HTC U12+ is here! It’s exactly as rumored and predictive, but with something completely new: no physical buttons! We only have capacitive buttons folks and I’m not even kidding. HTC decided to only launch a Plus version this year, no basic HTC U12 and that’s how the device came to be. It’s priced at $799 and we did a quick pre review of it below.

In my 20 minutes spent with the device I found it to be very comfy for its big size and I loved the new hue of Flame Red. Yes, it’s similar to the Galaxy S9+ Lilac, but has a different way of catching light. There’s also a blue version of the smartphone, with a transparent back of the case, letting you see some parts. And then there’s the Black version.

HTC U12+ does a lot of cutting, from the screen bezels of the HTC U11+ and from the weight and thickness and you can see and feel it. I was shocked to see there are no physically pressable buttons on the side, replaced with capacitive buttons, which I something we’ve heard of even back in the days of the HTC Ocean concept. Using them feels as bizarre as using the iPhone Home button which became capacitive instead of the physical with the iPhone 7. If you got used to that, you can get used to this.

The capacitive buttons emit a small vibration, which simulate the physical feedback. HTC U12+ packs a 6 inch Super LCD 6 display with Quad HD+ resolution and 18:9 aspect. Audio jack? Still gone. Premium Dolby and BoomSound HiFi speakers? Here, two of them, with stereo. There’s also an amp for each of them. The Edge Sense feature reaches version 2.0, which means extra functions, commands and ways of squeezing.

You can keep the sides squeezed, squeeze once and a few other gestures. There’s still that semicircular menu with shortcuts and widgets, which I still find useless, to be honest… On the camera front, there’s a 12 MP + 16 MP shooter at the back, with Bokeh, OIS and all the goodies, including RAW capture and 4K 60 FPS video capture. Upfront there are also two cameras, 8 MP ones and from what I’ve heard OIS is also available here, but I’m not very sure.

HTC U12+ relies on a 3500 mAh battery and runs on Android 8.0 Oreo, looking pretty clean, customizable and also including BlinkFeed in the package. There’s Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant available as options, plus AI suggestions, that teaches you how to do a variety of things and change settings. Back to the camera, it does 2X optical zoom, laser focus, dual PDAF, and the screen can be used as a “flash” for the front camera.

HTC didn’t bother with Super Slow Motion, but they did include a 480 FPS Full HD video capture. Digital zoom goes up to 10X and should be mint, from the samples I’ve seen. I see that the device has a special feature, which lets you do zooming both in image and audio, so you can focus on the member of a band for example. By the way, there’s also a Snapdragon 845 GB and 6 GB of RAM.

Seeing how the HTC U11 performed, I have great expectations from the camera. Hopefully the stabilization is great, because the rivals got that locked this year (Galaxy S9, Xperia XZ2). HTC stuck to its guns and didn’t use a notch, gave up on the audio jack again and kept its design approach, but slimmer and lighter. I feel that the core fans of the brand will love the phone and if gets any goodies from the quality of the Pixel 2 made by HTC it should be a hitter.

The price is pretty good I’d say and I want to learn more about the camera before giving out judgement. Nice back Liquid Surface though and it doesn’t seem to get as smudged as other glassy phones out there.