HTC U12 Plus review

This review was originally written by TechRadar UK and has been edited to reflect local availability, price and features in the Middle East. 

Who might buy the HTC U12 Plus? Either those who are upgrading from the decent HTC 10, or someone looking for a decent alternative to the iPhone / Samsung duopoly at the top of the smartphone tree.

That person would want something cool and alternative, a phone that promises to let them do something their friends couldn't do, and do so at a reasonable price. The thing is, while the HTC does offer that, it's not a good thing.

It's also very pricey: you can buy this phone for AED 3,500 which is more pricey than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and Huawei P20 Pro it's going up against.

There's a lot of power here as well: the HTC U12 Plus comes with 6GB of RAM combined with the latest cutting-edge Snapdragon 845 CPU, as well as 128GB of onboard storage.

On top of that HTC's created a 'cold-polished' glass production process, meaning curved edges with thinner bezels on the screen, and two tone colors on the back… all in all, a very attractive phone indeed.

We've not even mentioned the excellent audio quality, both from the speaker and through the bundled high-end USonic headphones – there's a lot here that HTC fans would be cooing over, and other people that just like a quality smartphone too.

The camera is finally dual-sensor on both the rear AND front of the phone, and it's been awarded a stunning DxOMark, the testing program that rates the quality of the pictures. 

However, despite all that, it's more about how the phone is put together, and while HTC has created a smartphone with excellent elements and some truly unique with the squeezable sides, there's still just something missing…

HTC U12 Plus price and release date

The HTC U12 Plus is extremely expensive, the AED 3,500 price is higher than a few other flagships on the market, including the Huawei P20 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S9. The only phone that's more expensive is the iPhone X

Unlike other parts of the world where HTC has released a cheaper 64GB version, the Middle East is only getting the 128GB model. So if you're looking to pick up the HTC U12 Plus, be prepared to lighten your bank account by a considerable amount.

In terms of a release date, the HTC U12 Plus was launched on May 23 onto the world, but it won't be until end of June that you'll be able to get your hands on it in the Middle East.

Design

  • Strong, rounded design
  • Lovely two-tone effect
  • Transparent Blue and Flame Red both striking

HTC U12 Plus

The rear of the phone curves attractively

The design of the HTC U12 Plus is rather different to the HTC One M8 (or even the HTC 10) might have experienced. Where they would be used to a phone that's hewn out of aluminum, something that feels incredibly premium in the hand, the new phone is made out of mostly glass.

While that sounds fragile, it's actually a pretty premium material to use in handset construction and allows for more signal to get into the device. 

You also get a clear plastic case in the box, which provides more than ample protection for the handset.

When you're talking about a phone that can manage to download 1.2Gbps at its peak, it's important to use a material that lets that through.

What it doesn't explain is why the HTC U12 Plus is shorn of any wireless charging – surely that would be an obvious thing to pop into the handset this year? Sadly, it's not there, even though nearly every other brand has added it into its flagship devices.

The U12 Plus, despite there not being a smaller model to go alongside, is a large unit and falls squarely into 'phablet' category. It's certainly a plus in terms of size, although it's only 8.7mm thin.

As such, you'll struggle to get your whole hand across it, thanks to the screen encompassing most of the front of the phone. That's something a lot of people will be used to now, but if you're moving from the HTC 10 or the Samsung Galaxy S6, for instance, it'll take a bit of getting used to.

HTC U12 Plus

It’s quite a large phone to hold

The main flaw in the design – and we very much mean it when we say flaw – is the immobile buttons on the side. There are no buttons anywhere on this phone, and it's designed to make it almost impervious to water and dust.

The idea is solid: fewer moving parts means fewer things that can go wrong. But the first time you try the non-moving volume buttons, which react to pressure from your digits despite not moving. It feels like you’re doing something wrong.

It's so difficult to change the volume on this phone. You have to keep shoving your finger into the 'button' and hoping it works, with no physical feedback to work out if you've succeeded until it buzzes.

You can't even change the sensitivity of this element… it's really weird when the buttons previously were just fine the way they were. We constantly keep turning the phone on by stroking the sensitive power key when picking up the handset, and it's really irritating.

We even had a situation where if you put it in a slightly tight jeans pocket, it would turn down the volume down on what you’re listening to randomly.

If you pick up an alternative phone, actually being able to press a button in on the side feels like coming home to normality. You might eventually get used to the sensation, but it’s a strange move from HTC that’s instantly going to put people off when they try it.

