CNET First Look
HTC U12 Plus goes buttonlessIt comes in a wild array of colors including one that lets you see through to the circuitry inside.
[BLANK_AUDIO] It looks like a button, feels like a button, but it's not a button. That's right, no more clicks. On the new HTC U12 Plus, the sleep/wake button and the volume up/down buttons are nothing more than haptic feedback illusions. Apple did something similar when it replaced the home button on the iPhone 7 and 7 plus with a touch-sensitive area that simulates the look and feel of a real button. But HTC has taken it a step farther and replaced all of its buttons. When the phone is powered off, the sleep wake button still works. Apparently the digital button requires so little power that it will work on ad dead battery. Getting rid of mechanical buttons reduces the risk of a part breaking. And it allows the phone to have a dust and water resistant rating of IP68. Then there's the left and right sides of the U12 plus, which are squeezable. Much like last years U11 and google pixel two, which HTC manufactures. HTC's squeeze technology gets an upgrade, now you can squeeze short, squeeze long, or squeeze and hold. Each squeeze triggers a different action which you can customize. You can have it open an app, turn the flashlight on, or open the camera and take a picture among other things. The sides of the phone are touch sensitive which HTC calls Edge Sense 2. They can receive tap for input. For example, you can tap with your thumb and index finger to minimize the screen for one-handed use. The U12+ can even tell which hand you're holding it with and offset the shrunken display accordingly. The U12+ comes with four cameras, two on the front and two on the back. Both enable [UNKNOWN] mode which lets you take portraits of people with a blurry background. You can adjust the focus point before or after you take a picture to change the blur. The rear camera also has a 2X optical zoom and a nifty feature called sonic zoom. During video recording it uses the fore microphone to focus in on your subject As you zoom in for better audio. The U12+ shoots HD and 4K video at 30 and 60 frames per second. It also shoots slow motion video at 240 frames per second and 1080p. The U12+ has an 18 by 9, 6 inch quad HD display with minimal bezels and no notch. The fingerprint reader's on the back. It runs on a Snapdragon 845 processor with 6 gigabytes of RAM and it comes in either 64 or 120 gigabytes of storage. The phone comes in three colors, flame red which looks like Ironman's armor, ceramic black which isn't actual made of ceramic, it's still Gorilla Glass, and translucent blue which allows you to actually see the inside of your phone. The HTC U12 plus is available for pre-order now and will ship in mid-year. In the US, the 64 gigabyte model cost 799 and the 128 gigabyte model, 849