HTC phones aren’t as popular as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean they are bad. The company has a number of great models in its lineup at different price points. Unlike Samsung, LG, and other big brands, HTC only releases a handful of phones per year. It’s mainly focused on high-end and mid-range sectors and is staying away from entry-level handsets aimed at emerging markets for now.
Without further ado, here are the best HTC phones you can get your hands on in 2019.
Best flagship HTC phone
HTC U12 Plus
HTC’s latest flagship, the U12 Plus (there is no U12, by the way) includes a lot of what we loved about the HTC U11 Plus, but with a few obvious upgrades. Anyone who has used the HTC U11 or U11 Plus will find the latest flagship very familiar. HTC continues its minimalist Liquid Surface design language, giving us a beautiful glass design with IP68 water resistance. The biggest design change can be found in the buttons. Instead of physical keys, they are now pressure-sensitive. While these buttons may not provide a physical click, they do provide haptic feedback to let you know they’ve been triggered.
The HTC U12 Plus has four cameras on board.
The rear camera configuration has 12 and 16MP cameras with the main camera supporting optical image stabilization (OIS). Meanwhile, the secondary shooter is a telephoto lens, capable of 2X optical zoom and 10X digital zoom. There are also two wide-angle 8MP sensors on the front, and they also add face unlock for quickly unlocking your phone.
The HTC U12 Plus also supports a new version of the company’s Edge Sense technology. This time, the sides of the phone can sense where your hands are. With your hand on one side, you can tap twice with your thumb to shrink the display, making one-handed use much easier. Also, if you’re holding your phone in a way that makes it obvious you are trying to use portrait mode, moving the phone slightly will no longer trigger auto-rotate, which is a pretty common annoyance for those who use their phones in bed.
The HTC U12 Plus is powered by the Snapdragon 845, offers 6GB RAM, and sports either 64 or 128GB of expandable storage. There’s also a big 6-inch Super LCD 6 panel with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,140. The battery on the HTC U12 Plus is a bit smaller, going down to 3,500mAh. BoomSound is back for great audio support but there’s no headphone jack for the U12 Plus
The HTC U12 Plus comes in both translucent blue and ceramic black colors for $799. This base model comes with 64GB of storage. The beefier 128GB model comes in just translucent blue and is priced at $849.
- 6-inch Super LCD 6 display with 2,880 x 1,140 resolution, 537ppi
- Snapdragon 845 chipset
- 6GB of RAM
- 64/128 GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 2TB
- 12 MP and 16 MP rear cameras, two 8MP front cameras
- 3,500mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7mm, 188g
The HTC U11, which launched in May 2017, is still a very capable high-end handset. It was the first phone to support HTC’s Edge Sense tech, which lets owners squeeze its sides to launch an app or perform a function It has a 5.5-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and some excellent camera hardware with its 12MP rear camera and its 16MP front-facing camera. It’s available now, unlocked, for $350 at Amazon.
HTC U11 Plus
Best mid-range HTC phone
HTC U12 Life
The HTC U12 Life has a lot going for it. It’s not the most powerful device on the market but still packs enough brawns for the average user. It features the Snapdragon 636 chipset, up to 6GB of RAM, and as much as 128GB of expandable storage. The Full HD+ display comes in at 6.0-inches and has an aspect ratio of 18:9.
The HTC U12 Life runs Android Oreo with HTC’s Sense skin on top.
Unlike its predecessor, the U12 Life is not an Android One device. It runs Android Oreo with HTC’s Sense skin on top. It also doesn’t have an IP rating, but it does have a headphone jack that’s missing on the U11 Life. Other specs and features include a dual-camera setup at the back, a 3,600mAh battery, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
The phone has an eye-catching design with its dual-tone back that reminds me of Google’s Pixel series. It retails for 250 euros, which translates to around $285. It was not released in the U.S.
- 6.0-inch LCD display with 2,160 x 1,080 resolution
- Snapdragon 636 chipset
- 4/6GB of RAM
- 64/128GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 512GB
- 16 and 5MP rear cameras, 13MP front camera
- 3,600mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 158.5 x 75.4 x 8.3mm, 175g
HTC U11 EYEs
HTC U11 Life
The HTC U11 Life comes in two versions. The U.S. model runs HTC’s Sense on top of Android, while in most other regions the handset is part of the Android One family and runs a stock version of the OS. Both variants are the same in terms of specs.
The handset sports a 5.2-inch Full HD display, the Snapdragon 630 processor, and up to 4GB of RAM. It packs a 2,600mAh battery and comes with a primary 16MP camera. You can get it for $350.
Best budget HTC phone
HTC Desire 12/12 Plus
HTC doesn’t officially have a budget phone that it sells in the U.S., but if you are looking to save some money, you can check out the international versions of the company’s latest budget handsets — the HTC Desire 12 and Desire 12 Plus — on Amazon. The Desire 12 has a 5.5-inch 18:9 screen with a 1,440 x 720 resolution and a quad-core MediaTek MT6739 chipset. The memory comes in at 2GB RAM/16GB storage or 3GB RAM/32GB storage depending on the region. It includes a 13MP camera on the back with phase-detection autofocus (PDAF), and a 5MP selfie camera, while the battery capacity comes in at 2,730mAh.
The HTC Desire 12 Plus has a larger 6-inch display, with an 18:9 aspect ratio and 1,440 x 720 resolution, as well as an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset. It’s available in a 3GB RAM/32GB internal storage version only, with a dual-camera setup on the back (13MP + 2MP) with PDAF, and an 8 MP snapper at the front. It’s powered by a 2,965 mAh battery. Both phones come with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.
As we said, you can purchase the international unlocked versions of these phones on Amazon. The HTC Desire 12 is priced at $170, and the Desire 12 Plus is actually a bit cheaper at $160.
HTC Desire 12
- 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 720 x 1,440 resolution
- MediaTek MT6739 processor
- 2/3GB of RAM
- 16/32 GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 512GB
- 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
- 2,730mAh battery
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 148.5 x 70.8 x 8.2mm, 137g
HTC Desire 12 Plus
- 6-inch IPS LCD display with 720 x 1,440 resolution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 32GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 512GB
- 12MP and 2MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
- 2,965mAh battery
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 158.2 x 76.6 x 8.4mm, 157.5g
HTC Desire 12S
The rear camera comes in at 13MP and is paired with an LED flash that sits to the left and gives the back a strange asymmetrical look — it’s one of those things you’ll either love or hate. The back also has a two-tone design, similar to the HTC U12 Life. The phone is currently only available in Taiwan and a few Asian countries. There’s no word on when or if it will make its way to Western markets.
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There you have it — these are the best HTC phones you can get your hands on. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!