HTC U12 Life

Main features

  • Available. Released 2018, September
  • GSM, HSPA and LTE network technology- 2G, 3G and 4G
  • Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • 6.0 inches, 92.9 cm2 (~77.7% screen-to-body ratio)
  • 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~402 ppi density) resolution
  • Android 8.1 (Oreo)
  • Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 636 (14 nm) chipset
  • Octa-core 1.8 GHz Kryo 260 CPU
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • 128 GB, 6 GB RAM or 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
  • microSD, up to 512 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • Primary camera 16 MP, f/2.0, PDAF
  • -5 MP, depth sensor
  • -Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama
  • -2160p@30fps,1080p@30fps
  • Front facing camera 13 MP, f/2.0
  • –LED flash, HDR, panorama
  • -1080p@30fps
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm jack
  • -Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
  • NFC
  • USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
  • Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3600 mAh battery
  • Available in Moonlight Blue and Twilight Purple

A strong midrange smartphone this is as I will demonstrate in this article. Below are my thoughts about the HTC U12 life.

Design and build

Well, at first sight I thought to myself, “what a beautiful Pixel smartphone,” only to learn later on that it is by Huawei. Yes, the Huawei U12 life speaks the same design language as Google Pixel phones. But who is to blame? Huawei is responsible for designing some Pixel phones so I hear. The back has two partitions, the top which houses a dual camera setup on the top left corner and rear mounted fingerprint scanner is made of glass. A proper fingerprint magnet it is by the way.

The lower section is also made of groovy glass that ensures good grip and that the phone doesn’t slip and slide off surfaces. HTC branding is on the bottom section. We are used to a physical home button cum fingerprint scanner on the lower front bezel of Huawei smartphones, but this time it has been reduced hence cannot accommodate the same. The top bezel however has a selfie camera, speaker and flash. I love that there is a 3.5 mm jack here and the bottom firing speaker is a fairly good one.

There was no official announcement of IP rating for this phone but Huawei says it is splash resistant. A beautiful phone it is, and I love how it comfortably sits in your hands thank to that curvy back.  It weighs about 175 grams.

Display and camera


It is rare to see companies make smartphones with less than 6.0 inches display panels. Somehow we have become used to this. 5.5 used to be the standard size of display but now. Here we get a 6.0 inches capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors. Well, a capacitive display is just okay to be honest, not the best in the market but okay.

There is no need to complain though since included are tweaks that allows you to customize your display to your preference. It has a 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~402 ppi density) resolution and is bright by default allowing it to be visible in whatsoever conditions, outdoors and in direct sunlight included.  With a 92.9 cm2 (~77.7% screen-to-body ratio) you get to interact with a large display estate which makes it enjoyable.


On the back is the main camera. It is a 16 MP, f/2.0, PDAF lens that is supported by a 5 MP depth sensor. What I love about this lens is that it can shoot 4K videos at 30fps and Full HD as well. Photography is good here, just as good as with the front facing camera which is a 13 MP, f/2.0 lens. With it comes an LED flash for those low light scenes.

Now you can take a picture of you even when it is dark. Video shooting for it is up to 1080p@30fps. My judgement for camera performance on the Huawei U12 life is 7.5 out of 10.

Performance and memory


We hope to get OTA update for the Android 8.1 (Oreo) it comes running since Android 9.0 (Pie) has already rolled out. Then it has a beefy Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 636 (14 nm) chipset, comes rocking an Octa-core 1.8 GHz Kryo 260 CPU and Adreno 509 GPU. I say beefy because for the price you get this phone with, Huawei has definitely gifted its customers a good deal here, and on a mid-range smartphone let us not forget.


Choose between a 128 GB, 6 GB RAM or 64 GB, 4 GB RAM Huawei U12 life. Either has support for memory expansion using microSD, up to 512 GB (uses SIM 2 slot). Let me also mention that Huawei has done away with unnecessary apps and features we previously say on Huawei smartphones with the intention of making this one a smooth and seamless device. And worked it has. And with 4 or 6GB of RAM you cannot go wrong.


Its Non-removable Li-Ion 3600 mAh battery lasts quite long. Two days of mixed usage isn’t something you get every day on any phone. But that’s what you get here. And this is on account of the customized platform performance which ensures energy efficiency.

Pros Cons
  • Good design and build
  • Long battery life
  • Impressive video recording (for its price)
  • Fair display

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