HTC has always worked hard to make its products different. This phone has an HTC Sense layer on top of Android, and although it is not extremely different, there are minor visual differences and extra functionalities. We’ll go over the most important ones for this particular phone.

HTC Edge Sense 2

This second version makes its debut with this handset. Edge Sense lets you squeeze the handset to trigger pre-programmed functions. Thanks to the pressure sensors along the left/right edges of the phone, you can also thumb-tap to have the UI reduced for an optimal one-hand experience. It can detect if you are tapping with the right or left hand (based on grip assumptions).

The actions triggered by Edge Sense 2 are programmable, and although you can’t do “everything” you want, most people can do many things they need.

Edge sense is a great idea, but the implementation sometimes don’t trigger, or triggers when you don’t want it to. It is really hard to “sense” things this way, so it’s not clear how much can be improved with a software update, and how much won’t change.

Electronic Power and Volume buttons

As we mentioned earlier in the Design chapter, the Power and Volume buttons are soft-buttons. They are protruding, but don’t click or move. A sensor registers the action and a vibration sends some tactile feedback. The vibration doesn’t really replace the tactile feel, but at least, you know that the press was registered.

The whole system suffers slightly from a small, but perceptible lag. The same lag seems to prevent the proper registration of quick actions such as a double-press on the volume rocker, which is a very frequent action when you quickly want to lower the sound. Instead, you have to single-press slowly and wait for the system to react.

That’s why it is better to launch the camera with a Squeeze, because a double-press on Power wouldn’t cut it. It bothers me somewhat, and although I appreciate that someone explored this possibility, I would rather have no lag and real buttons.

Smart Rotate

This is a great feature that prevents an auto-rotate at the wrong time. Sometimes, you want to lay down on your side, and keep the phone in portrait mode. Unfortunately the gyroscope often tells Android to switch to landscape at that moment.

With Smart Rotate, the HTC 12+ knows how you are holding the phone and can infer if you would want a rotation or not. Changing the grip of the phone will trigger a rotation. In general, this works very well and makes sense. Google has been working on an Android 9 feature to address the same issue. You won’t have to wait for Android 9 to avoid the auto-rotate false positive annoyances.

Overall product rating: 8/10

Filed in Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about Android, HTC, HTC U12 Plus.

537 PPI
~$799 - Amazon
12 MP
F1.75 Aperture F-Stop
188 g
3500 mAh
No Wireless Charg.
Launched in
Snapdragon 845 + MicroSD
Storage (GB)
64, 128
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