HTC will announce its next flagship smartphone very soon.
The Taiwanese manufacturer is slightly out of phase in terms of its flagship phone launches, revealing the HTC U11 alongside a number of other flagship devices in 2017, but then launching the HTC U11+ late in the year.
HTC really needs to make a splash; the competition is more fierce than ever, with even the big names struggling to make handsets with standout features.
Let's round up all the HTC U12 rumours as well as look at the specs that have been corroborated by several sources.
HTC U12 name
The first suggestion that the new handset was going to be called the HTC U12 came from a DigiTimes report, although that follows the logic from the U11 in 2017.
However, HTC then went on to launch the HTC U11+, which shifted the phone to an 18:9 display as is the trend in smartphones.
Logic perhaps suggests that HTC U12+ would be the name and that's something confirmed by leaker Evan Blass and a report from Focus Taiwan. We are still thinking there may be a 5.5-inch HTC U12 as well as a 6-inch HTC U12+, however, due to two sets of specs that have leaked.
HTC U12+ design
- IP68 water and dust protection
- Liquid Surface glass rear assumed
- Squeezable sides
HTC's most recent devices have used Liquid Surface, that unique glass finish that gives a look that you won't find anywhere else. It's high quality and it looks great, shimmering and reflecting the light as you move the phone around.
We've seen it on the HTC U11, U11 Life and U11+. We suspect the HTC U12+ will carry the Liquid Surface rear too, although that's not yet confirmed in leaked images. There's no mention of colours either.
IP68 water protection as found on the HTC U11+ is a given, but we're also expecting HTC's focus to be on slimming down the bezels of its phone. That means it's likely to stick to the 18:9 display of the HTC U11+, looking to move closer to the edges - something confirmed through various leaks.
The HTC U12+ will also have squeezable sides, as Sense Edge continues, enabling shortcuts and actions with just a squeeze. Around the back, the new camera and fingerprint scanner array gives the new HTC phone a rather surprised look.
The HTC U12+ might have already made an appearance in the wild. Spotted at an event in Taiwan, the device appears to have some tape concealing some of the design, while it's also encased in part.
It does appear slimmer than the HTC U11+, which was a little on the fat side. The event was to promote 5G, with this unannounced HTC device demonstrating 800Mbps speeds - although that's still within the realms of 4G.
HTC U12+ display
- 6-inch LCD display
- 18:9 aspect, 2880 x 1440 pixels, 537ppi
The HTC U12+ will be a 6-inch handset (listed as 5.99-inch) and sport a QHD+ resolution. That means it will have the aforementioned 18:9 aspect ratio and a 2880 x 1440 pixel resolution.
These specs have been confirmed by leaks but an early leak for the outline of the new phone gave us a silhouette to impose an 18:9 display on to give a sense of the sizes of the bezels.
A leaked box also suggests a 5.5-inch display. Could this be the standard HTC U12 instead of the also-expected 6-inch HTC U12+?
We think that HTC will stick with LCD, partly because of price, but also because HTC has a long history working with LCD - and the results aren't too bad. Rred ghosting in night mode is our biggest complaint, but we have high hopes.
HTC U12 hardware specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 6GB RAM and up to 256GB storage + microSD
- 3,420mAh battery
We now we have a specifications list that has been corroborated by several separate sources.
Twitter user @LlabTooFer posted many of the specs on his Twitter page and fellow leakster Evan Blass concurred with a retweet: "True," he simply wrote. Evan Blass has subsequently confirmed these specs on Venture Beat.
HTC Imagine— LlabTooFeR (@LlabTooFeR) March 4, 2018
Display 5.99 QHD+
RAM up to 6GB
ROM up to 256GB
Dual Main Camera 12mp + 16mp (Sony IMX3xx)
Front Camera 8mp
HTC Face Unlock
Edge Sense 2.0
Android 8.0 + Sense 10
Full treble support and A/B (Seamless) Updates
Single and Dual SIM version
The aforementioned leaked box shot for a potential standard U12 version suggests all those specs (with a 5.5-inch display instead of the 6-inch) as well as 128GB of storage and a whopping 8GB of memory.
Like other 2018 flagships it will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, with 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of built-in storage with microSD expansion, making it a hugely powerful handset.
We believe there will be a 3,420mAh battery onboard.
Focus Taiwan claimed its sources said there would be a 64GB model and a 128GB model, with no mention of a larger 256GB but it reiterated many of the other specs previously suggested. The leaked box
As HTC has already moved away from 3.5mm headphones, it will continue to offer USonic headphones powered by USB Type-C, offering active noise cancellation and custom tuning. BoomSound Hi-Fi is likely to be included for great on-device audio.
As we said, there's a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the phone, again confirmed with the leaked box which also suggests Qi wirless charging, dual-nano SIM and Qualcomm QuickCharge.
HTC U12+ software
- Android 8 Oreo with HTC Sense
- Edge Sense 2.0
- HTC Face Unlock
HTC has been trimming down HTC Sense for some time, more recently moving to a position where it called the software build on its phones Android with HTC Sense. In many cases the bulk is reduced in favour of Google's core apps and services, but you'll still find HTC's own camera, BlinkFeed launcher and few other HTC apps in place.
One of the interesting elements is Edge Sense 2.0. Google liked the squeezable sides so much they were incorporated into the Pixel 2, and HTC has always offered more options for squeeze.
HTC Face Unlock is a new element that was introduced on the HTC U11 Eyes - which hasn't been released in the UK - and will let you look at the phone to unlock it.
If there are any other software elements that HTC is going to introduce we don't yet know, but we suspect it will keep offering Alexa integration, as well as pursuing its own HTC Sense Companion.
HTC U12+ dual cameras
- Dual rear cameras at 12 and 16-megapixels
- Dual front 8-megapixel cameras
HTC confirmed in November 2017 that it would be releasing a dual camera phone in 2018. It's no surprise then to see the dual camera system sitting on the rear of the HTC U12+.
These have been confirmed as 12-megapixel and 16-megapixel cameras, but little more has been said about the technical details. We are expecting optical image stablisation (OIS), however.
HTC will certainly be using the two lenses for things like a portrait mode - just as it did when it introduced the first dual camera lens on the HTC M8 in 2014.
We suspect the main camera is the 12-megapixel part (as used by Apple, Samsung and Google Pixel), leaving the second 16-megapixel camera something of a mystery.
Looking closer at the cameras, it does look as though the apertures are different; this might be wide-angle, it might be zoom, it might be that it's a wider aperture camera for low light. Currently, we just don't know.
The front of the HTC U12+ will also offer a dual camera system. Like the HTC U11 Eyes, it's expect that this is to bring enhanced selfies, letting you take better portraits with the front camera. It also might enable the HTC Face Unlock feature. Focus Taiwan claims the dual front cameras will be made up of two 8-megapixel sensors.
HTC U12+ release date and price
- May 2018 expected
There were rumours of an earlier event but it now seems delays in production have pushed the launch of the HTC H12+ to May 2018, which Focus Taiwan also suggests.
So far there's been little from HTC to suggest anything is happening - we suspect the company will have a virtual launch event for the new phone.
The price remains under wraps, but it needs to seriously undercut the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, for example. Rumours suggest it could retaile for around $850 for the 128GB version - around £610. But as we know, direct price conversions tend to be wide of the mark so it could clock in at £649 perhaps.
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