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

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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.

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