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HTC U12+ Jumps to 2:1 Screen, Improves Edge Sense, Refines Speakers, Adds Sonic Zoom

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May 23, 2018, 3:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

HTC today announced the U12+, its flagship handset for the year. The phone carries over the "liquid design" from last year's U11, but updates the color selection for the metal-and-glass chassis. The device is rated IP68 and can handle short dunks in water. HTC created new digital controls along the side edges to help seal up the chassis. The U12+ also improves the Edge Sense pressure-sensitive sides with new controls and actions. The U12+ sees HTC catching up to its competitors with a 2:1 aspect screen. The display measures 6 inches and offers quad HD+ resolution (2,880 by 1,440 pixels). The Super LCD 6 panel is protected by Gorilla Glass and supports HDR 10 video playback. Like most of today's flagship devices, the U12+ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. The phone includes 6 GB of RAM and comes with either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage. It supports microSD memory cards up to 2 TB. HTC made big changes to the camera. The U12+ features dual cameras on the rear and the front. On back, the main camera has a 12-megapixel, wide-angle sensor at f/1.75 and a secondary 16-megapixel telephoto sensor at f/2.6. HTC says the camera includes UltraSpeed Autofocus 2, which is a hybrid of phase detection and laser autofocus. The phone supports optical zoom up to 2x and digital zoom up to 10x. Other camera features include HDR, bokeh portraits, face detection, and pro mode with RAW capture. The front has two identical 8-megapixel cameras at f/2.0 with support for bokeh portraits, HDR, face unlock, live makeup, AR stickers, and panorama selfies. The video camera includes a feature called Sonic Zoom, which will tweak the microphones to focus more narrowly when users zoom in on a subject. It can capture 4K video and includes OIS, 360-degree 3D audio capture, slow-motion, and time-lapse. Like the U11, the U12+ includes both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which can be called up via the Edge Sense gestures. HTC tweaked its BoomSound speaker system to deliver 30% more sound and a better balance between the top and bottom speakers. The phone ships with HTC's USonic headphones with active noise cancellation. Other specs include NFC, Bluetooth 5, USB-C, 3,500mAh battery with rapid charging, and dual-band WiFi. As for network support, the U12+ is being sold as a single global unit with wide support for LTE networks. It includes Cat 18 LTE with support for U.S. bands such as 29 for AT&T and 66 for T-Mobile. HTC says the phone is fully certified to run on Verizon's network. The U12+ will go on sale over the course of the next few weeks. Pricing will be in line with other flagship devices, says HTC.

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