(Pocket-lint) - HTC has announced its 2018 flagship phone, the HTC U12+. Following on from the recent HTC U11+, the company is keen to point out that this is the flagship for the year and you don't need to wait a few months for another.

As such, you'll find an IP68 protected, 18:9 display sporting, Snapdragon 845-powered device, hitting all the 2018 trends for phones. It's glass around the rear with a choice of three colours - Ceramic Black, Flame Red and Translucent Blue - and there's nothing ordinary about any of them. 

As with the 2017 devices, HTC's Liquid Surface offers a stunning glass finish, glossy on the surface, but colour-changing in its depths, so it looks different from all angles. While the black is likely to sell the most, we're taken by the translucent blue - it looks amazing, giving this phone deeper geek appeal showing some of its innards - but the Flame Red is also amazing.

Beneath the glossy exterior, HTC's 18:9 display gives you a Quad HD resolution across its 6-inch span. It's an LCD display and top glass layer had to be redesigned to make those bezels even narrower and the results shows the sort of quality you'd expect from HTC. It looks great.

There's loads of power too from Qualcomm's latest smartphone platform, Snapdragon 845. It's backed by 6GB RAM and 64GB storage with microSD.

But the big thing that HTC is continuing to push is Edge Sense. This is the system that will let you squeeze for actions - to launch the camera or anything else you choose. The system is now expanded and is much more accomplished, supporting a range of different actions, including a double tap.

HTC has also removed the physical buttons from the side, instead giving you haptic fixed buttons, so there's less to get messy or go wrong - they also feel great. 

The HTC U12+ also marks HTC's return to dual cameras - something the company started in 2014 with the HTC One M8. Now there's a main 12-megapixel camera joined by a second 16-megapixel, giving you 2x lossless zoom. Together they can do all the fancy bokeh/portrait shooting you'd like and there's enhanced HDR thrown in too. 

The front also gets a pair of 8-megapixel camera, so you have better depth mapping on the front for selfies, as well as supporting face unlocking. That's a total of four cameras.

All in all it looks like a competitive offering, presenting a phone that's pretty gimmick free. Priced at £699, it's cheaper than the rival Samsung Galaxy S9+ and that's a good start.

Writing by Chris Hall.