Android Phones

The best HTC phones to buy in 2018

HTC doesn’t sell as many smartphones as the likes of Samsung or Huawei, but the Taiwanese company has some of the best handsets out there. This post has a roundup of the best HTC phones to buy in 2018 and if all goes well, we might have new players on the list as the year trickles down.

Like last year, the company has already announced several phones this year, beginning with the HTC U11 EYEs in early January and recently the budget HTC Desire 12 and Desire 12+. But will these three make it to our list of the best HTC phones available so far? Let’s find out.

Best HTC phones [June 2018]

 Device USA UK India
HTC U12+$799£699Price not confirmed
HTC U11+$655 (Unofficial)£629INR 56,990
HTC U11$649£449INR 51,990
HTC U11 EYEs$399 (Unofficial)About £390 on Amazon UK (Unofficially)About INR 30,000 on Amazon India (unofficially)
HTC U11 Life$349£329NA
HTC Desire 12 | 12+NA£199INR 15,800

Gone are the days when HTC used to be the go-to brand when looking for the best Android phones, but it’s probably just because of the company’s lackluster approach to a fast-changing smartphone world. On the brighter side, the company ended 2017 on a high note and has similarly kicked off 2018 by taking the war to the budget segment as well.

Let’s take a quick look at each of the above best HTC phones and see what you get for your hard-earned money.

HTC U12+

HTC U12+

The HTC U12+ is the new kid on the block and it essentially picks up from where the hard-to-find HTC U11+ left off as far as design is concerned. Unlike what most big-name vendors have done this 2018, HTC stuck to their usual design language that will gladly be welcomed by the anti-notch camp, but you still get the trendy 18:9 aspect ratio. Like the U11+, the fingerprint scanner has been relocated to the back, which means you are getting a huge display screen in a body that is about the same size as the U11.

Specs:

  • 6-inch QHD+ (1440 x 2880) Super LCD6 display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage (expandable up to 2TB)
  • Dual 12MP + 16MP back camera
  • Dual 8MP front camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7 mm
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, IP68, rear-mounted scanner, Quick Charge 3.0, NFC, Chromecast support, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 4K video recording, EIS, OIS, HTC USonic, BoomSound Hi-Fi, etc.

Related:
HTC U12+: Everything you need to know


HTC U11+

HTC U11 Plus

HTC ended 2017 in style, coming in with what should have been the company’s initial launch at the beginning of the year. Dubbed HTC U11+, this handset borrows a lot from the standard HTC U11, but it packs all these U11 goodies in a sleek body that conforms to the “modern” smartphone design.

The game-changing squeezable edges are on board and to match its size and flagship status, HTC went for a humongous battery unit alongside a premium variant of a massive 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which is still expandable.

The fact that the HTC U11+ comes preinstalled with Oreo also means that you get Project Treble out of the box, but like the U11, you don’t get a 3.5mm audio jack.

Specs:

  • 6.0-inch 18:9 Super LCD6 QHD+ display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4/6GB RAM and 64/128GB storage (expandable up to 256GB)
  • Dual Pixel 12MP main camera and 8MP front camera
  • 3930mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, rear-mounted scanner, Quick Charge 3.0, stereo speakers, IP68, NFC, Edge Sense, etc.

HTC U11

Despite the HTC U11+ taking all the glory, it is the standard U11 that started HTC’s rejuvenation. Although you still have to deal with the now outdated bezels up and down of the screen, the U11 still dazzles when design matters are at hand.

The HTC U11 was the first to launch with squeezable edges, a feature that has since been borrowed or rather bought by Google alongside the entire HTC team that is responsible for the Pixel phones. Like always, HTC doesn’t disappoint on the design aesthetics and since it’s a 2017 flagship phone, the U11 also packs a punch, good battery and one of the best camera, just like many others in the same category. But due to this outdated design and perhaps many other factors, you can actually save a significant amount on this phone while still getting a great device.

Specs:

  • 5.5-inch 16:9 Super LCD5 QHD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4/6GB RAM and 64/128GB storage (expandable up to 256GB)
  • Dual Pixel 12MP main camera and 8MP front camera
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat, upgradable to Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2 (upgradable to 5.0), USB-C, front-mounted scanner, Quick Charge 3.0, stereo speakers, IP67, NFC, Edge Sense, etc.

For those in the U.S., well, this might just be your best shot at getting the new HTC Edge on a cheaper flagship HTC phone because there’s no HTC U11+ unless you ship one from Europe or buy the costlier U12+. It’s also worth noting that the U11 doesn’t support Treble even after the update to Oreo.

