Since then, though, HTC’s story has been one of significant ups and downs. We liked last year’s U11, and the follow-up U11+ was even better. But the company sold its team behind the Pixel phones to Google earlier this year, which strongly hinted that HTC would be more focused on the Vive headset than smartphones. Perhaps that’s why its flagship for this year, the U12+, isn’t a huge upgrade.
If you’ve seen the U11+, you’ve pretty much seen the new model. HTC stuck with the same “3D liquid glass” design, which gives the phone a uniquely luxurious look. It’ll be available in black, red and a gorgeous translucent blue, which gives you a glimpse at the phone’s internals.
As you’ve probably gathered from the name, the company is also going big with this phone. The U12+ features a 6-inch Quad HD+ (2,880 by 1,440 pixels) Super LCD 6 screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio and HDR 10 support, just like the U11+. You won’t find any notch on this display, though — there’s still a large bezel at the top and bottom. HTC managed to shave down the already minimal side bezels by 1mm, and the phone is also 1.9mm shorter than the U11+.
And if you were wondering, there won’t be a smaller U12 this year. That’s a bit disappointing for anyone with smaller hands, but it makes sense for HTC to focus on a single flagship — especially after the confusing array of U11 models we saw over the last year.
Look a bit closer at the U12+ and you’ll notice some subtle differences from the last model. There are two cameras on the back (which we haven’t seen from HTC since the One M8) surrounded by a pill-shaped enclosure. One is a 12 megapixel wide-angle shooter featuring HTC’s UltraPixel 4 technology, and the other is a 16MP telephoto. As with other dual-camera phones, they’ll let you optically zoom up to 2x and get more bokeh (the gorgeous background blurring in portraits) from your photos. HTC also brought over the dual front cameras from the U11 Eyes, except this time they’re both 8MP. For the most part, they’ll help you get some bokeh in your selfies.
HTC is also debuting Edge Sense 2 in the U12+, which lets you squeeze the phone to access apps and shortcuts. Now, you can double the side sensors to create to a smaller interface, making it easier to use one-handed. That miniature UI will automatically adjust to the left or right side of the screen, depending on the hand you’re using to hold the phone. The side sensors will also detect if you lay down and prevent the screen from flipping into landscape mode. I’m not quite sold on squeezing my phone just yet, but that smart orientation detection is something I’d like to see on more phones.
As you’d expect from a flagship Android phone today, the U12+ is powered by a Snapdragon 845 chip and 6GB of RAM. You’ll also be able to chose from either 64GB or 128GB of storage, and you can expand that with microSD cards up to 2TB. It’ll ship with Android Oreo, but HTC assures us it’ll be upgradeable to Android P when that’s officially released.
With its sleek glass case, the U12+ feels great, though its extra wide 18:9 aspect ratio makes it incredibly top heavy. It would have been nice to see HTC get rid of those chunky top and bottom bezels, especially since that’s something most of its competitors are doing this year. I only had a few minutes with the phone, so I couldn’t really stress it much. But maneuvering through Android and juggling several apps was as speedy as you’d expect with its high-end hardware.
As for the camera, it offered a decent amount of bokeh when taking portraits, but HTC’s software still plenty of issues to iron out. In particular, the adjustment dial for background blur and zooming is awkardly placed, since it’s easy to trigger the camera’s exposure controls instead.
For the most part, the U12+ seems like a phone built for HTC fanatics, and not something that would tempt people away from Samsung Galaxy S9 or the iPhone. There aren’t any major surprises or innovation — just the upgrades you’d expect. You can pre-order the blue U12+ today for $799 (64GB) and $849 (128GB) from HTC’s site and Amazon, while the black model is only available with 64GB of storage.
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iTunes is going to be shut down officially
After almost two decades of service, Apple is reportedly dumping iTunes.
It first started off as rumors, but now it is going to be made official at WWDC in just a few hours.
Before this, you might have noticed that the Instagram and Facebook page of iTunes has had a slight change.
Posts on both pages has been entirely deleted – Apple’s move at shifting away from iTunes links, I guess.
Before this, there has been separate apps for music on its mobile devices, however, not available for Mac OS.
Relating to that, there is supposedly going to be an announcement for three separate apps for its music, TV and podcasts, and hopefully they’ll also be available for Mac Books.
We’ll just keep our fingers crossed for this and other big announcements at WWDC.
Google Stadia – The Future Of Gaming Or Not ? – Reader Opinion
A few weeks ago, Google announced the release of Google Stadia a new state of the art gaming platform that would change gaming as we know it apparently.
This has been met with a lot of skepticism in the gaming community if this is going to actually work but I believe Stadia has what it takes to change the whole console gaming model that we have been used to for years, However, it would take some time to actually give Microsoft and Sony a run for their money.
Google Stadia actually got me thinking Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox would have a strong problem to contend with when it fully launches this year. Google Stadia’s cross-platform play is something I’m looking forward to, so you can play hardware intensive games on a system or phone with low specs.
Imagine playing PUBG or FIFA on a 1GB RAM Phone or Laptop and it runs without any lagging or glitches. So it’s practically goodbye to having to get a new system to play some games if they are available on Stadia.
I decided to put out this question to you guys on facebook and I was pretty impressed with the replies I got.
Google Stadia Reader Opinion
Apeh Ikechukwu said – Even if it will be the beginning of the end for PlayStation 4 and Xbox, it will take time… A very long time for it to gain popularity and to be accepted by all.
What if it becomes more expensive? That you have to pay huge to access it?
George Oz said – I don’t think to gain popularity is a problem, the announcement alone gathered enough publicity online. And yes it is definitely the end for others Like x-Box and co…Sometimes let’s learn to think Outside the Box.
Osazeme Usen said – Stadia will take quite a long while to catch on. Internet speed is still an issue in most nations of the world. In the long run, stadia will eventually be cheaper than owning a console and purchasing games but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Olusola Glory Olamide said – Before we throw those Xboxes, PlayStations, Nintendo Switches and stuffs to the bin of history we have questions to answer.
Will most gamers’ broadband connections be fast enough to make a streaming service of that proposition? Will developers all come on board? And is Google the right company to trust with the future of the games industry? Though we’ve got Apple on board and Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon are also in the launch plus Sony Nintendo and others won’t stay put.
ューセッ州 小岩 マサチ said – I feel we will have to pay for most of the games…and Nigeria’s 4g speed is about 2mb/s.
Samuel Jarvis Adeyemi said -Stadia is a good innovation from Google and I think it’s great since gaming could be done on a device, they said it would be super fast even cheating the speed of light in 4k Res without a glitch.
Anyways Google is the software boss, I think they can do it.
I hope Xbox and PS4 meet up but cloud gaming is not really their stuff. And Google has the resources.
Swiss Alex said – well mainly I would say Google Stadia is a welcome development but Xbox and the ps4 has to upgrade too
Google Stadia Reader Opinion – Join The Conversation
Google Stadia looks like something that would work very well in countries with very fast broadband connections for now. Hopefully, Google would find a way to bridge the gap and fix things before it gets rolled out to Africa and Asia. Nevertheless, it’s a win for gamers with this. So what’s your take on this?
The comment box is yours, let me know what you think