HTC U12+: Pricing, specs and availability

HTC's second squeezable phone improves on its predecessor with new gestures, an improved camera and more powerful processor.

HTC U12+ at a glance

When does the HTC U12+ come out? Announced May 23, expected to launch around June 2018
What’s new about the HTC U12+ Snapdragon 845, 18:9 display
How much will the HTC U12+ cost? $1199

What is the HTC U12+?

The HTC U12+ isn't HTC's twelfth phone -- quite far from it -- but it is the Taiwanese manufacturer's latest premium phone, and is an intriguing option in the hotly contested premium space.

At its heart the HTC U12+ features components that could be considered par for the course in the premium space in 2018. It uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor, paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. Bucking the trend of phones like the HTC-produced Google Pixel 2, microSD card expansion is built into the HTC U12+, with support for up to 2TB of additional storage. That's via the usual route of a Dual SIM card slot where the second slot can either be used for a secondary network or additional storage, but not both.

Visually the HTC U12+ builds on the impressive work HTC did with the HTC U11, but in a more slender, easily held casing. It's most notable for the fact that there are no buttons on the HTC U12+ whatsoever. Everything is handled via haptic feedback, so while there are areas to tap for power and volume and so on, you're actually not pressing a physical button. HTC isn't the first to go down this route. Apple phones with home buttons haven't had "buttons" for a few generations now, but HTC is the first to take it to this particular extreme.

As was the case with the HTC U11 (and indeed the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL), the HTC U12+ features HTC's "Edge Sense" squeezable capability, with a few new tricks to offer. You can now use double tap gestures to launch applications, and unlike the Pixel phones, everything is customisable to your choice of functions, not just a quick way to get Google Assistant up and running.

HTC has a strong pedigree in the audio space as well, and the HTC U12+ will feature its "Boomsound" speakers with separate woofers and tweeters at each end of the phone for better audio separation. It's also built with high-resolution audio support onboard, and a set of headphones are bundled. Following the current trend, however, the HTC U12+ does not feature a headphone socket, with the supplied headphones connecting via USB C instead.

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Does the HTC U12+ have a good camera?

At a specifications level, the HTC U12+ appears to meet the standard we'd expect out of a premium smartphone in 2018, with dual 12MP f/1.75 + 16MP telephoto lenses at the rear and a dual 8MP front pair for selfie bokeh effects. If you're more into video shooting, the new Sonic Zoom feature, which allows you to zoom in on a specific sound source could give you lots of creative flexibility.

Premium smartphone photography is a hugely contested space right now, however, and HTC has its work cut out for it to keep up. Specifications don't always tell the full story, however, and we do expect the HTC U12+ to offer superior photographic prowess, given that it boasts a DxOMark score of 103, the highest for any dual-lens camera to date.

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Is the HTC U12+ water resistant?

The HTC U12+ isn't just water resistant, it's even more water resistant than its predecessor, with an IP68 rating compared to the IP67 rating of its predecessor. It's easy to manage that when you remove physical buttons because it reduces the areas where water might find ingress into your handset.

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HTC U12+ Review

We've already had the chance to review the HTC U12+ ahead of its Australian availability.

The HTC U12+ is a gem of a phone that responds almost exactly as you'd want a premium 2018 handset to do, with good performance, decent battery life and a camera that's an essential joy to use."

You can read our full review of the HTC U12+ here.

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When will the HTC U12+ be available in Australia?

The HTC U12+ will be available in Australia exclusively through HTC's local web site, with pre-orders going live on 22 June 2018. HTC expects to ship the HTC U12+ to consumers in late July 2018.

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How much will the HTC U12+ cost?

The HTC U12+ will retail in Australia for $1,199 outright. Given HTC's use of the word "exclusively" to describe their sales plans for the HTC U12+ locally, the odds of it appearing with a carrier partner appear slim at best.

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HTC U12+ Specifications

Product Name
HTC U12+
Display Size
6 inches
2880 x 1440
Snapdragon 845
Operating System
Android 8.0
Front camera
Dual 8MP
Rear camera
Dual 12MP f/1.75 + 16MP telephoto
TBC, expected around $1250
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