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Rediff.com  » Getahead » HTC U12: Should competitors worry?

HTC U12: Should competitors worry?

June 08, 2018 13:20 IST

HTC gets back into the innovation game with the HTC U12 Plus, says Ashish Narsale.

Photograph: Courtesy htc.com

It's not just a dual camera phone... the HTC U12 Plus has four cameras, two in the front and two at the rear.

HTC is known for its innovations like the Edge Sense and the 'squeeze gesture' to interact with the phone.

We saw this in the Google Pixel 2 as well, since it was HTC that designed the phone.

With the HTC U12 Plus, they have replaced the mechanical buttons for power and volume with pressure sensitive buttons, making the phone almost button free. 

 

Design

HTC follows the same liquid surface, all glass design as the HTC U11 Plus. This means that when light falls on the phone's surface, it reflects different variations of the phone's colour.

HTC U12 Plus is 6.14 inch tall, 2.9 inch wide and 9.7 mm thin. It will be available in three colours -- translucent blue, ceramic black and flame red.

Translucent blue, as the name suggests, has a translucent back so that the innards of the phone can be seen.

The dual hybrid SIM slot is located on the right of the phone.

There are thin bezels on the left, right and bottom. The bezel at the top holds the two front cameras, an ear piece and a proximity sensor.

The rear centre top of the phone supports a dual camera setup aligned side-by-side, followed by an ergonomically placed fingerprint scanner.

 

Photograph: Courtesy htc.com

Display

HTC skips the notch, the popular new fad in cell phones, and follows the 18:9 ration, full screen display.

The 6 inch Super LCD display has a resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels and a Quad HD+.

It supports HDR 10 for High Dynamic Range content; this increases the contrast between bright white and dark black to give a vibrant picture quality.

The phone supports Always On Display, which HTC calls Smart Display.

The display also supports a wider colour gamut, DCI-P3 and sRGB, which gives cinema-like viewing quality.

Hardware

The HTC U12 Plus' components are driven by the latest Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 64 bit octa-core SoC, clocked up to 2.8 Ghz.

The SoC is embedded with Adreno 630 for enhanced graphics processing.

The components access the memory from 6 GB of RAM, with storage options available from 64 GB ROM to 128 GB ROM. It can be further expanded by using a micro SD card in one of the hybrid dual SIM slots. 

The phone is IP 68 certified and all its components are protected against water and dust. 

Camera

The primary 12 MP camera rear camera has a wide aperture of f/1.7, with Optical Image Stabilisation. It is guided by phase detection and laser for fast autofocus.

The secondary camera is a 16 MP telephoto; at f/2.6, it enables 2X optical zoom and is also used for depth sensing for bokeh mode (which allows you to blur the background).

The front dual cameras have 8 MP each for the bokeh effect and accurate facial recognition.

The primary rear camera supports 4k video recording up to 60fps and slow motion video at 240fps. It uses Optical Image Stabilisation and Electronic Image Stabilisation for a smooth video.

Additional features include the Sonic Zoom (it lets you zoom in the sound at the scene), Audio Boost (amplifies the sound) and 3D Audio recording (records in surround sound) with four microphones.

The phone also supports Augmented Reality stickers that can be used to add a fun element to selfies and portraits.

Audio

The HTC U12 Plus supports the loudspeaker with HTC BoomSound, which gives a surround sound effect.

The box also includes an HTC USonic Active Noise Cancellation ear buds with a Type-C connector. 

Since the phone does not have a 3.5mm audio jack, you can't use older headphones or earbuds unless you have a Type-C to 3.5 mm adapter.

Battery

The phone's 3500 mAh battery supports Quick Charge 3.0, which can charge the battery from zero to 100 per cent in approximately 70 minutes. 

Additional features

The HTC U12 Plus' Edge Sense supports the squeeze gesture to access apps and control the phone.

The upgraded Edge Sense 2 supports additional features, including a double tap for one-handed use and as a back key or for navigation. It also supports smart features like Smart Rotate and Smart Dim.

The gestures can be customised to launch the camera and voice assistant, to turn on flashlight and more.

The Google Voice assistant and Amazon's Alexa are pre-installed.

Verdict

HTC, which has fallen back in the market, is offering its competitors a stiff challenge with this phone.

Priced at $799 (approximately ₹54,000) for 64GB and $849 (₹57,000) for 128GB, the feature-packed HTC U12 Plus looks promising when compared to competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

 

Ashish Narsale / Rediff.com