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Review "There will be no HTC U12," the man from HTC told journalists in briefings ahead of the launch of this year's flagship. "And no U12++." Company executives stressed that, for 2018, there would be just one flagship, and the HTC U12+ was it.
HTC may be advised to revisit that statement. Why?
HTC - U12+ - Phone - Performance - Smartphone
The HTC U12+ is a sleek, powerful and impressive phone that matches or even exceeds the performance of the best smartphone cameras on the market. It's cheaper than rival Samsung and rejoices in a clean design. It feels great in the hand. The audio is superb. There's no Notch! So far, so good.
But it also features Pressure Sensitive Buttons (capitalisation by HTC), which are buttons with no mechanical switch – they offer haptic feedback instead. This worked so poorly in our pre-release review unit that we decided to wait for early retail units rather than describe the seed device sent to reviewers. This was a first for The Register.
Problems - Zones - Side - Phone - Respond
We also encountered problems with the touch zones at the side of the phone, which are designed respond to taps.
HTC seems proud of the PSBs. Haptic functions don't necessarily have to be inferior to the mechanical switch designs they replace. Apple successfully replaced the iPhone's home button and (somewhat successfully) switched out the MacBook Pro's trackpad for a Force Touch haptic design that artificially generates vibration feedback. Fewer moving parts should make for a more reliable phone. And HTC has a proud history of trailblazing innovations like an all-aluminium design, and stereo front-facing speakers that set a high standard and were widely copied.
Aspect - Experience - PSBs - Superior - Buttons
Unfortunately, it is hard to find any aspect of the experience with the PSBs superior to using the physical buttons on the HTC U12+'s predecessors. HTC continues to sell (but not in the US) the outstanding HTC 11+ (currently...
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