HTC’s ailing smartphone division is going to launch only a small number of handsets this year. The Taiwanese company may have sold part of its mobile business to Google, but it will continue to sell HTC-branded phones. According to the rumor mill, the company is already working on the next-gen flagship HTC U12. Now folks at SuggestPhone have shared a leaked HTC U12 render that sheds light on the phone’s design.
HTC U12 render reveals its design
The latest HTC U12 render reveals only the front panel of the phone. Since last year, the bezel-less design has become pretty much a standard for premium phones. Consumers expect the HTC U12 to have a bezel-less display. They are not going to be disappointed, hints the leaked render. The phone has no bezels on the sides and incredibly slim bezels above and below the screen. However, the screen is not curved on the sides like Samsung’s Galaxy S8.
The HTC U12 render indicates that the phone would come with an 18:9 aspect ratio, the same aspect ratio that LG, Samsung, and other vendors have adopted for their flagship models. You can also notice a single front-facing camera next to the ear speaker. The volume controls and the power button are placed on the right side of the phone. The antenna bands seem to be carefully placed at the top and bottom of the screen.
Since the phone has a bezel-less display with no physical home button on the front, the fingerprint sensor will likely be placed on the back panel. HTC is unlikely to add an in-display fingerprint reader to the U12. Synaptics has started mass production of its ClearID FS9500 optical fingerprint sensors, but it has teamed up with one of the top five smartphone vendors to bring the technology to the market later this year. HTC is not in the top five.
The HTC U12 render also features a USB Type-C port at the bottom. It was expected considering HTC has used USB-C ports on its flagship models for the last couple of years. The handset is expected to have a metal and glass design.
HTC U12 to feature dual camera, 4K display, Snapdragon 845
The rumor mill recently claimed that HTC U12 would come with a 4K display, which may seem too good to be true. But Sony has been selling premium phones with 4K resolution such as the Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia Z5 Premium for quite some time. Sony’s phones offer full HD resolution, but they switch to 4K when you play 4K content on the handset. HTC could offer something similar on the U12. Chinese website ITHome claims it would sport a 5.7-inch display with 4K resolution.
HTC U12 is rumored to launch with a dual camera system on the back. Last year’s HTC U11 lacked a dual camera, but was still capable of taking great pictures. HTC President Chialin Chang has already told media that the company was planning to bring dual cameras to its phones this year. Chang said HTC would need to “figure out how to make this feature stand out.” That could be a challenging job given the fact that some phones have a wide-angle and a telephoto lens on the back while others include a monochrome and a color sensor.
According to GizmoChina, HTC’s 2018 flagship could follow Apple and Google in ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. The U12 would be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC, which offers an improved battery efficiency and a faster speed compared to its predecessor. It also brings improvements to the camera performance, security, augmented reality, and AI processing.
HTC to unveil the U12 in May
The HTC U12 will likely launch in May, about a year after the company introduced the U11 flagship. Before that, the Taiwanese company would launch a mid-range version of HTC U11+. Sources told DigiTimes recently that HTC would focus its R&D and marketing resources only on a small number of premium and mid-range phones as its sales continue to decline.
The mid-range variant of HTC U11+ could be unveiled in the next few weeks, most likely at the CES in Las Vegas. HTC’s Ocean Harmony phone that was seen passing through the Chinese certification site could be the mid-range phone we are talking about. It has 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. The device is expected to sport a 5.99-inch display and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 processor.
HTC’s mobile business has been losing money for the last several quarters. The company reported a loss of TWD 7.1 billion ($237 million) in the first three quarters of 2017. Last year’s flagship HTC U11 was praised by critics, especially for its squeezable frame. But the phone failed to capture the attention of buyers. HTC hopes to revive its fortunes with the upcoming HTC U12.