HTC's Answer to the Galaxy S9 Just Leaked

You may not have noticed, but HTC’s last flagship handset missed the States entirely. It was a mid-cycle update of its U11 model with a larger 18:9 screen dubbed the U11+. And although that phone only debuted in November, we’ve already seen a pretty substantial leak on its possible successor.

Image Credit: VentureBeat

(Image credit: Image Credit: VentureBeat)

The new device will purportedly be called the HTC U12+, and the news comes from VentureBeat reporter Evan Blass, who has a pretty good track record when it comes to smartphone rumors. Blass has published a blurry render of the device, which in terms of design doesn’t look terribly different from the U11+, albeit with dual rear cameras.

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If the render's accurate, this will be the first pair of rear cameras on an HTC phone since the One M8 back in 2014. Those who have been following this stuff long enough may even remember the HTC EVO 3D — one of the first phones ever to have two shooters on the back — though they were used purely to capture images in stereoscopic 3D.

However, the U12+ could double up on cameras on the front as well. According to the leaked image, HTC’s next-gen flagship will boast another pair of 8-megapixel sensors above the display, much like the HTC U11 EYEs, which attempted to extend the shallow depth-of-field portrait craze to selfies.

Blass says the U12+ will employ an LCD screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. That would place it in between the 5.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S9 and 6.2-inch S9+ with respect to pixel density, though HTC’s insistence on using LCD screens is an odd one. Most of the industry, including Apple and LG, has moved on to OLED panels for their flagships, a technology renowned for its superior color accuracy.

According to the report, there's a Snapdragon 845 processor beneath the glass. That's what you get from Samsung’s S9 duo as well as the already announced Sony Xperia XZ2 and Asus ZenFone 5Z. Blass says that the U12+ will launch with 6GB of RAM as standard as well as either 64GB or 128GB of storage and a MicroSD slot for expandability. The RAM spec could be interesting, as 6GB would place it in direct competition with the Galaxy S9+, rather than the smaller of Samsung’s flagships.

Finally, the U12+ is expected to sport HTC’s squeezable Edge Sense technology, which debuted on last year's HTC flagships and now features on Google’s Pixel 2 devices.

As much as we liked the HTC U11 — it was the company’s best phone in years — that model still felt behind the curve in many ways from the moment it launched. If the U12+ can build upon its predecessor’s strong imaging chops with a quartet of cameras and slim down those bezels even further, it could rank among the year’s best premium handsets.