“The U12 Life features an attractive dual-tone finish on a chassis made of acrylic glass and metal”

Its glory years might be behind it, but Taiwanese brand HTC is continuing with its streamlined approach of launching new smartphones. Just a couple of months after the unveiling its flagship, the HTC U12+ (first impressions), the company has now introduced an affordable sibling in the form of the U12 Life. We managed to get up close and personal with the mid-ranger, and here’s how our experience went.

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Considering HTC manufactured the Google’s Pixel series of devices, it’s not surprising to see the brand learning a trick or two and implementing them on the U12 Life. The smartphone features a two-tone finish at the back, made with a combination of metal and acrylic glass. Not only does that allow the phone to look different from its peers, it ensures that the handset features a comfortable grip too. Adding to the charm further are the Moonlight Blue and Twilight Purple hues, which are quite eye catching.

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Continuing with the design, the phone follows a standard placement for buttons and ports. Thankfully though, the brand has brought back the 3.5mm headphone socket, something which was missing on both the U12+ and the U11+ (review), and placed it on the bottom of the new phone.

The HTC U12 Life sports a 6-inch display bearing full HD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The screen is able to offer pleasing colours and good sharpness levels. Even though we couldn’t test the phone outdoors, the brightness levels seem to be adequate.

Like many mid-tier smartphones launched this year, the U12 Life is fuelled by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor. The octa-core chipset is mated to either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, depending upon the variant. We’ve already tested this hardware combination on the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (review) and ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 6GB (review), so we’ve no doubts that the HTC smartphone will be able to handle anything that comes at its way. Depending upon the RAM option you go for, the phone will offer 64GB or 128GB of built-in storage. You can also add more space by inserting a microSD card of up to 512GB capacity.

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For photography, the HTC U12 Life offers a 16-megapixel f/2.0 camera at the back, which is accompanied by a 5MP shooter. The combination offers bokeh mode, and the main shooter is also able to capture videos at 4k resolution. Taking care of your selfie requirements is a 13-megapixel sensor on the fascia with an aperture of f/2.0.

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HTC’s U12 Life runs Android 8.1 Oreo with its custom skin layer on top. However, apart from the customised icons and interface, the UI is mostly stock and doesn’t come with any bloatware either. The device sips power from a 3,600mAh battery.

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The HTC U12 Life will be going on sale later this month in select markets across Europe, Asia and Middle East. As far as the pricing is concerned, the smartphone will retail for £300 (~Rs 27,500). As per a report, HTC has wrapped up its Indian operations, so it remains to be seen if the brand’s latest comes to the subcontinent.