an atypical flagship for 2018


                                                                                

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HTC is no longer the same company that launched its first Android smartphone a decade ago, the Dream model, called Google G1 at the time. In the past few years, Taiwanese smartphone sales have dropped significantly, despite the fact that they keep pace with technology in the rest of the industry. We could say that these are even some of the best in the market, but compared to what other companies do, the company seems to have lagged behind. This is especially noticeable when it comes to design, even if not long ago, HTC handsets were among the most appreciated in this chapter. The HTC U12 + keeps this "tradition" apparently, offering excellent hardware in a little left behind.

Construction, design and ergonomics

It's very obvious that HTC goes in a slightly different direction to flagships like OnePlus 6, iPhone X or Huawei P20. The Taiwanese company refused to adopt the cut-off OLED screen in favor of a full 18: 9 full-screen LCD, with rather thin edges above and below it. The phone retains the predominantly glassy construction we see from the HTC U Ultra models almost two years ago.

Meanwhile, HTC has learned how to mold the bottle quite interestingly. The glass panel on the front is very different from what I've seen on other phones. We are dealing with very steep rounded edges, which seem to add extra resistance to shocks, the glass being slightly thicker at the point where it bends. Also, the glass does not fit perfectly with the metallic part, which offers a better grip of the handset.

This rounded edge called HTC "liquid surface" is pleasing to touch, but we'd rather have a layer of plastic between it and the metal frame to stay quieter when impacting the ground. The truth is, however, that any fall is also good luck, and some phones can get more abuse without having to hit anything, while others crash at the first impact

However, the glass surface on the back is somewhat "normal", curved on all sides, giving the feeling that it is slightly more fragile than the bottle on the face. The back of the tested model was gray metallized with a mirror look (even though a golden type came out of the pictures), the surface being interrupted only by camera elements, microphone holes, and the circular fingerprint sensor in the center of the device. This is one of the few top handsets that benefit from two chambers on each side, the "bokeh" effect being a priority for HTC.

The metal frame is generally very dull on the phones of the past few years, but the HTC U12 + has something new. In addition to the Edge Sense technology we've seen on HTC's latest models, we're dealing with the first-class smartphone without physical buttons. On the right side we can see the buttons as physical excitations, but these are just frame extensions, using Edge Sense technology to take commands without contacts and without mechanical components

The three "buttons" are small, the Power button being decorated with ribbons to make it easier to find. Otherwise, the frame only includes a USB Type-C port, a speaker hole and two other microphone holes (the phone has four microphones altogether). The SIM card tray is located on the left side. At the touch of a button, the buttons provide a haptic response through the phone's vibration system, but it does not provide the same subtle feeling that the Home button on the iPhone 7 or 8 provides. You can get used to it easily, but the user experience will never be as comfortable as a phone with physical buttons. The reason is that the answer is not immediately, and the vibrations are not implemented well enough to "trick" the brain that we physically press on a button. To avoid accidental pressures, the buttons require physical pressure to activate

In terms of size, the HTC U12 + is similar to other top models on the market. Being rounded on the back and offering slightly more straight edges, it offers a pleasant feeling in use. HTC offers a packet and a hard plastic case that protects only the bottom, back and top corners. The sides and bottom are not covered with plastic because of the USB port and speaker, Edge Sense touch and touch buttons. Since the audio jack has disappeared from HTC devices since HTC 10, we did not expect to see it on the U12 +, nor did I meet it. The company went a step further and came up with a USonic pair of active noise canceling active on USB Type-C in the package without a 3.5 mm jack adapter

Specifications

  • Screen: 6.0 ", Super LCD6, 2.880 x 1.440 pixels (18: 9)
  • Operating System: Android 8.0 (Sense UI)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 845
  • Processor: octa-core (4 x Kryo 385 Gold @ 2.8 GHz + 4 x Kryo 385 Silver @ 1.7 Ghz)
  • Graphic processor: Adreno 630
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Memory: 64 GB
  • Card: yes, common with SIM2
  • Date: HSPA, LTE
  • WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, aptX HD, LE
  • USB: 3.1, USB Type-C
  • 12 MP (f / 1.8, 1.4nm) + 16MP 2X (f / 2.6, 1.0nm), phase detection, laser focus, optical stabilization (OIS), gyro- EIS), dual-tone / dual LED flash
  • Video capture: 4K (3840 x 2160 @ 60 FPS), Full HD (1920 x 1080 @ 240 fps), 24-bit / 96kHz stereo sound
  • Front camera: 2 x 8 MP (f / 2.0, 1.2nm), Full HD, HDR
  • Battery: 3.500 mAh Li-Ion QuickCharge 3.0
  • Dimensions: 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7 mm
  • Weight: 188 grams
  • Other: Plastic pouch in the package, USonic USB Type-C with active noise canceling, EdgeSense, fingerprint sensor

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