Screen

  • Hi-res, longer display without a notch
  • Color reproduction good, but not the best around

The screen on the HTC U12 Plus is the best we’ve seen on a phone from the brand, taking into account all the features that its competitors are thrusting into their wares these days.

It’s a 6-inch, 18:9 1440×2880 resolution affair, but lacks the notch at the top that many top phone of the moment are packing. Instead there’s a large-ish bar at the top and bottom, which would be sacrilege for some brands looking to create the ‘all-screen’ look that adorn many phones.

However, it’s hard to say this is a negative thing given those bars pack in the improved Boomsound speakers that offer exceptional audio from the phone, and while it does make the phone rather long and slightly weightier, it’s a trade-off worth trying.

Netflix looks fine and clear enough

The quality of the screen, which uses the Super LCD display technology that largely only HTC puts in its phones, is fine without being amazing. It’s a long way from the best on the market – that title is always nabbed by Samsung OLED technology (or perhaps Sony’s decent LCD offerings) because of the rich color reproduction and contrast ratios.

HTC’s done a fairly decent job here – HDR 10 quality is supported for YouTube, but not Netflix or Amazon Prime just yet- hopefully a software update in the future fixes that. Still, at least it’s packing plenty of brightness and YouTube HDR looks decent.

Generally watching movies on this phone is fine too. Coupled with the Boomsound speakers it’s a great phone to hold, and the sharpness and colors, along with the brighter screen, are fine… another time when it’s hard to use a better word, despite that one being so bland.

HTC U12 Plus

HDR support is welcome, but limited

Looking at the screen off-angle shows it gets a little darker than the competition, and doesn’t wow in the same way.

The color reproduction on the screen can be altered a little, making things a little more colorful if you want more of a cinematic experience. However, both this and the default version look a little artificial – again, it’s just fine.

There’s nothing terribly wrong with the screen quality on the HTC U12 Plus, but without full HDR support, great off-angle brightness or impressive color reproduction, it’s hard to really laud the efforts here on a high-end smartphone.

  • Edge Sense should be lauded as innovative, but doesn't always work
  • Double Tap is also a neat idea, but almost unusable without lots of practice

Edge Sense 2, the ability to squeeze and tap the sides of the HTC U12 Plus, is the big highlight of the phone, and we want to say one thing: like the decision to remove the buttons and replace them with vibrating protrusions, HTC’s efforts to create innovative smartphones must be lauded.

We’ve had too many boring, identikit devices on the market these days, and combined with the powerful speakers, it’s great to see HTC doing something different.

The only issue is that what it’s doing isn’t really that impressive. We’ve struggled for a year to really get our heads around the idea of squeezable sides, and while they do have a function, it’s not a natural interaction.

The issue is the placement of the squeezable area – it just doesn’t fall naturally in a place where you can exert a lot of pressure. We dropped the effort level needed right down to the lowest point, and there were still times when we couldn’t activate it first time. Then there were times when it would activate too easily, or do so in a pocket.

HTC U12 Plus

Squeezable sides and smart capabilities work well…at times.

That’s what’s needed to make this innovative idea work – making it infallible as an action so you can truly say ‘my new phone does something cool’ to your friends. That’s not what happens here.

For instance, squeezing the phone to open the camera is fine, but when inside the app you can short squeeze to take a picture, or long squeeze to turn it to selfie mode.

That’s fine and works pretty well (if you can get your head around squeezing the phone naturally). However, squeezing the phone to take a picture is not a natural action, and your wrist is at an odd angle so squeezing is even harder. This means that the phone will tilt slightly when taking a picture, which can ruin the framing.

The cool thing with the HTC U12 Plus and the squeezable sides is that you can customize the long and short squeezes to do pretty much anything in any app – it’s only a few teaching taps to do something like playing and pausing in Spotify, for instance. You do have to be in the app to make it work – it won’t start and stop music in another app, obviously – but being able to contextualise the squeeze in any app environment is cool.

Again though, it’s hard to remember to do this as it’s not a natural movement. We tried to get used to it in a fortnight’s use, but nothing really came naturally. Perhaps over months it would become a normal thing, and we have noted others saying they like the feature, but we couldn’t get used to it.

The HTC U12 Plus also comes with another power baked into its sides: double tapping either edge will open a contextual menu, such as shortcuts to apps or a smaller, one-handed mode.

HTC U12 Plus

Squeezing the sides isn’t a natural movement

It’s a smart idea, but again doesn’t work in practice. The reason is simple: it’s too low down to work flawlessly. When you make an effort to go for the ‘tapping zone’ it only takes two or three attempts to open it, and after you’ve got the rhythm down it’ll work more easily, but it’s an effort.

