HTC's first phone since selling off a lot of its phone division to Google needs to be something special. Here's what we know so far.
When does the HTC U12 come out? Awaiting launch date, not expected to show at MWC 2018
What’s new about the HTC U12? Snapdragon 845 CPU, likely enhanced Edge Sense features
How much will the HTC U12 cost? No announced pricing, expected around the $1,000-$1200 price range
What is the HTC U12?
HTC's next flagship phone, following on from the excellent little HTC U11 that itself served as the essential blueprint for the Google Pixel 2 handset should be the HTC U12, presuming that HTC sticks to its naming and numbering conventions.
Relatively little concrete information has slipped out about HTC's plans for its premium handsets following the purchase of significant quantities of its IP and many of its mobile engineers to Google in 2017, leaving the question of its next flagship device rather up in the air.
What we do think we know is that it'll feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 CPU, the latest in the long line of premium Snapdragon processors, although that's hardly crystal ball gazing to speak of. Outside of Samsung (via its Exynos line) and Huawei (via its own Kirin line), pretty much every premium phone maker is expected to release a Snapdragon 845-based phone this year. One early leak for the 845 did namedrop the HTC U12 specifically, but its veracity is yet to be entirely proven.
It's also likely, but not totally to be assumed, that the HTC U12 will feature the squeezable "Edge Sense" feature that first debuted on the HTC U11. Edge Sense was a feature that some loved and some loathed, but it did make its way to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which does raise the prospect that Google may own the rights to it now. If so, HTC may veer away from it.
Will the HTC U12 have a good camera?
HTC has a long history of delivering good smartphone cameras, although (if you exclude the HTC-built Pixel 2) it's been a while since we've seen a really exceptional camera on the back of an HTC phone. Still, the Taiwanese manufacturer wants to remain competitive in the premium space in 2018, and for that, it will need to really deliver the goods in camera terms.
Will the HTC U12 be water resistant?
HTC's U11 had IP67 water resistance on board, and it seems unlikely that HTC would drop this particular feature. It's fast becoming an assumed factor for premium smartphones.
When will the HTC U12 be available in Australia?
The announcement strategy around the HTC U12 is murky, to say the least. It was assumed that it might announce the HTC U12 at Mobile World Congress 2018, but later reports suggest that HTC is shying away from this course to avoid the hype wash surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S9 handsets.
If accurate, those reports point to a March/April announcement with availability after that. HTC has generally left little delay in bringing its handsets to the Australian marketplace, so we should see something by mid-year at the latest.
How much will the HTC U12 cost?
One area HTC has remained very competitive in with regards to the premium space has been in the way it has priced its handsets. While it's too early to absolutely call the HTC U12's price, if past history is any indication, expect it to steer closer to $1000 than the $1200 space.
HTC priced the HTC U11 at just $999 outright at launch in Australia, a very competitive price point indeed, and one we'd be happy to see repeated for the HTC U12.
HTC U12: Specifications
- Product Name
- HTC U12
- Display Size
- 1440 x 2960
- Snapdragon 845
- Operating System
- Android 8.0
- Front camera
- Rear camera
- TBC, probably dual lens
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