HTC U12+ features upgraded Edge Sense alongside digitized buttons

July 10, 2018 reviews htc Android

HTC is back with next generation of liquid surface phones and this year flagship is the HTC U12+. HTC has added a 'plus' to the U12 despite not having a non-plus model as it wants to let people know that this new model is comparable to other  plus’ phones such as iPhone 8 plus & Samsung Galaxy S9+.

With this latest flagship, HTC embraces the latest taller display 18:9 trend. The display is notch-less too.  Edge Sense gets new gestures, phone cameras have been upgraded to high performing dual camera on both the front and rear and even the HTC’s liquid surface glass on the U12+ arguably much nicer, in comparison to S9+. Even the battery is an improvement over U11; now stands at 3,500 mAh and is Quick Charge 4.0 compatible.

HTC U12 plus

U12+ is equipped with the latest Snapdragon 845 along with a 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of expandable storage.

It has a 6-inch LCD display a.k.a. Super LCD 6 that has a QHD+ resolution and HDR support . This Super LCD 6 display is protected by a custom layer of Gorilla Glass 3. The rear side is also covered by same Gorilla Glass.

The upgraded Edge Sense, Edge Sense 2.0 brings new noteworthy features. A third gesture is now possible with the new sensors in the frame that can pinpoint the position of your fingers.

Edge Sense 2.0 will also lock the screen orientation when it detects that you’re holding the phone in portrait mode. This new feature is known as the "Holding Gesture". This means that if you are reading on your phone while lying down, the rotate feature is disabled so you can carry on reading in the portrait mode. Also, so long as the phone in your grasp, the display stays on.

The buttons have been totally digitized without the need for clicks of conventional buttons. Pressure sensors that are used for Edge Sense are also used for these new "buttons". When pressure is applied directly into one of them, haptic vibration feedback of the input is given.

U12+ also has a IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. There is a mic at the top and bottom but the phone does not come with a headphone jack. At the bottom there are also the BoomSound speaker port, and a USB-C port.

Camera-wise, the U12+ seems to be an upgrade over its predecessors, at least on paper. It sports a 20MP telephoto lens as well as a 16MP wide-angle lens on the back, while the front has two 8MP cameras. 

The 12MP wide camera comes with a f/1.75 aperture while the 16MP camera  comes with a telephoto lens of an aperture of f/2.6. This second camera brings artificial bokeh and 2x optical zoom. However, it seems that it only takes 12MP photos despite a higher native resolution. The front-camera like the back ones provides artificial bokeh for selfies in spite of the lack of OIS and autofocus.

U12+ uses image stacking to process an image with HDR Boost for both the front and the rear cameras just like the U11 and U11+. The camera performance is notably dependent on its HDR Boost. However, ironically if you keep HDR Boost on all the time, some blurring of people or objects in motion can be observed.

The summary of U12+ specs are as below:

Operating System Android 8.0, HTC Sense
Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 
Adreno 630 GPU
Display 6-inch 2880x1440 
2:1 aspect ratio 
Super LCD 6
Gorilla Glass 3 
Storage 64 / 128GB UFS 2.1
Main Camera 12MP, 1.4μm pixels 
ƒ/1.75 lens, OIS, EIS
UltraPixel 4, UltraSpeed AF, HDR Boost
Secondary Camera 16MP 1μm pixels 
ƒ2.6 lens, 2x optical zoom, portrait mode
Video 4K @ 60fps 
1080p @ 240fps slo-mo 
360° 3D Audio with 4 microphones
Front Cameras Dual 8MP sensors 
1.12μm pixel size, f/2.0 
84° wide-angle FOV, portrait mode
Water/Dust Resistance IP68
Battery 3,500mAh 
Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0
Audio HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition
HTC USonic
USB-C + noise cancelling headphones
Dual SIM Some regions 
Hybrid SIM2/SD slot
Network 4G LTE Cat. 18 up to 1.2Gbps 
FDD Bands 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,13,17,20, 28, 32, 66 
TDD: Bands 38, 39, 40, 41
Voice assistants Google Assistant, Alexa
Colors Translucent Blue, Flaming Red, Ceramic Black
Dimensions 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7mm
Weight 188 grams