That’s the thing about all the new features on the HTC: the volume keys, the double-tap zone, the squeezable sides. Force yourself to learn them over a long time and you might find they become second nature, and they’ll be handy and you’ll be expert. 

They’re certainly not intuitive though, so the average user who isn’t willing to learn them is not going to enjoy the main features of this phone.

Amazing audio

  • The bundled noise-cancelling headphones are a real treat
  • The dual external speakers are loud without distorting terribly

Something anyone can enjoy is the brilliant audio that the HTC U12 Plus kicks out. Let’s get the only negative out of the way first: there’s no headphone jack as HTC eschewed it last year.

However, the brand has more than made up for it in our opinion thanks the bundled USonic headphones in the box. These in-ear buds offer superb sound as well as noise cancellation, and to come for free is amazing.

If there was a 3.5mm headphone adaptor in the box it would be perfect, but between Bluetooth options and the excellent offering from HTC we never really felt the need for anything else.

The sound quality from the HTC U12 Plus, even with poorer headphones is, rich and clear, but the USonic wired buds are a step up. Not only do they sound rich with loads of useful bass, the U12 Plus will also run a diagnostic by pulsing sound into your ears to create an audio map that improves the quality of the audio.

HTC U12 Plus

The USonic headphones are great and come bundled.

This really does boost things up – although it’s hard to tell how tailored it truly is – and again improves quality. No matter what you’re listening to, it’s a joy on the HTC U12 Plus, not only because of the quality but that it supports all the higher quality formats, like Hi-Res Audio and the latest aptX streaming options.

The audio wins don’t just stop there though: the Boomsound speakers on the outside are louder and more vibrant than ever. The volume hasn’t just increased though – the sound quality has been moved upwards too, to allow whatever you’re playing to be free from distortion.

HTC U12 Plus

The automatic listening modes do seem to work.

It’s still not quite in the league of a dedicated Bluetooth speaker – nor would you expect it to be – but it’s much clearer than anything else. We often use waterproof phones in the bathroom to listen to podcasts, for instance, but when the shower is on the voices can’t be heard.

That’s not the case with the HTC U12 Plus – the voices carry over the sound of rushing water, making this phone the option we’d choose for listening to music or podcasts when doing chores or cooking.

Actually, this is the phone we’d choose if we wanted a brilliant audio experience for anything – it’s really great.

  • Camera has some excellent capabilities in many scenarios
  • Can't quite cut it with the best, despite a great DxOMark score
  • Low light is where it really excels

The camera on the HTC U12 Plus comes with high praise from DxOMark, using similar HDR boosting techniques to those found on the Pixel 2 range, which has arguably the best camera on the market.

There’s the dual 12MP sensor on the rear, offering both electronic and optical image stabilisation. There’s a ‘standard’ sensor on there, and a telephoto lens in a set up that’s very similar to the iPhone X.

HTC U12 plus

In practice though, the U12 Plus doesn’t always give results that put it in the same bracket as the Pixel 2. Where it does excel is in low light shooting, as it’ll thrash the iPhone or Pixel 2 at creating more natural colors and capturing extra elements in the gloom.

The image processing generally does a good job of clearing up noise in the darker scenes, leading to clearer snaps even though the exposure has been boosted to show more of the image.

In daylight too, the images are pretty good – certainly clear and crisp. The sharpness is good, but the colors often err on the side of too saturated – this is especially true when in slightly darker scenes, where there’s a touch of gloom around.

While there’s a modicum of automatic scene recognition, we never got a snap that made us step back and marvel at the wonder of it, which has happened on other phones (like the Galaxy S8 or the Pixel 2, for instance).

Bokeh mode is a little patchy. Outdoors, in great light with a good slug of distance from the subject, you can get some great results, as seen here:

The clarity here is sharp and decent with good light.

However, take it indoors and in darker scenes the U12 Plus can struggle a little – hard to say why when you'd expect some aperture compensation, but the processing certainly cleans things up after the shot.

You’d think this picture would look a little better given the good low-light capabilities of the HTC U12 Plus.

It seems that the U12 Plus can also recognise food too, punching up the colors of the snap a bit when needed. It can make things seem a little over-saturated, but apparently that's the best way to take a food photo.

The food looks appetizing if not a little over-saturated.

