The HTC U12+ could be a great phone. As it was when it was released, HTC’s U12+ was just a good phone but with a few glaring bugs, including one that prevented it from being great — Edge Sense 2. HTC is now rolling out an update that promises to fix these key issues.
When we reviewed the HTC U12+, we noticed some serious issues with the touch sensitive buttons and the squeezable edge. After working with HTC on sorting out the issues, we were invited to test the update now rolling out to HTC U12+ devices worldwide which is meant to be bring — “optimisation of Edge Sense as well as pressure sensitive buttons”.
Having used the updated software for a couple of weeks, I can say that the issues are definitely improved, especially around ghost presses on the touch sensitive buttons and on Edge Sense 2. Edge Sense 2 is a lot easier to trigger with the squeezing motion — this one is a good thing though. To make it trigger more consistently requires a more thorough grip than just using your finger tips, such as holding it claw-like.
I have still had a couple of issues with either accidentally triggering the double tap or it doing it faultily but this issue is FAR improved over what it was. HTC has also added in a blue semi-circle to notify of that double tap being made. I wouldn’t get more than one of these a day, making me think that I accidentally triggered it. There is no way to alter the sensitivity of this functionality which may improve it altogether, but I feel that HTC has already done this with this update.
As for the ghost touches — I have not had a single one since the update. This was a major issue for many users of the HTC U12+, both in Australia and around the world. For HTC’s sake, I hope that everyone else sees similar improvement.
The update also brings smoother auto zoom in video recording, the June security patch and some battery and system performance improvements.
Should you buy the HTC U12+ based on this update?
After reviewing the HTC U12+ I was unable to recommend it while parts of the hardware were not working as intended. This update has resolved most — if not all — of these issues. The ghost touches of the pressure sensitive buttons seems to be fixed, the double tap of the pressure sensitive side seems to be mostly fixed and the Edge Sense 2 triggering seems to be a lot more consistent as well.
HTC could still improve the speed with which face unlock works as well as the time from opening camera app until it is ready to shoot. One would hope that this is next on their list of bugs to fix. In saying that they are not glaring issues that would stop you buying the phone.
Six weeks on from the review, I can now say that HTC were right on top of the issues presented at launch — although you do have to wonder how it was not picked up beforehand.
That said, HTC wouldn’t be the first manufacturer to release a phone with a few unforeseen issues. The beta for the update has been out for a few weeks now so it really did not take HTC long to have a fix ready for testing.
At this stage, the HTC U12+ can still be purchased from the HTC website for AU$1,199 which may still be a hard sell; the Huawei P20 Pro with the world’s best camera can be had for under AU$1,100 at a bricks and mortar store.
HTC has earned the description of “great phone” for the HTC U12+, but is it enough to get people to purchase it over the vast number of smartphones in that price bracket? It is a beautiful, stylish phone with some innovative hardware, fast and nearly-stock AOSP Android software.
What I can say is this: if you do buy this phone you will not be disappointed. It is truly great.