HTC 24 May
After a long wait, the Taiwanese giant HTC announced their first flagship of the year U12+. Undoubtedly HTC is amongst the last few OEMs who are announcing their first flagships of the year so late. Samsung and Sony, Xiomi and Huawei announced their premium smartphones in Q1 whereas LG, HTC and OnePlus delayed their flagships for the Q2 2018. Now the tech giant finally wraps off the cover from U12+.
This year HTC not only delayed the launch but also changed the naming scheme as well. All eyes were on the U11 successor but the company unveiled the U11+ successor. Those who are unaware U11+ was the company's second flagship of the year for 2017. From the look of the things, it seems like HTC ditched the U11 successor due to a number of reasons. The first prominent reason is U11 features 16:9 display whereas U11+ was packed with 2:1 display. This year's HTC flagship has 2:1 display and number of other refinements which makes it the worthy smartphone to be called as a '+' variant.
Like always whenever a new smartphone is unveiled we put it in a head-to-head comparison with its competitors as well as the predecessor. Today we will put the latest U12+ against the U11+ to know in detail what are the key differences between the two devices and also whether the new device is worth upgradeable or not. We are hopeful this comparison will you better decide which smartphone is better in what aspects. The U12+ shares a lot of aesthetics with the U11+, Let's start with the design of both the devices.
73.9 x 156.6 x 8.7 mm
6 inches - 2880x1440 px
74.9 x 158.5 x 8.5 mm
6 inches - 2880x1440 px
This year HTC didn't bring significant change in the design language instead they further evolved the design which they introduced with the U11+. So on first look and the feel of U12+ isn't significantly different from U11+. Both the devices have a full front-facing display with on-screen buttons. HTC further trimmed the bezels from the top and bottom for the U12+. That's why despite having similar display panel the U12+ is slightly smaller than U11+, it's dimensions are 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7mm and weighs 188g.
The chassis on both the devices is made up of metal with Liquid glass covering the rear side. The U11+ was available in Ceramic Black and Translucent colors whereas the U12+ is available in red, black and translucent blue colors. The front-facing on-screen buttons the U12+ are pressure sensitive. The U11+ dimensions are 158.5 x 74.9 x 8.5mm and weigh 188g. Both the device's edges are pressure sensitive which means you can press edges to perform certain tasks.
On the rear, you will find a major difference between the two devices. The U11+ features a single camera sensor on the rear side, the fingerprint scanner is below the camera module on the rear side. The U12+ has dual rear cameras placed horizontally in the center. Its fingerprint scanner is also on the rear below the camera setup. Both the devices lack traditional 3.5mm headphone jack instead rely on the USB-C port for charging and connectivity. Last but not the least both the devices are IP68 certified which means resistance against water up to 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes without any harm.
The display panel on both the devices is 6.0-inches. The LCD 6 panel comes with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels. Both have a similar aspect ratio of 2:1 and the pixels density is 537 pixels-per-inch. So in terms of display panel both the devices are exactly similar. HTC protected both the devices display glass with Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The only difference between the two panels is HDR support for the U12+. This difference won't be prominent in daily usage instead it will be only visible when you are watching HDR content on U12+ as it brings more vivid colors with better contrast ratio. Although HTC brought the latest LCD 6 panels still they are not as good as OLEDs so you can't expect deep blacks and superb colors contrast.
Under the hood, the U12+ has an advantage of being the latest smartphone. The U12+ is powered up by the Qualcomm's latest Octa-core Snapdragon 845 chipset with maximum clocking at 2.8Ghz. The Octa-core SoC is accompanied with 6GB RAM and built-in native storage for the base variant is 64GB. The top of the line variant has 128GB native storage. Its built-in storage is further expandable up to 2TB using MicroSD.
On the other hand being the older flagship the U11+ is running on the Qualcomm's last year's best Snapdragon 835 chipset. The base variant has 4GB RAM with 64GB storage, there was a top-tier variant as well with 6GB RAM and 128GB Storage. However, the top-tier variant was exclusive for few regions only. It also supports memory expansion via MicroSD card.
Both the devices feature the company's trademark BoomSound Hi-Fi edition audio setup to provide amazing audio experience. Both the devices provide undoubtedly one of the best audio on any smartphone in the market. Unfortunately, both the devices lack traditional headphone jack so you have to rely on the company's USonic Type-C headphones.