There’s nothing wrong with the images, but like so much of this phone they’re a mix of impressive snaps and some that fail to inspire much awe. The low light will impress you, and it’s clear HTC has worked on this, but overall you’ll sometimes be left feeling a little flat with what you’ve captured, although you’ll rarely get a bad snap.

That said, the camera software on the HTC U12 Plus is where it really falls down. It’s just slow.

The camera interface is busy, and can be very slow.

Opening the camera can sometimes take a second or two, and pressing the shutter button doesn’t fire instantly when the HDR mode is on (which you’ll really want). This might not sound like a lot described here, but in practice it’s not that great.

Like other Android phones, there are a lot of buttons on show here, and it’ll take a while to figure out where they all are. The bokeh mode is tough to work out too, with a tap leading to a pause as the camera app adds in the capability. Tapping it again adds in manual mode (so you can adjust the blur) and once more turns it off.

It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t feel terribly intuitive. There are loads of camera modes to choose from, from hyperlapse to slow motion to pro mode, with the latter coming with loads of different parameters to play with.

In this mode you can also shoot in RAW, which will please those who like to manipulate your snaps with all the information retained. There’s no RAW processing on the phone any more, which is a shame as it boosted the photos quite well, but image enhancements through Google Photos (the default gallery app here) do a pretty good job of improving things.

The selfie camera has also been upgraded on the HTC U12 Plus, with two 8MP sensors on the front offering both a wider image and the ability to take selfies with a blurred background.

The former works pretty well, making it easier to get more people into the shot, and the latter performs just fine as well – not as blurred as we’d like, but it gets the job done.

Where it does fall down is image quality a little – skin tone in particular doesn’t look very natural, and the damn Beauty Mode is set on by default, making your skin look overly smoothed and cartoony. Yes, you can turn it off, but it adds a small ethereal glow to things.

Some people might really like this, but beauty mode feels like something that should be an effort to turn on, because the results often don’t look great.

Perhaps you’ve come away from reading this section thinking that the camera on the HTC U12 Plus is poor. It’s not, by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just a little rough around the edges and doesn’t delight in the way some of its peers do – and the camera software is a bit slow for our tastes.

In terms of capability and customization though, as well as low-light performance, the HTC U12 Plus excels and we doubt you’ll ever get a truly bad picture from it.

Sonic Zoom, the video recording feature that allows you to zoom into the action and focus on only the audio of the subject, works pretty well indeed, and you can get some really nice video using this with 4K shooting at 60 frames per second.

There's a smoother zoom as well – so when you zoom in it won't jump straight away, so you can get a more impressive cinematic event from your phone. We'd argue that the HTC range has been one of the best devices for video recording for years, and the U12 Plus has done nothing to diminish that reputation.

  • Once again, battery is average
  • Keeping a power pack around is handy
  • No wireless charging

Oh HTC. Why do you have such a chequered past with battery life, and why has it not been fixed with the U12 Plus?

It feels like we’re writing the same thing over, and over, and over again with this brand. Like iPhones, the battery life on this handset is just a touch too poor to be relied upon every day. 

Let’s start with what we think you’ll experience out of the box. After a few days’ use, you’ll find the battery life is a little ‘slippy’, dropping away in standby too easily, despite being a fairly large 3,500 mAh power pack. 

Some apps are more to blame than others, like WhatsApp for instance, but overall the phone is a bit too power-hungry.

HTC U12 Plus

Boost+ makes a genuine difference to battery life

It’ll heat up a little too often and if you’re multi-tasking hard with it then you’ll find that you’re rarely going to last a day before the battery gives up the ghost, and more often than not you’ll be getting a touch low around 6PM.

Even on Airplane Mode, with Bluetooth music streaming from Spotify, you’ll only get around 23 hours’ use… which is crazy given the WiFi and mobile data aren’t firing.

One thing we do like in the battery screen: information on how much the Bluetooth and WiFi are sucking down power, which will hopefully quell the legions of people that keep turning them off in fear of losing battery.

We ran our usual battery test, looping a Full HD video at full brightness for 90 minutes, and the HTC U12 + lost 23% of the battery, with 77% left (obviously). This isn’t a great performance, with many other flagships on the market hitting late 80s often, and shows how slippy the battery is.

HTC U12 Plus

It doesn’t feel like the phone is excessively thin – could wireless charging have made it in here?

With no wireless charging on board, despite the glass back, it’s harder to top up the phone easily. Sure, we’re not average users as we’ve got wireless charging pads at home and at work (due to testing so many flagships with the capability) but it’s become a really useful feature.

