HTC U12 Plus
Price & Availability
First ImpressionsView All
About the Phone
Ah yes, the million dollar question. Should you or shouldn’t you be shelling out around INR 65000 for this handset, with the plethora of other options in the market?
No notch, two front facing cameras, a 6 inch QHD screen, superior audio quality, and a bunch of other new and cool features make the U12 plus one of the best flagships on paper, and certainly do a big favour to HTC’s case in the market.
However, it is the phone’s design that puts most people off buying it. The rear cameras are awkwardly arranged, the volume rockers and the power button are pressure sensitive with no physical feedback, so all you can do is press and hope the phone does what you want it to do. This Edge Sense feature is clearly not perfect as it is, and can be a deal breaker for most.
Everywhere else, the U12 plus is a great flagship, by all means. If you can ignore these cumbersome buttons, then probably, you could try the U12 plus instead of the typical Samsungs and Apples. That being said, there are options in this price range that offer far more manageable buttons. Just saying!
HTC attempts to make something cool at the top of the smartphone food chain, something that Samsung and Apple don’t do. While it is different, it isn’t necessarily good. We’ll talk about this later in the review.
The phone packs a lot of juice under the hood. A Snapdragon 845, coupled with 6 GB of RAM, and 64 or 128 GB storage variants, the power inside is undeniable. The design is also largely fault free and the bezels are extremely thin. This is all due to HTC’s cold polished glass design process, and they’ve done a good job with it.
Ah. The biggest flaw of an otherwise great phone.
HTC has opted for a glass body, much like other flagships, but the rear of the phone… well, we wouldn’t be lying if we described it as ugly. The cameras are arranged awkwardly, and the surface is a fingerprint magnet.
The buttons are a different story altogether. The Edge Sense technology, which has done away with the use of physical volume rockers and power buttons, is clearly a work in progress. There is no physical feedback upon pressing the buttons, and you just have to hope that the device does what you want it to do. Fix this, HTC, and you have a great device on your hands.
The 6 inch, QHD display is certainly a joy to watch. The no notch gang will be certainly impressed by this one, as the bars at the ends of the phone do a good job of incorporating the Boomsound speakers, which are responsible for the excellent audio quality. Colour reproduction of the display is great, but not industry-topping by any means.
The super LCD technology, which has sort of become an HTC-only thing, makes the phone display look good, but not the best around. Couple that with a lack of full HDR support, awkward viewing at off-angles, and other features, and you could be looking at potential dealbreakers.
Benchmark performance is great on the HTC U12 plus. It is expected to be so, due to the insanely powerful Snapdragon 845 you have under the hood. Couple that with 6 GB of RAM, and you have yourself an insanely fast device.
Graphics performance can be amped up even further by reducing the resolution to FHD+ levels, resulting in more frames per second. The system is very powerful, but there are still a few bugs here and there. To be honest, it just doesn’t feel as snappy to use as perhaps the OnePlus 6 for instance, which feels much more responsive navigating around the UI.
The dual 12 MP cameras on the back are highly rated by DxOMark, with a similar setup to the iPhone X. The camera, in all honesty, is excellent, but just can’t compete with the best in the business. The U12 plus doesn’t always generate results that warrant the high DxOMark rating, but it really takes the cake in low light shooting.
Colours are more natural and capturing extra elements is much easier using the U12 plus’s shooters. Clear and crisp images in well-lit situations with a little bit of colour saturation are generated. The bokeh mode is great use for outdoor situations, not so much for indoors.
Owing to HTC’s past performance with phone batteries, one would expect the U12 plus to also have an average battery life. This, unfortunately, is exactly the case. The 3500 mAh capacity battery just doesn’t live up to the name, with the phone being labelled as being a bit too power hungry.
The phone rarely lasts a day on everyday usage, with the battery running low around 6 PM, and with airplane mode enabled and what not, the phone barely squeezes out a full day of usage on a single charge.
Despite the glass back, there is no wireless charging support, which is a surprise. The quick charge capability, which is HTC’s own form of fast charging, does offer a boost in battery levels when you charge the phone from a dead state.
The HTC U12 plus is a great phone, by all means. But with the price that you have to pay for all these features, coupled with the design flaws, and settling for a good but not great display, mean that you certainly have better options in the market for this price or even lower. Sorry HTC, you just didn’t fit the bill with this one.