With major parts of its smartphone division having recently been bought by Google, there’s no way of knowing what the future has in store for HTC. (Over 2,000 of the company’s employees will now be working for Google in a $1 million deal.)
Wait, we lied - there is one thing we know: HTC’s next flagship smartphone, the HTC U12, is due to be released next year! And we’ve been doing a bit of detective work to find out more about the phone... What can we expect in terms of design, features, and technical specs? Let’s take a look.
At a glance
- When is it coming out? May-June 2018
- How much will it cost? £600-£700
- Next-generation Qualcomm processor
- Fingerprint scanner under the screen
- Dual cameras
When is the HTC U12 coming out?
A HTC spokesperson confirmed in an announcement that the company are working on bringing out a new flagship smartphone in 2018. While we can’t know for sure when the handset will be made available to purchase, we can expect it to come out in the first half of 2018. May or June are both pretty good bets, but the earliest we can expect it to be released is April - so be sure to keep an eye out.
How much will it cost?
One thing we know about flagships: they’re never cheap smartphones. HTC’s handsets typically range between £600 and £700 on launch, which is a similar price to most other high-end smartphones.
Don’t worry if you find it a little too expensive to buy outright! Taking out a monthly contract will allow you to get the latest HTC smartphone for just £30 per month, which is a much more manageable cost. Make sure to compare all the deals on offer when the phone is released, and we’ll help you get the best contract for your needs.
HTC U12 design and features - the latest rumours
So, what can we expect from the HTC U12? Let’s start with design: we’ve heard that HTC might be dropping the all-glass front and back we saw on the U11, and instead go back to combining glass with a metal back and sides. However, this doesn’t mean the phone should look bulky: we’re expecting the U12’s display to have curved corners which blend seamlessly into the sides and back, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8’s edge-to-edge screen.
While we’re talking about the display - 2018 could be the year HTC removes the visible fingerprint scanner from the back of their phones, and instead place it under the screen. This could be done by using Qualcomm’s under-display sensor technology.
HTC is also expected to partner with Qualcomm to provide the U12 with the latest Snapdragon processor. Paired with a rumoured 6GB of RAM, this processing chip would allow the handset to run multiple apps at the same time at amazing speeds, with almost no lag or loading time.
We’re also expecting the HTC U12 to feature a pretty impressive camera. The company have mentioned before that they were working towards equipping their flagship phones with dual-lens cameras, so we’re hoping this will be happening in 2018. Dual-lens cameras are found on some of the best smartphones on the market, like the iPhone 8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Using two lenses to snap two pictures simultaneously, they allow for a better zoom which doesn’t make your photo look blurry, but also for professional-looking portraits and wide-angle pictures. Let’s hope HTC keep their promise and add dual-lens technology to their already amazing cameras!
Finally, the HTC U12 is expected to run the latest version of Android, known as Oreo - but it should still be able to upgrade to the next version when it comes out around September 2018.
What we want from the HTC U12
Better Edge Sense. The HTC U11 came with an interesting feature called Edge Sense, which allowed users to press the sides of the body to launch certain apps. However, many felt that the technology wasn’t quite developed enough yet: it wasn’t sensitive enough and struggled to differentiate between short and long presses, and the customisation left a lot to be desired. Can HTC do better next year? We certainly hope so!
Longer battery life. More and more smartphone manufacturers are catching on: all users want are better batteries. (That, and screens that don’t shatter the second you drop your phone on a surface harder than pillows.) Many phones at the moment feature batteries that can last for up to two days - and we’d love to see the HTC U12 follow the trend.
Virtual reality. Yes, we still love VR - and we want the world to love it. Everyone from Samsung to Google now offers smartphones which support VR viewing and gaming, and we’d be pretty pleased if HTC developed their own virtual reality platform or partnered with Google Daydream to offer their user a top-notch VR experience.