It’s been awhile since I have really sat down and played with a HTC flagship device. The HTC U11 came out last year but I couldn’t get over its fat design and also it was on Sprint which did not garner good service results. Besides that I have messed around with their mid to low tier phones for the past few years. HTC released the U12 Plus at the end of Spring but unfortunately with software upgrades and so forth we got ended up getting our review unit from HTC at the end of the summer. I did give the U12 Plus a ton of burn and read on if its worth the price tag or your time at all…

Style

Getting the HTC U12+ in my hands I felt like HTC took a look at the U11 before it and crafted a better looking smartphone. It has what they call “Liquid Surface” which is a better term for translucent or see thru glass. As I been using the Translucent Blue colorway it looks stellar with you being able to see small bits of the chipsets hiding underneath. While it does look nice like most glass devices fingerprints and smudges will appear on the U12+. Going around the device is metal bands which house your sim card tray, Type C port, speaker, and one of my hardest things to adapt to which is Pressure Sensitive Buttons.

HTC has tried to embrace a buttonless world bringing us squeeze gestures and now buttons that are there but aren’t. It takes a bit of getting used to as there is really no press or give. At times the buttons feel the same and I end up doing the wrong thing. Personally I’m not a fan and hope they don’t go this route on the next HTC flagship. Otherwise I like the feel and look of the phone with it presenting a nice weight, great build quality and not feeling flimsy.

Included in the box is a protective case and Type-C USonic earbuds.

Hardware

Even though you can’t see it through that translucent design the HTC U12+ is packing some decent hardware underneath. You have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM, options of 64GB/128GB and Adreno 630 GPU. There is also a battery capacity of 3,500mah with quick charging capabilities but no wireless charging. HTC stated they didn’t think it was needed and also it would make the phone thicker. I don’t use it all the time on smartphones but I like it as a nice option. At least its water/dust resistant with a IP68 rating.

Boomsound is available on the HTC U12+ giving you stereo sound with audio firing out the top earpiece and on the bottom of the phone. Audio isn’t bad and clear compared to a few other devices but it doesn’t get as loud as say the Galaxy S9 series or Note 9 but its still decent enough for your ears.

HTC went with a Super LCD6 6” display giving you QHD views with 538 ppi. With it being a SLCD colors have looked more accurate and natural to me. This is whether viewing content, reading or even when taking pictures. You are presented with content in a 18:9 format so it you get a wide angle at stuff. It’s almost bezel-less from left to right with just a chin on the bottom and some on top for the cameras and speaker. At least we haven’t got to notch territory yet. Also the HTC U12+ supports HDR content which is a plus.

Software

Android Oreo aka 8.0 is on the HTC U12+ and hopefully we see Android Pie(aka 9) down the line. Sense is the usual skin on HTC phones and its always felt like a OS that isn’t too intrusive but gives you options if needed. They are really relying on their squeeze tech with Edge Sense 2 that allows you to grip and squeeze rather than pressing buttons to do activities on your apps and other things. I feel like it’s hit or miss and I think afterwhile you just get tired of gripping the phone so much.

Camera

What I consider the saving grace on the HTC U12+ is its camera. Dual Shooting takes place on the back thanks to 12MP and 16MP lens. I was pretty impressed with the detail the U12+ was producing and for a quick point and shoot it did the job. Making some images look accurate and not over saturated compared to other devices. On the low light side the U12+ felt 50/50 depending on the subject. If you want selfies you got dual 8MP lens on the front.

Verdict

The HTC U12+ makes improvements over its predecessors with a slimmer body with a refreshing see thru design not seen on smartphones. HTC’s display provides accurate colors and supports HDR content which is great. Unfortunately the U12+ relies a good deal on squeeze and pressure sensitive features which can be a turn off for some. Those buttons are hard to adapt to. Its stand out those is the camera which takes superb detailed images and doesn’t go overboard with colors saturation.

After using it for the past couple months and even handing it to friends to see how they like the buttons it’s hard to recommend this smartphone just for a nice camera. With its pricing you can get other flagships at a lower price or even pay more and get better bang for your buck.

HTC U12+ is available for $799.99 Unlocked and works on Verizon/T-Mobile/AT&T.