Last year, only a few months after the debut of the flagship U11, HTC introduced a new product “Life”, starting with the U11 Life. While the company did a surface-deep impression of the U11 Life’s design, cheap-feeling materials and a price that was just a little too high kept it from really being a competitive option for shoppers on a budget.
Now, the HTC U12 Life has been launched. Compared to the U11 Life, the HTC U12 Life got rid of the IP rating, reintroduced the 3.5mm headphone jack, swapped out the display technology, decreased the selfie camera resolution and bumped the screen size significantly.
Announced at IFA 2018 in Berlin, the HTC U12 Life features a reduction in resolution, power and camera capabilities compared to the U12 Plus, but it does build significantly on 2017’s HTC U11 Life, making it a much more attractive affordable smartphone.
The HTC U12 Life continues with the premium unibody form factor that HTC has employed for a number of years now, with the Optical Spectrum Hybrid Deposition finish featuring layers of glass with various metallic elements added to them to create a color-shifting effect. The HTC U12 Life will come in Moonlight Blue and Twilight Purple. Both options change color depending on their environment and what they’re reflecting, shifting from bright blue and silver to deep navy and purple.
The bottom two-thirds of the phone has been etched with “3D Ultra Stripes” for better grip and fewer fingerprints. The U12 Life adds a hybrid dual-SIM tray that you can insert a microSD card in if you need additional storage, a nice upgrade from the U11 Life.
HTC revealed that it produced a number of different rear finish combinations for the phone, and believes this layout on the U12 Life is the best balance, as you’ll rarely place your fingers on the top third of the phone. In the hand the HTC U12 Life looks good, and it’s easy to hold in one hand as it isn’t too heavy.