HTC today made its flagship phone available in a third color option. Consumers interested in a red phone can now pick that instead of black or blue. The red U12+ carries the same $799 retail price as the others. Other than the color, the specs of the phone are unchanged. The U12+ has a 6-inch quad HD+ screen, Snapdragon 845 processor, dual cameras on front and back, and Cat 18 LTE. The red U12+ is only available from HTC.com. HTC experts the phone to ship in September.
HTC took to its Twitter account today to announce that a handful of its phones will eventually receive the Android 9 update. "We're pleased as pie to confirm updates to Android Pie for the HTC U12+, U11+, U11, and U11 life (Android One). Timeframes for roll-out will be announced in due course," said the company. Google released Android 9 Pie to the Pixel phones earlier this week. Essential has also distributed Pie to its phone. New versions of Android generally appear on older phones slowly. HTC didn't specify a date for the upgrade.
HTC is pushing a system update to the U12 that includes a number of adjustments for the phone. To start, the update adds two new features: auto zoom when recording video, and 4K video capture at 30fps with no time limit. The update includes the June security patch from Google, and makes improvements to battery life and general performance. Most importantly, the update improves the behavior of the touch sensitive side buttons. The U12 uses pressure sensors rather than physical buttons for adjusting the volume and unlocking the phone. The system update makes the buttons more sensitive to touch, which in turn improves their performance. The buttons were a weak spot when the phone first went on sale. With the update installed, the U12's buttons work more naturally. The update is free to download from HTC.
Have your eye on a shiny new phone, but it isn't sold by Verizon Wireless? Did you know that Big Red allows you to bring your own device to its network? There are a few things you need to know, though.
HTC's 2018 flagship is the U12+, a phone that aims directly at competing devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S9+, LG G7, and iPhone X. The U12+ sees HTC adopting the 2:1 screen aspect ratio, dialing back the bezels, and carrying over the luscious liquid design from last year's phone. With top specs under the hood, the U12+ is a compelling Android phone. We spent some time with it in person.
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.