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Peek under the hood of the HTC U12 Plus

It comes in shiny new colors that would make Iron Man proud.

perla-shaheen
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perla-shaheen

Perla Shaheen

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Patrick Holland

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1 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The HTC U12 Plus wants to turn the phone world on its head by removing every physical button. HTC has replaced all of its buttons with touch-sensitive sensors that look and feel like buttons. You squeeze static "buttons" that react to a combination of your tap and the electricity in your skin.

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2 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Getting rid of mechanical buttons reduces the risk of a part breaking and it allows the phone to have a dust and water resistance rating of IP68.

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3 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Yes, the back of this blue shade is translucent; you can peer into the parts within the phone.

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4 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Just like the Pixel 2, you apply pressure to the sides to open an app.

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5 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

New to the U12 Plus, you can also tap the sides to do something, like shrink the screen so you can use the phone one-handed.

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6 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

You can also launch this shortcuts wheel. 

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7 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Each squeeze is customizable and triggers a different action. Squeezing can open an app, for example, or make your character jump when you're playing a (compatible) game.

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8 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

You can squeeze short, squeeze long or squeeze and hold. 

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9 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

You'll be able to customize the squeeze settings.

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10 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

HTC moved the fingerprint sensor back to the back of the phone.

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11 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

They both use 8-megapixel lenses, but the second one is there solely for taking portrait shots.

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12 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

There are two cameras on the front to help you take portrait photos in addition to your usual selfies.

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13 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The "buttons" pop out on the sides and are visible, but they don't push down when pressed. 

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14 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

When the phone is powered off, the sleep/wake button still works. The pressure-sensitive button requires so little power that it will work on a dead battery.

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15 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The U12 Plus has two cameras on the back, like you'd expect: a 12-megapixel camera and a 16-megapixel telephoto lens. But what you don't expect is...

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16 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Having the fingerprint sensor on the back allows for a larger screen display.

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17 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Both cameras enable bokeh mode, which makes portraits of people have an artistic blurry background. You can adjust the focus point before or after you take a picture to change the blur.

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18 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The rear camera also has 2x optical zoom. 

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19 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The HTC U12 Plus has an 18:9 6-inch Quad-HD display with minimal bezels and no notch.

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20 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The phone comes in three colors: translucent blue (which allows you to see the inside of the phone), ceramic black (it's actually made of Gorilla Glass), and flame red (which kind of looks like Iron Man's armor). 

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21 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The shiny Gorilla Glass on the back of the flame red causes it to change color depending on lighting. It ranges from golden yellow to dark pink. 

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22 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

In this light, it looks more yellowy-red.

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23 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Here the flame red shade looks a lot more like flame pink.

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24 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Again, the translucent blue lets users see into the inside tech of their U12 Plus.

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25 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The translucency varies according to the lighting for a more subtle look.

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26 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

The HTC U12 Plus runs on a Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM. It's comes with either 64GB or 128GB of storage.

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27 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

When you zoom in while recording video, a new feature called "sonic zoom" uses the phone's four microphones to focus in on your subject for better audio. 

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28 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

In addition, the U12 Plus shoots HD and 4K video at 30 and 60 fps. It also shoots slow motion video at 240 fps at 1080p.

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29 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

From all angles, you can see the sleek and shiny design of the HTC U12 Plus (sleek enough to almost slip out of my hand). These last few photos illustrate this design. 

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30 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET

Enjoy a few more shots of the HTC U12 Plus.

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31 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET
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32 of 36 Josh Miller/CNET
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