Get to work, pop the phone on a little stand and you’ll go home with full power. Walk into the living room or bedroom and put the phone down on a pad and it’s charging all night. Yes, you can plug in, but the simplicity of wireless charging really is attractive.

You can use the Quick Charge capability to boost in charge easily – we tested this and found we had 40% power from almost dead in half an hour, and 68% after just over an hour’s charging, which is pretty good. Stick the U12 Plus on charge for 15 minutes and you’ll have around 20% juice, which should just get you home.

What gives us a touch more hope that the battery life isn’t going to stay poor is Boost+, the excellent management app from HTC. This program constantly monitors the phone for apps acting out, unnecessary actions needing to be shut down and working out which apps need full power and which don’t.

After a week or two of using the phone, the U12 Plus will intelligently suggest apps that don’t need to run in the background as much, or need all the pixels firing to deliver the same experience.

When these suggestions come in, the app shows you how much battery you could be saving – and if you accept these, each day it’ll tell you how much battery has been saved. We’re getting an hour or so’s battery life back each day, and that’s pretty huge when things are marginal. 

We’re not sure that it’s going to do any more than that, but keeping the phone clean and running smoothly in the background is not only useful, but it should preserve the performance of the battery a little over its lifetime.

  • Very powerful handsets
  • Still a few small bugs in the system
  • Blinkfeed is a shadow of its former self
  • Freestyle themes are still a nice touch

K, so we’ve gone through all the key features of the phone, but what’s it actually like to use day to day?

The first thing to note are the new security features, and we have to say we’re pretty impressed with what’s on offer. Both face unlock and fingerprint scanning are on offer to help you get into your phone, and both work really rather well.

The face scanning didn’t sound that impressive when we first saw the phone, using fewer points of recognition and not using infra red to see you in the dark. However, with the screen firing brightly for a second in the dark to help the phone see your face, it’s pretty flawless.

There are still a few misses, and more than we found with Apple’s FaceID, but it was pretty easy to default to the easily found round fingerprint scanner on the rear of the phone.

Once you’re into the phone, the interface is very similar to that found on HTC phones from years gone by. HTC Sense remains one of the cooler Android overlays, with things like Freestyle themes a unique proposition.

HTC U12 Plus

Freestyle themes are cool, but Blinkfeed feels like it’s been left alone too long.

They’re hard to find, but when activated Freestyle themes allow you to turn apps into stickers and place them all over a landscape or picture, which is much more interesting than a boring grid of apps to look at.

The theme also extends throughout the phone, with colors and fonts changing to match as well – like we said, they’re hard to find within the phone and digging around the HTC Store is a bit of a chore, but there are some good options in there.

You’re able to whip through the HTC U12 Plus at a fair rate, with the high-end Snapdragon 845 chipset one of the fastest on the market, and 6GB of RAM more than adequate to keep things chugging away no matter what you’re throwing at it.

That’s on top of the aforementioned Boost+ app in the mix, which is designed to constantly remove junk that could be clogging things up inside. 

Our Geekbench 4 tests yielded expected results – the HTC U12 Plus is one of the fastest phones on the market, but not quite the fastest. A score of 8608 is behind phones like the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy and OnePlus 6 – and the latter is particularly telling, as it’s a much cheaper phone.

There are a few bugs in the system though – some third party apps struggle, and the U12 Plus will sometimes pause before heading back to the home screen, before rebuilding the apps layout quickly in front of your eyes.

HTC U12 Plus

The Geekbench results show excellent power, but the keyboard and HTC Sense Companion (when it comes to fitness) aren’t quite up to purpose.

Bluetooth streaming can sometimes cut in and out, and the AirPlay support (which is a phenomenal feature to have in a non-Apple phone) just doesn’t work.

One of the poorer HTC throwbacks on this handset is the TouchPal keyboard, which is really starting to lag behind in terms of usability. The word prediction still has random capitalizations in there, often suggests the same wrong word and can be a bit erratic when you’re mashing your fingers into the screen.

It’s not to say that the user couldn’t stand to try and be a bit more accurate, but other phone keyboards (and even SwiftKey, which has lost its way as a standout keyboard of late) can work out what you’re trying to say more accurately.

HTC Sense companion is an interesting feature of the phone – it’s supposed to be a basic AI module inside the U12 Plus, working out little things that would help you. 

Things like noting you’ve got an event that starts early in the morning and asking if you’d like an umbrella, or pointing out when power is draining fast and telling you to charge or get a power bank to make an evening appointment.

