HTC has announced its flagship phone for 2018, the HTC U12+. You'll notice that "+" in the name which indicates that this is a step on from the HTC U11+, rather than the HTC U11. But, as the HTC U11+ is close to the U11 in specification, if you've got the U11, you can read on and see exactly where the changes have come since 2017.

So how does the HTC U12+ compare to the HTC U11+? Read on and all will be revealed.

  • U12+: 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7mm, 188g
  • U11+: 158.5 x 74.9 x 8.5mm, 188g
  • IP68 water and dust resistance on both 
  • Liquid Surface design on both

The HTC U12+ takes the U11+'s design and evolves it. The 18:9 display dominates the front, shrinking the forehead and chin over the older U11, and squeezes things down a few more millimetres to make it smaller than the U11+, at 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7mm, 188g.

The overall design and build is similar. Both have a Liquid Surface glass rear, although there's a slight colour change - and the U12+ is launching in black, red and translucent blue from day one.

There's also a significant change on the rear of the U12+ to add the extra camera, giving it a slightly surprised look, but it's on the sides where the big change lies - the U12+ doesn't have moving buttons, they are now pressure sensitive, with no mechanical parts. They form part of the broader offering from pressure sensitive sides, giving you more ways to interact.

The HTC U11+ measures 158.5 x 74.9 x 8.5mm, weighs 188g so it's a little larger in the hand than the U12+. The main change here is that HTC reshaped the edges of the glass to make the U12+ a little narrower and bring the display closer to the edges.

Both offer IP68 water and dust protection.

  • Both 6-inch LCD 18:9 display
  • Both offer 2880 x 1440 Quad HD+ resolutions

The HTC U11+ has a 6-inch Super LCD 6 display that offers a Quad HD+ resolution of 2880 x 1400 for a pixel density of 537ppi. That's exactly the same display that you'll find on the HTC U12+ too.

The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and it features an 18:9 aspect ratio with a DCI-P3 wide colour gamut. 

Is there a difference between them? The HTC U12+ says that it's HDR compatible, meaning it is potentially better placed to support more accurate colours.

  • U12+: Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM, 64GB + micsoSD, 3500mAh
  • U11+: Snapdragon 835, 4/6GB RAM, 64/128GB + microSD, 3930mAh 
  • Larger battery expected in U11+

The HTC U11+ runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform, supported by either 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with microSD for expansion.

The HTC U12+ sits on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory (other sizes will be available). It also offers microSD support. That means the U12+ is new hardware, it's more powerful, more efficient and has more advanced graphics processing. 

But there's a but. The HTC U12+ drops in battery capacity from 3930mAh to 3500mAh. There may be some efficiencies in the new hardware that account for this, but it looks like the slightly smaller size and extra camera has come at the expense of a smaller battery.

Neither offers a 3.5mm headphone jack, with HTC offering USonic headphones powered by USB Type-C, along with BoomSound Hi-Fi edition for great on-device audio. 

  • U12+: Dual rear camera with 12MP main, 16MP zoom; dual 8MP front cameras
  • U11+: 12MP rear camera; 8MP front camera

The HTC U11+ comes with a 12-megapixel UltraPixel 3 camera featuring an f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilisation, UltraSpeed Autofocus and a dual LED flash. There is a Pro mode for manual control and it is capable of 4K video recording with Hi-Res audio, 3D Audio and Acoustic Focus recording with four microphones.

All that functionality rolls over to the HTC U12+, but it's now UltraPixel 4 with a f/1.75 aperture on the main camera. This is joined by a 16-megapixel, f/2.6, 1.0µm, 50mm camera that will offer 2x lossless zoom. Together the cameras will capture depth information so you can create all those live bokeh portrait shots.

On the front of the HTC U11+, there is an 8-megapixel camera with an 85-degree field of view and an f/2.0 aperture. It is capable of features including Auto Selfie, Voice Selfie and Live make-up. On the U12+ this doubles up, so there are two 8-megapixel cameras, again allowing bokeh in your selfies, as well as allowing for better face unlocking.

  • Both run on Android Oreo with HTC Sense
  • U12+ offers HTC Face Unlock, Edge Sense 2.0

The HTC U11+ runs on Android Oreo with HTC Sense over the top and the U12+ offers the same. HTC Sense has been trimmed back over time, offering significantly less bloatware on top of Android and in the flesh these devices look and behave very much the same. Both offer Google Assistant, both offer Amazon Alexa and both come with HTC Sense Companion.

The U11+ introduced Edge Sense, which allowed users to customise options for the squeezable sides and the U12+ will launch with Edge Sense 2.0 that gives you more options. You'll be able to tap to open apps, you'll be able to set-up more custom interactions and it all feels like a more complete system. It's also hardware dependent, so won't be coming to the U11+.

The U12+ also comes with HTC Face Unlock, a feature that was introduced on the HTC U11 Eyes.

The HTC U12+ will launch at £699 for the 64GB version, so this is a pretty expensive phone - although it's not quite as costly as some of the other flagships launched in 2018. 

The HTC U11+ is a little older, but launched at the end of 2017, so you have to accept that it has hardware that's getting old. It's taken a price cut to £629 for the 128GB model, while the older HTC U11 is now only £449, which is pretty cheap by comparison. 

The U12+ offers a lot more than the U11 with its camera arrangement, meaning you'll be able to create all those faux-bokeh (or fauxeh) portraits with blurred backgrounds. It's more powerful and makes better use of space, while the pressure sensitive buttons on the side are a joy to use and Edge Sense now feels a lot more complete and interesting.