After months of rumors and speculations, Taiwanese vendor HTC has revealed the HTC U12 Plus launch date. For some weird reason, the company will reportedly call its upcoming device HTC U12 Plus rather than just HTC U12. Vendors such as Samsung and Apple have Plus variants of their flagship phones with slightly better features (Galaxy S9 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus have better cameras than Galaxy S9 and iPhone 8). By adding ‘Plus’ in the name of its new phone, HTC might be trying to build a perception that it would be an ultra-premium device.
Let’s take a look at the HTC U12 Plus launch date, features, specs, camera, price, and other details.
HTC U12 Plus launch date
On Thursday, HTC shared a tweet that teases the date 23.05.2018. Without referring directly to the U12 Plus, the company says, “Coming soon. A phone that is more than the sum of its specs.” The phone could be unveiled on May 23rd before hitting the store shelves in early June. The teaser hints that the device will be more than just features and specs. It could bring advanced AI capabilities, which have been at the core of many premium smartphones released this year.
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Coming Soon. A phone that is more than the sum of its specs. pic.twitter.com/m2skJSK0qt
— HTC (@htc) May 3, 2018
Caetronianus points out that the components shown in the teaser are that of a disassembled iPhone 6 rather than an HTC smartphone.
HTC U12 Plus design and display
The upcoming phone’s design has leaked many times in the last few weeks. Back in March, noted tipster Evan Blass shared pictures of HTC’s next-gen flagship code-named “Imagine.” Last month, a Taiwanese screen protector maker released the HTC U12 Plus renders along with its screen protectors. Both the leaks showed a similar design pattern.
— Evan Blass⁷ (@evleaks) March 15, 2018
According to leaks, the U12 Plus would feature a 6-inch WQHD+ Super LCD screen. The display is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5. HTC has chosen not to use the OLED display that offers more vibrant colors than LCD panels, but is relatively expensive. Surprisingly, the U12 Plus lacks a display notch. It has slim bezels at the top and bottom. HTC seems to have resisted the temptation to include the cutout even as dozens of Android vendors are copying the iPhone X notch.
The renders suggest its rear panel will be slightly curved on the sides. It is said to have a metal and glass design, where the front and back glass panels are supported by a metal frame in the middle. The glass back would facilitate wireless charging. It has a horizontally-arranged dual camera system on the back. The LED flash and the circular fingerprint sensor are located below the camera setup.
The smartphone also has dual cameras on the front for selfies. The USB Type-C port is at the bottom of the phone, while the power and volume buttons are located on the right side.
The U12 Plus will be a premium smartphone with top-of-the-line specs. HTC recently showcased the phone at a telecom event in Taiwan. The device was running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC and the X20 LTE modem. It was able to hit a peak download speed of 810Mbps in the demo. Besides Snapdragon 845, it would feature 6GB RAM and at least 64GB of base storage. The handset is set to offer dual-SIM functionality and a microSD card slot that supports up to 2TB of external memory.
The smartphone will have an IP68 rating for water- and dust-resistance. Leaks suggest it would pack a 3,420mAh battery with fast charging support. On the software front, it would run Android Oreo with HTC’s custom Sense UI on top. The device will also boast of the Edge Sense feature that allows users to launch apps and perform different functions by squeezing the frame of the device. It will also support Google’s Project Treble that lets vendors roll out faster software updates.
HTC U12 Plus camera
We know that the phone is going to feature two cameras on the front and dual cameras on the back. Recent leaks suggest that the phone would have a 12MP and a 16MP UltraPixel camera on the back. The rear cameras will have apertures of f/1.8 and f/2.6, and both should offer optical image stabilization. On the front, it would feature two 8MP lenses that would be capable of taking photos with bokeh effects.
Not much is known about the HTC U12 Plus pricing. Last year’s U11 was priced at $649 in the US and £649 in the UK. The U11 Plus, which wasn’t released in the US, was selling at £699 in the UK. HTC would want to keep the price of its upcoming flagship below $700 to help it differentiate from the likes of Galaxy S9 Plus and iPhone X that cost close to $1,000. A slightly lower price tag could help HTC attract buyers. Of course, the actual price will be revealed only at the time of HTC U12 Plus launch.
HTC has been struggling to revive its phone business. The company has sold part of its smartphone operations to Google in a $1.1 billion deal, but has so far maintained its own presence in the business. The HTC U12 Plus launch would give the company an opportunity to make a comeback and reduce losses at its mobile division.