Once the king of the Android hill, it’s no secret that HTC has taken a bit of a dive recently. It no longer holds a grip on the market or the minds of even the most enthusiastic smartphone fans. But this is not to say HTC’s phones are flat-out bad. Some have some weird design
Once the king of the Android hill, it’s no secret that HTC has taken a bit of a dive recently. It no longer holds a grip on the market or the minds of even the most enthusiastic smartphone fans.
But this is not to say HTC’s phones are flat-out bad. Some have some weird design decisions, but the company is still turning out accomplished hardware at several price points.
From the slick transparent glass design on the U12 Plus to the more affordable Desire range that apes its looks for less money, we’re still keen on HTC even if rivals like Samsung and Huawei now outshine it in sales.
Here are the best HTC phones and where to buy them for the best price.
1. HTC U11+
Despite the U12+ being out, the U11+ is still the better choice due to the newer phone’s problems.
The U11+ has impressive specs for the price, including 128GB of storage as standard. We also like the upgraded screen and waterproofing, but the phone will be too big and heavy for some.
In the wider market the U11+ doesn’t come out on top in any categories. There are better phones for photography, audio, display and design. Edge Sense is the selling point here but you can get the same thing on the cheaper Pixel 2.
Read our HTC U11+ review.
2. HTC U11
There’s a lot to like about the HTC U11 and while it certainly has flagship level specs, it’s hard to differentiate in the market against the likes of Samsung and LG. The glossy and colourful design is fresh but won’t be for everyone, even though we’re glad it’s finally waterproof. The key is wether you want the squeezable Edge Sense feature which is useful at times but not something we’re blown away by.
Read our HTC U11 review.
3. HTC 10
Despite its age (released in 2016) the HTC 10 is still a good smartphone, available at a decent price. It has solid build quality and a camera that, while not as good as the U11 or U12+, is still pretty good.
It won’t get Android update support for as long as a newer phone but if you can find it for under £300 / $300 then it’s a bit of a steal.
Read our HTC 10 review.
4. HTC U12 Life
HTC is clearly capable of making a decent mid-range smartphone, as we saw with the U11 Life. Its follow-up is quite different, namely the ditching of Android One and Edge Sense, but it makes up for this somewhat elsewhere.
The price is lower so getting the U12 Life for under £300 is an attractive price tag and you get generally decent specs including a large screen, Snapdragon 636 and a big battery. Oh, and the return of a headphone jack.
It’s not perfect though, as not everyone will like the design with its shiny/stripy back. We’d be happier if the HDR camera mode was better but we’re slightly nitpicking.
Read our HTC U12 Life review.
The Desire 12+ is a decent effort at a budget phone and there’s a number of things we like about it. Namely the lightweight and comfortable design and generally good performance.
However, it falls down in a little in some key areas such as the screen which isn’t as crisp as we’d like and the cameras which under-perform.
When you consider that the Honor 9 Lite is the same price and improves on these areas, it’s a bit of a no brainer.
Read our HTC Desire 12+ review.
6. HTC U11 Life
The HTC U11 Life is tidy mid-range phone, it seems the firm is now better at making cheaper handsets than flagships.
Getting 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard is a real plus point here as is the inclusion of Android One for stock software and updates.
Edge Sense is one of the main lures here but the squeeze tech isn’t for everyone so make sure you try it out.
Read our HTC U11 Life review.
7. HTC U12+
The HTC U12 Plus is a disappointment. It takes the strong foundation from the U11 of Edge Sense and a great camera, and massively botches the evolution.
The pressure sensitive buttons are a disaster, and Edge Sense is worse than before. The software has aged badly (largely down to the lack of change) and battery life is bad.
There’s nothing here besides excellent cameras to recommend. And you can get those on any £700 flagship now. This could be the end for HTC.
Read our HTC U12+ review.