It’s also supposed to track your steps each day, along with the associated mileage and tell you how you’re doing each day… but that’s not very accurate. On days where we’d run six or seven miles, it shows as three and a half miles with a third of the steps tracked.

HTC U12 Plus

Web browsing is snappy.

The final thing to talk about in the interface is Blinkfeed, to the left of the main homescreen. It used to be a really nifty little place for entertainment, taking in your social networks, YouTube, calendars and news updates and presenting them in easy to read tiles.

However, the news element of this (powered by News Republic) seems rather broken. You can no longer add your topics of interest, instead being shown random nonsense from poor sources, and there are ads littering the space (ironically advertising the HTC U11).

It was a great idea when announced on the HTC One M7, and it’s sad to see it fall – it was a really diverting place when you had a few idle seconds, but now it’s just a mess and it’s a shame that HTC hasn't replace it with something better.

You’ll see one common theme with the HTC U12 Plus review: it’s a fine phone, but not amazing.

We feel a little wistful with this phone as well: we’ve cried out for a phone brand to be innovative for a long time, doing something other than the same black rectangle with a camera on the back, that criticizing a brand that finally does feels wrong.

HTC might have been innovative, but in the wrong way. The volume and power buttons being immobile (but pressure-sensitive) and so similar to each other under the finger is a mistake from the brand and will put off new users. 

The squeezable sides are a nice idea, but we couldn’t find a way to use them effectively, as the hand position just doesn’t lend itself to activating the system properly.

HTC U12 Plus

The design of the HTC U12 Plus is among the most striking on the market.

There are some real wins on the U12 Plus though: the audio performance, both through the bundled USonic headphones and the external Boomsound speakers, is excellent.

The design of the phone, with the two-tone colors catching the light in an attractive way or the translucent blue showing the inside of the phone, is sublime – yes, it’s a little larger in the hand, but the build quality is at the level we expect from HTC.

The rest of the handset is like we said above: fine, but not amazing. The camera can do some nifty things, especially in low light, but is otherwise on a par with the rest of the industry (but with a slow interface). 

The screen quality and movie watching is… pretty good. Not the best, but fine. Battery life is just about OK (but could improve over time as the phone learns you). 

We could have digested all of that if HTC had priced the phone appropriately but we feel that asking AED 3,500 for it, which is more expensive then almost every other phone out there, isn't the best strategy for HTC. At that price point, you're paying more for the brand than the product and HTC just isn't at that level that Apple or Samsung enjoy.

Who's it for?

HTC U12 Plus

It’s hard to really rate Edge Sense 2 well.

This is a phone for two types of people: those that crave a phone with excellent audio performance, and HTC fans. If you enjoyed the HTC 10, then you’ll find this handset a natural (if larger) evolution.

Otherwise, it’s hard to recommend this handset, because it's very expensive, doesn’t really excel in any place, and will irk when you try to change the volume, or encounter little bugs in the system (which, in fairness, may get ironed out and we’ll update the review if that happens).

Should I buy it?

If you’re one of the two types of phone buyer listed above, then maybe this is the phone for you. You certainly won’t hate what you’re getting (although you'll need to get to used to some bits), and the performance will be just fine.

However, compare the U12 Plus to a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, Huawei P20 Pro or OnePlus 6 and you’ll be a little disappointed with it being a fraction behind in a number of areas, but costing more.

Thinking you might like to see some other options? These are the phones we think you should be checking out:

HTC U11 Plus

HTC U11 Plus

The difference between the U12 Plus and the U11 Plus isn’t huge, and the price is more competitive. You’re losing the fancier camera, inner speed and double tap bar on the side of the phone, but otherwise the experience is rather similar – a good option for the HTC fan on a budget.

OnePlus 6

OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 6 is easily the best phone from the brand and boasts a superior screen and slightly slicker performance. It’s also a a lot cheaper, although you’ll lose a touch of camera quality and audio experience.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

This is the best phone on the market right now – it’s got top performance, a great camera, strong battery life, an amazing screen and, well, it just excels in so many areas. A touch more expensive, but it’s not far off in terms of audio quality either.

Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei P20 Pro is the current flagship from Huawei and has somewhat similar specs to the HTC with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. It's Kirin 970 processor isn't as fast as the Snapdragon 845 on the U12 Plus but it does have a bigger battery at 4,000mAh.

The P20 Pro excels in the camera department with three lenses and a 40MP sensor which bests the HTC U12 Plus. It's also priced much lower at AED 2,999 which gives it an edge,