It’s a tough task to review an HTC phone in 2018. Am I supposed to treat this company, whose phone design team was recently gutted by Google’s acquisitive forces, as a sustainable and continuing business? How exactly do I factor in the non-zero probability of HTC no longer even having a phone division this time next year? These are questions I don’t have great answers to, but what I can offer you is my informed judgment of the latest flagship from the Taiwanese company, the HTC U12 Plus. I’ve spent a few weeks using this $799 Android phone and I have plenty of facts and feelings to report about it.
Measuring six inches diagonally, boasting the usual high specs of our time, and clad in glass on both the front and back, the U12 Plus is a rather indistinct phone at first sight. Nonetheless, HTC manages to freshen up this handset’s aesthetic with a couple of sophisticated designs: one a translucent blue that exposes the internal components, the other an iridescent mix of pink and red that is basically unique among smartphones today.
With an already great camera on board, nonexistent side bezels, nice display, and no notch to spoil the view, the U12 Plus threatens to be the reasonable person’s phone of the year. And yet, priced as high as it is, and featuring one catastrophically bad design quirk, the U12 Plus ends up disappointing.