HTC is taking its U series to the next generation, we were able to test the new HTC U12 + with the new Edge Sense 2. HTC was able to get back on track relatively quickly after the misstep called U Ultra, the U11 was a good Android smartphone and the U11 + was definitely one of the best of last year. It was pretty fast […]
HTC is taking its U series to the next generation, we got to test the new HTC U12 + with the new Edge Sense 2. HTC was able to get back on track relatively quickly after the misstep called the U Ultra, the U11 was a good Android smartphone, and the U11 + was definitely one of last year’s best. Now there was the U12 +, which brings some improvements and should be the flagship model of the Taiwanese OEM in 2018. In the following lines I will tell you why this launch was not successful.
Several peculiarities are immediately noticeable, they are positive and, sadly, also negative. On the one hand, there’s the pressure-sensitive housing frame called Edge Sense, which HTC has really taken it to the extreme with. There are no more clickable buttons, to the right of the case there are only touch-sensitive bumps on the metal frame. HTC takes a chance and bathes straight away.
Edge Sense: press me hard, touch me gently
Unfortunately, I repeatedly inadvertently trigger the new “power button” while using the device or when it is in standby mode. My girlfriend was no different. In my opinion, the really good idea is still pretty bad, and the new system can only prove itself to a certain extent in everyday life. The volume boost only worked by chance on my device, usually not right away. An insect? Definitely unacceptable.
It should be mentioned, however, that these “buttons” are still fine if executed intentionally and without an error. The vibration motor provides feedback. Unfortunately, the sensitivity cannot be adjusted, I would have liked. Why some colleagues write HTC would have solved “the problem” of the classic keys, I do not understand. In my case, none of the buttons on any device have broken in the last few years, so there was no problem to solve.
In addition to the classic and more expandable gestures of Edge Sense, the case frame now also comprises a gentle double tap and now performs other functions as well. This is possible on the right and left, for example, to start an application, open notifications or start the mode with one hand. Overall it’s well done and mostly works fine, but it just doesn’t want to fit into my everyday life.
We see another special feature on the front of the device, namely, a “normal” screen is installed there. HTC kills the notch trend and that’s good. Not everyone feels compelled to participate. In return, the screen suffers from its maximum brightness, as even the Nokia 7 Plus screen offers more. There is a price difference of 400 euros between the two devices! Otherwise, the panel is convincing.
Look into my eyes one more time baby
The U12 + offers dual cameras arranged horizontally at the front and rear, each with really good photo quality. With the dual front camera, HTC wants to offer a secure face unlock that is only slightly behind the competition in terms of speed. You don’t have to wait long and it’s still a moment too long. Perhaps the software can still be optimized.
As already stated, both camera systems are a lot of fun. In particular, the main camera is back at the highest level. During the day or night, I am happy with every photo I take. So that you can get your own image, you will find a folder with some recordings here at this link. The camera app also wants to convince, it reacts quickly and looks well equipped.
At night, the recordings from the HTC U12 + look so good that they easily outshine the night mode of the normal Huawei P20. Buzzword marketing isn’t everything, Huawei.
The fastest guy
Besides the good camera, the performance is impressive. It doesn’t feel faster than a OnePlus 6, but it’s smoother somehow. Difficult to describe. An animation after entering the command looks “realistic” quickly. It is not slow, but not fast either, exactly correct. Other than that, the available power is always available, in complex games, after a long standby time, and also with 5 percent battery remaining.
The HTC U12 + also recharges quickly, but it doesn’t get empty that fast again. Since most flagship devices now offer relatively similar battery performance in my opinion, the differences are less than before, my conclusion is also quite positive for this smartphone. I can get through the day easily, sometimes the battery lasts from a day and a half to almost two days. My usage behavior: almost only WiFi and no games.
HTC also offers its BoomSound system on the U12 +; the front speakers guarantee a very good sound. HTC also installed a fingerprint sensor, but it had a remarkably high error rate in everyday use. The missing handle, on the other hand, bothers me less than the visible gap between the back and the metal frame. By the way, the rear has improved, it is less round than on the U11 +.
You can argue about other factors, but at the estimated price, I think 64 gigabytes of data storage is not enough. Extension via microSD is possible. The USB 3.1 Type-C with Displayport support (super smooth image through the cable to the monitor), as well as the IP68 certified housing, are also excellent. Two SIM cards also fit the flagship!
Why doesn’t anyone want it?
I’ve often read in recent weeks that my colleagues wouldn’t necessarily recommend the HTC U12 +. On the one hand, the device is too boring, on the other hand, the innovations are not particularly useful or are even poorly implemented. But what if a boring but solid flagship smartphone can be interesting in some way?
I wouldn’t buy this device at MSRP, I just rarely would today anyway. A quick drop in price makes the HTC U12 + interesting again. For me the most annoying factor is already mentioned in the introduction, the innovative fake buttons are only partially acceptable. The pre-installed NewsRepublic app and optional bloatware installation for setup are only more annoying.
Hey man, HTC! You fight solidly for the return of your own strengths and then someone came up with the idea for these crazy sensor buttons. For me perhaps the decisive reason for not being able to draw a positive conclusion. It is so annoying in everyday life.