of the U11+, which was the first HTC flagship to feature an 18:9 display. The U12+ is more compact and thinner than the U11+. The design does have some major differences. The cameras are placed horizontally in the center of the back, with the dual LED flash being placed below the camera module. The fingerprint sensor is found below the LED flash, giving the phone a look similar to the LG V30.
HTC uses a cold polished 3D glass technique for the U12+, which is said to help reduce bezel thickness. The most distinct feature on the front is the lack of a display notch. Unlike many device makers, HTC has chosen not to use a display notch to increase display size. The stated reason for this is because the company’s BoomSound speakers take up room on the front of the device, which means that a notched display was impossible to achieve.
Interestingly, the U12+ has pressure sensitive volume and power buttons instead of using physical buttons. The buttons have non-configurable haptic feedback. As the buttons are no longer physical buttons, they cannot be depressed.
The HTC U12+ has a 6-inch Quad HD+ (2880×1440) Super LCD6 screen with 537 PPI and an 18:9 aspect ratio. For the most part, the display’s specifications are similar to the U11+, although the brightness rating is currently unknown. The panel supports the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It also supports HDR10 content.
The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip. The SoC has four Kryo 385 Gold clocked at 2.8GHz (based on Cortex-A75) and four Kryo 385 Silver cores (based on Cortex-A55) clocked at 1.8GHz, paired with the Adreno 630 GPU.
It comes in two variants: 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, along with a hybrid microSD card slot for expandable storage.
HTC aims to make audio a differentiating factor. The U12+ has stereo BoomSound speakers which are said to be 50% louder than the company’s last flagship phone. The speakers act as a woofer and a tweeter, and have their own dedicated amplifier. The phone comes with aptX HD and has Hi-Res audio recording and certification.
The U12+ does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. HTC instead bundles USonic USB Type-C earphones that have active noise cancellation.
HTC was one of the companies to include dual cameras in phones, starting with the One M8 in 2014. However, the company dropped the secondary camera because of its poor execution. Last year, it stated that its next phone would definitely have a dual camera setup, and the U12+ delivers.
The primary camera of the U12+ has a 12MP “UltraPixel 4” sensor with 1.4μm pixels, f/1.75 aperture, and optical image stabilization (OIS). It’s augmented by a 16MP telephoto camera that has 1.0μm pixels and an f/2.6 aperture. The dual camera setup enables 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom. The cameras have HTC’s HDR Boost 2 for better HDR photography. Bokeh mode (HTC’s implementation of portrait mode) is also included.
The U12+ can record video at 4K resolution up to 60FPS, thanks to the Snapdragon 845’s capabilities. Slow motion is supported at 1080p up to 240FPS, and 8MP photos can be taken during video recording. Video recording also uses HTC’s Sonic Zoom feature, which uses four inbuilt microphones to zoom in an audio source during video recording for 60% louder audio capture.
In addition to having dual rear cameras, the phone also has dual front cameras. It has two 8MP sensors with f/2.0 aperture and 1.12μm pixels. Why go for dual front-facing cameras? HTC’s reason to go for such a setup was to provide an 84-degree wide-angle view, and to implement a real-time bokeh effect.
Edge Sense 2.0
The HTC U11 was the first HTC phone to feature a squeezable frame, called Edge Sense. The functionality was improved with the launch of the U11+. Google has also included a less capable implementation of the feature (Active Edge) with the Google Pixel 2.
The U12+ features Edge Sense 2.0. It has a new Edge launcher, new gestures such as double tap, and is integrated with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The feature now knows which hand the user is using for better one-handed use. It now works with “millions of apps in the Play Store,” according to HTC.
The U12+ is powered by a 3500mAh battery. It supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4, but HTC will bundle a Quick Charge 3 adapter in the box. It has IP68 certification for dust and water resistance.
It has the usual connectivity options including a hybrid dual nano SIM/microSD card slot, dual LTE on both SIM slots, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 5.0.
The phone is powered by HTC Sense on top of Android 8.0 Oreo. HTC’s implementation of Face Unlock is also included.
HTC U12+ – Pricing and availability
The HTC U12+ will be available in Translucent Blue, Ceramic Black, and Flame Red colors. The Translucent Blue color is similar to the U11+’s Translucent Black color option, as it has a translucent glass back.
The phone will be available starting June. In Europe, it will be priced at €799 for the 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant, and for £699 in the UK. In the US, the 64GB storage variant will be available for $799, while the 128GB storage variant will cost $849.
Let us know your opinions about the U12+ in the comments below.