In terms of RAW performance, the U12+ takes a significant lead over the U11+. As daily driver both the devices is pretty good, However having the latest best hardware is always something which everyone prefers. So if you are looking for the powerhouse the U12+ is certainly the device you should consider.
|Screen resolution||1440 x 2880 pixels||1440 x 2880 pixels|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 835|
|Storage||64, 128GB Expandable via MicroSD||64,128GB Expandable using MicroSD|
|Front camera||Dual 8MP||8MP|
|3.5mm headphone jack||No||No|
|OS||Android Oreo 8.1||Android Oreo 8.1|
The battery cell is one of the areas where U12+ lacks in front of its predecessor. The reasons could be dual rear camera modules and slightly smaller body. The U12+ lights are kept on by a 3,500mAh battery cell whereas the battery cell on the U11+ was 3,930mAh. It's a huge difference which will have an impact on the battery life of both the devices. Even though the latest chipset on the U12+ is more power efficient than the last year's SoC but still the smaller cell will have an impact on the battery life. Both the devices support Qualcomm's Quick Charge. Despite having glass rear body both the devices lack wireless charging support.
Last year at the announcement of U11+, the company officially confirmed revival of dual camera setup for HTC smartphones. The U11+ was featuring a single rear UltraPixel 3 sensor of 12MP with f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization. The device autofocusing capabilities were pretty good. The single sensor was accompanied with dual LED flashlight. For the pro users, there is a Pro mode which allows the user to manually adjust camera settings according to their requirement. The device support 4K video as well 3D audio recording thanks to quad microphones.
All the goodies of the main camera of U11+ are not available for U12+ but the sensor is UltraPixel 4 with an aperture of f/1.75. There is a secondary telephoto sensor of 16MP on the rear with f/2.6 aperture. The secondary sensor provides lossless zoom up to 2x without affecting the picture quality. Both the sensors capture depth info to provide amazing portrait mode shots.
The front-facing selfie camera on the U11+ is a wide-angle 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture and 85-degrees field of view. Now for this year, HTC introduced dual 8MP selfie cameras to bring portrait mode selfies as well as support for facial recognition as a secondary security feature.
The U11+ was pre-installed with Android Oreo straight out of the box, same is the case with the U12+. In past few years or so HTC significantly improved their custom Sense UI with a minimal level of bloatware over the stock OS. Overall UI experience of both the devices is quite same. Both have three Assistants on board including the company's own Sense Companion, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
The U11+ was pre-loaded with Edge Sense 1.0 which brings a number of options to customize the device squeezable edges according to their preference. With the U12+ HTC introduced Edge Sense 2.0 which brings a number of new features and more customization features to use squeezable frames. As this feature isn't software based so we can't expect it to be rolled out to the U11+
The U12+ is announced at a price tag of £699 for the UK customers. This variant has 64GB native storage, So it fits pretty much in the same category as the other premium flagships launched this year. Being almost 6 months older the U11+ doesn't have as powerful hardware as the U12+ that's why HTC is offering its 128GB variant at a price tag of £629 in the UK. Just for the sake of reminder, the HTC U11 is currently available at a much lower price tag of £449. For the US customers, the U12+ will be available at a price tag of $799 and it will be compatible with all major carriers. For the Europeans, the base variant can be grabbed at €799.
So if you want to grab the latest powerhouse you will have to spend hefty amount as the U12+ is certainly one of the most expensive flagship smartphones from HTC.
The U12+ is bringing a number of new features which makes it a worthy successor smartphone. Although the display panel on both the devices is same the inclusion of dual rear cameras certainly brings grace to the design. The hardware upgrades are pretty much in line with the latest best hardware in the market. As per DxoMark, the U12+ features the second best camera in the market as it scores 103 points. So far the number one position is acquired by the Huawei P20 Pro. So if you want to have a camera-centric flagship smartphone other than P20 Pro the U12+ is surely a worthy contender.
The pressure sensitive buttons and improved Edge Sense are something which isn't available for the U11+ customers. Last but not the least the U12+ price tag will play an important role here because HTC put high stakes by making it the most expensive flagship ever from the company. Are you willing to spend $799 on the U12+ or not?
Feel free to share your thoughts with fellow readers in the comments section below. Stay tuned, we will be bringing more comparisons and previews in coming days.