HTC U11 EYEs

The U11 EYEs is HTC’s response to Samsung’s Galaxy A8 and A8+, but as you’d expect from the Taiwanese company, the U11 EYEs is in every capacity a better-built device than the A8 twins. Even so, the U11 EYEs is the only available handset for anyone looking for a premium midrange HTC smartphone and it does live up to this task, all the way from the design, specs, features, and even the pricing.


Related:
HTC U11 EYEs camera review


Specs:

  • 6.0-inch 18:9 Super LCD3 FHD+ display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB storage (expandable up to 400GB)
  • 12MP main camera and dual 5MP front camera
  • 3930mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C, rear-mounted scanner, Quick Charge 3.0, IP67, NFC, Edge Sense, etc.

Unfortunately, getting hold of this device in the U.S. isn’t a walk in the park, but if you really want it, there’s always Amazon and other third-party retailers to turn to, but of course, there won’t be a U.S. warranty for your device.

HTC U11 Life

unlocked htc u11 life Oreo

While the U11 EYEs might be hard to purchase in the U.S., the HTC U11 Life isn’t. This handset was unveiled in late 2017 and even though it comes with an Android One version, the model sold in the U.S. has HTC’s Sense UI on top of Android 7.1 Nougat but has already been upgraded to Oreo. It is only in other markets that HTC fans can grab the Android One version, which promises timely software updates and also comes preinstalled with Android Oreo out of the box.

As for the rest, the HTC U11 Life is a midrange phone, but on the lower side of the U11 EYEs. Also, where the U.S. market is restricted to the 3/32GB variant, the rest of the world can also opt for a second variant of 4/64GB, but at a higher cost.

Specs:

  • 5.2-inch 16:9 Super LCD FHD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor
  • 3/4GB RAM and 32/64GB storage (expandable up to 400GB)
  • 16MP main and 16MP front camera
  • 2600mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (Android One) or Android 7.1 Nougat (U.S.)
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, front-mounted scanner, IP67, NFC, Edge Sense, etc.

Keep in mind that the HTC U11 Life is coming from the age of bezels and like the others above, there’s no 3.5mm audio jack. On the brighter side, you get Oreo and Treble out of the box (global version) alongside premium features like IP67 dust and water resistance as well as HTC’s Edge Sense.

Getting hold of the U11 Life in India can be a real hassle. Fortunately, there’s the HTC U Play that came out in early 2017. The U Play is mostly the same as the U11 Life, only that the former gets a MediaTek Helio P10 chipset, a slightly smaller 2500mAh battery with fast charging, and runs Android Marshmallow out of the box. The U Play costs INR 20,048.

HTC Desire 12+

HTC Desire 12 Plus

HTC’s latest attempt to storm the budget segment is the Desire 12 and Desire 12+. However, the former is out of this race mainly because it comes with Android Nougat out of the box alongside a MediaTek Helio chipset, something that doesn’t sit well with anyone hoping for future software updates. However, if you want a small-sized budget smartphone from HTC with the latest 18:9 design, there’s no going past the standard Desire 12.

As for the Desire 12+, you are getting a device that conforms to the latest design standards, has a powerful budget processor from Qualcomm, rocks a dual-lens camera and above all, it comes preinstalled with Android Oreo and thus supports Project Treble out of the box. The screen size is as huge as it gets, but due to its budget status, the quality isn’t similar to what you get with the likes of HTC U11+ or even the midrange U11 EYEs.

Specs:

  • 6.0-inch 18:9 LCD HD+ display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor
  • 3GB RAM and 32GB storage (expandable up to 256GB)
  • Dual 13MP + 2MP main camera and 8MP front camera
  • 2965mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB, rear-mounted scanner, 3.5mm audio jack, etc.

Having been launched a while ago, the HTC Desire 12+ is not yet available for purchase, but it should start selling in April 2018.

Wrap up

HTC isn’t planning to launch a huge list of phones this year. Unlike last year, the rumored HTC U12+ will reportedly be the only flagship device HTC releases this year. This means we can expect some changes at the top of this list. As for the midrange and budget segments, there should be more phones coming in later this year and based on what they bring to the table, we may also see some changes to the current list.

So, does this list satisfy your hunt for the best HTC phones to buy in 2018? If yes, let us know which device in your comments below and if otherwise, well, talk to us in the same comments section.

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Each one Reach one Teach one. Football Droid. Email: hillary@theandroidsoul.com