HTC's U12 Life is its best midranger yet: flagship two-tone design at an enticing price

Check out our thorough hands-on of the HTC U12 Life here

HTC just got to the airwaves at the IFA expo, announcing a well-designed midranger with great specs at affordable pricing - the U12 Life. As the "Life" moniker indicates, it sits a step below the U12+ flagship but doesn't shy away from harboring some top-shelf specs such as up to 6GB RAM and 128GB storage (the highest combo only for the home turf), dual camera, and a big battery.

Specs and display

Where did HTC ping the midrange specs? Well, the 6" display is 1080p, which we can totally live with, and the octa-core chipset is Snapdragon 636, instead of Qualcomm's 8-series. These are the only thing that would preclude the U12 Life from being flagged as a high-end device but are thoughtful compromises that the average user won't even notice, for the sake of significantly lowering the price tag. 


The dual camera on the back is comprised of 16MP main sensor plus a 5MP depth-sensing one for professional bokeh effects, and the chipset is powerful enough to allow you 4K video recording with the kit. At the front, a 13MP selfie-taker would entice you with face detection, beauty mode, and even its own LED flash, sweet!

Design and dimensions

The only ho-hum part about the U12 Life is its footprint, as its chin is fairly large, making the phone measure 158.5 x 75.4 x 8.3mm dimensions. That's a large handset by any means, but since the display is in the tall and narrow aspect, it should still sit comfortably in the hand. To offset the size, HTC's design team made the U12 Life very pleasing to the eye, housing it in a shell with "soft, subtle stripes on an acrylic glass unibody with a metal-like design."

Price and release date

Available in a two-tone finish in Moonlight Blue and Twilight Purple (availability varies by region), the U12 Life comes with Android 8.1 Oreo on board and HTC's renowned Sense interface on top. The combination of this display resolution, HTC's frugal Sense interface, and the power-sipping Snapdragon 636 should do wonders for battery life out of the 3600 mAh pack, so we can't wait to test the endurance of this puppy. It's coming to Europe and Asia early October for the equivalent of just £299 ($390), a great price for this package.

Related phones

U12 Life
  • Display 6.0" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh



1. Tech-shake

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

The problem with htc is that they are still making smartphones for people who care about the htc brand ( there are very few people who care about htc now). Why would I buy this phone while I can get the Nokia 7 plus for the same price yet it has better processor and much better updates system. Nokia actually cares about supporting their devices with security updates and fast major android releases. On the other hand, my brother’s u11 hasn’t received a single update since last November( the situation is universal not just my brtoher’s phone).

2. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

They should lower the price a bit more and it will be a better deal. Atleast it's not a terrible midranger compared to samsung, lg and sony's offerings

3. notfair

Posts: 755; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

can all of the OEMs stop with the glass crap builds?

4. Cat97

Posts: 1935; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

This would be worth it only if it had a camera with OIS. Otherwise you can get a on of Xiaomi models with the same specs at half the price (example: Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera - Snapdragon 636, 4000 mAh battery, 1.4 um pixel primary camera). Or a Pocophone for the same price.


Posts: 196; Member since: May 28, 2018

"HTC's U12 Life is its best midranger yet", how is this better than the Nokia 7 Plus that has a better biuld quality, better Cameras combinaison, better processor, bigger battery, guarantee softwares updates and costs the same price? I'm very disappointed with PA Editors' partiality

6. Lanx1998

Posts: 59; Member since: Mar 06, 2017

You need english classes.

8. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

The key word is "its". Please comprehend...

9. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

LOL. funny thing is u qouted a line in the article without understanding it.

7. peace247 unregistered

or buy a poco phone....

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