HTC may not be quite as big a name as it once was in the smartphone market, but the Taiwanese brand retains enough of its old reputation that any new flagship HTC model is sure to command plenty of attention.
Even though the company is undergoing an evolution following last year's selloff of a chunk of its business to Google, HTC continues to produce high-calibre smartphones, with last year's HTC U11 model earning praise from reviewers as being one of the firm's most impressive handsets in recent years. In 2018, it is looking to build on that success with the all-new U12, leaving fans curious as to what the manufacturer might have up its sleeve.
Thus far, HTC is yet to officially reveal details about its latest flagship smartphone product, but early reports and leaked images have offered plenty of evidence to suggest that the company may well have another winner on its hands.
What's expected from the new handset?
Although HTC remains tight-lipped about the U12, a number of details have nevertheless made it online, including photos posted by a Taiwanese Facebook fan page of the model in-hand, and numerous reports providing a breakdown of the phone's expected specifications.
If these unofficial sources are to be believed, fans can expect the U12 to stick fairly close to the design principles of the U11, with a roughly six-inch 18:9 screen and smaller bezels than its predecessor, while lacking the “notch” design for the camera placement that many other smartphones are embracing at the moment. Early images suggest the phone will also feature dual cameras on the front and rear, while familiar features such as the fingerprint scanner and Edge Sense technology – which allows users to squeeze the sides of the phone to launch various functions – will be retained.
In terms of internal specs, the U12 is likely to run a Snapdragon 845 processor with 8GB of RAM, allowing for high performance and reliable battery life, with 64GB or 128GB of storage, with the option to add more via memory card. A 3,420mAh or 3,500mAh battery is also expected – in line with the Samsung S9 Plus – and waterproofing technology has been reported, suggesting that in most respects, the U12 will perform at least on par with the leading handsets on the market.
When will we know more?
It's still not known exactly when HTC will choose to formally lift the lid on the U12, although a full unveiling and launch is anticipated sooner rather than later. It's been around 11 months since the release of the U11 and five months since the upgraded U11+ was introduced, meaning a new iteration should probably be expected shortly.
Although early reports indicating an April launch have since proven to be wide of the mark, rumours are now pointing to a May debut – which would make sense, as the U11 was originally announced in May 2017. This will provide HTC with a chance to showcase the U12's full range of features, and to confirm whether or not the phone will retain the “+” labelling to reflect its advanced specs and size.
Whatever the case, the full announcement of the U12 is likely to make a big splash – and could help reestablish HTC as a serious challenger to Apple and Samsung in the minds of consumers.