Earlier this summer when I took a look at HTC's latest flagship, I was very conflictless. On the one hand, I was a big fan of the U12 + clear glass back (you have not heard, transparent gadgets are cool again), while the two rear cameras are probably the most underappreciated cameras in the smartphone world. Unfortunately, these features were not enough to completely solve below average battery life and very annoying touch sensitive buttons on the page.
But now HTC is trying to loose its premium handset with the new U12 Life, which is a budget / space on the U12 +. Except in many ways, the two are less related than I thought first, which may be the best with it.
But if you're just looking at U12 Life's design, HTC seems to have gone away in some funky design ideas that have left U12 Life look like the confused lion of an iPhone X and and Pixel 2 XL. In the front there are no hack or fingerprint sensors in sight, while on the backside you get a pill-shaped double-camera module on top of a partially striped two-tone finish that covers the phone's acrylic glass chassis. At this point, I'm not entirely sure whether this should be a simple mishmash of derivative design, or an average piece of comment on modern smartphones aesthetics.
Fortunately, the U12 Life screen is almost the same as measuring 6-inch over, although the resolution has taken a dip down to 2160 x 1080. And inside, you'll see more conservative components with U12 Life Sports and Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, 4 GB / 6 GB RAM, 64 GB / 128 GB of storage space, SD card slot, and both a USB C port and a headphone jack at the bottom, the latter as U12 + never had.
And in another strange way, the U12 Life's 3.600 mAh battery is actually slightly larger than the 3,500 mAh power supply in U12 +, which in combination with its less powerful processor and lower resolution must go a long way to address the lack of lifetime I saw on U12 +.
HTC has even seen the error in its ways and equipped U12 life with standard physical buttons for power and volume. And if the 16-MP plus 5-MP cameras at the back are almost as good as the one on U12 +, U12 Life can actually be a solid, affordable alternative to all the cheap new phones Nokia, Huawei and Motorola have been pushing out.
Unfortunately, for us here in the United States, we can never get the chance to live U12 Life, as the phone is currently slated for release in Europe and Asia, with British prices starting at 279 pounds (about $ 360) and availability once in the fourth quarter of 2018.