HTC U12+ Review: Display


In January, Google acquired HTC's 2,000-person mobile phone R&D team, which included the design and development department of the original Pixel series of mobile phones. After losing a large number of technicians, the fate of HTC mobile phones may become the empty shell of ODM like Nokia and Sharp. U12+ is currently priced at RMB 5,888 (about $850). In addition to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and IP68 dust and water resistance, the U12+ also supports 24-bit 96 kHz Hi-Res stereo audio video tracks play back. But Soomal believes that consumers' demands on it can be more than that. The performance of the screen is also of concern to readers.


The U12 screen is a 6-inch, 2880x1440 resolution IPS panel with a 2:1 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 537 PPI. HTC's SuperLCD is only a business concept, and the panel technology is less relevant, and the specific suppliers of the panel are unknown. According to the projection size of the fuselage and the ratio of the screen size, the U12+ screen accounts for about 83%, and the fingerprint recognition area is placed on the back. There is no navigation and home button on the front of the screen. Of course, the U12+ has no physical buttons. The volume and power buttons on the side are similar to the digital vibration feedback of the Apple Tapic Engine. This design can isolate this part of the circuit and reduce the chance of water entering the circuit. . The difference between the thickness of the forehead and the sides of the screen and the previous generation is not obvious.

U12 runs Android 8.0 system, supports HDR multimedia content playback, provides sRGB and DCI-P3 two color display modes, provides a global preset color display mode is the simplest system color management method, users can take their own needs, but the color temperature adjustment option is canceled, only an eye color mode with a low color temperature. By convention, the objective performance index test of color and brightness of the screen is completed by SpectraCal Calman. Unless otherwise stated, the color and brightness performance are based on industry standard

Another highlight of the Find X design is the dual edge-curved AMOLED display, which is rare in domestic mobile phones. Many people consider that the reason why Find X is more beautiful than NEX is that the curved screen can visually reduce the thickness of the borders on both sides or even disappear. The panel hardware provided by Samsung for OPPO and vivo is basically the same, flexible OLED. Whether it adopts curved surface design depends on the needs of mobile phone manufacturers. The screen to body ratio of Find X is therefore over 93%, but the difference in the thickness of the border at the bottom of the screen is not obvious. In addition, the grip and weight control are relatively better than NEX S and Find X's 186 grams is lighter than NEX S. However, the 3.5mm headphone jack has been eliminated, but on the other hand, it can also be considered to match the Type-C headphone active adapter of Musiland or HTC or directly connect to the more mainstream Bluetooth wireless headset.

Comparision HTC U12+ sRGB HTC U12+ vivo NEX S OnePlus 6 Huawei P20 Pro Samsung Galaxy S9 iPhone X
Brightness cd/m2 371-410 371-410 405-554 436-621 422-597 344-659 530-649
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.21 2.2 2.29 2.26 2.28 2.16 2.22
Average Color Temperature K 6204 7474 6586 6258 6230 6467 6638
Average Luminance Error 3.05 4.87 2.52 3.35 2.12 2.32 1.53
Comparision HTC U12+ sRGB HTC U12+ NEX S Huawei P20 Pro Samsung Galaxy S9 iPhone X
Color Gamut(sRGB) 99.76% 133% 99.9% 103.77% 103.27% 100.5%
Average Color Error 2.31 4.3 2.42 1.71 1.4 1.15
Largest Color Error 4.57 7.32 4.49 3.5 1.4 1.15
  • Max Screen Brightness (cd/m2 or nits): The maximum brightness one screen could reach, without considering glass quality, algorithm or dynamic adjusting. Over 500 cd/m2 can be used under strong light, below 400 cd/m2 will be to use.
    Gamma 2.2: Gamma value is the key factor in contrast display. Our eyes do not perceive light the way cameras do. Under sRGB, if the gamma value is 2.2, the tonal range is just what human eyes receive. Lower than 2.2, the contrast will go down, otherwise, it will go up. Except the gamma value, we have to see form the picture if the red, green and blue curve overlap, if not, different color contrast will be different. The value between 2.1 to 2.3 is qualified for display, while if the value is below 2 or over 2.4, the contrast will be lower or higher than standard.
    Average Color of White: The average color temperature in degrees, D65 with 6500 K is the standard color of White for most Consumer Content and needed for accurate color reproduction of all images. Higher than 6500K will tend to be cold, otherwise will be warm.
    Color difference: A measurement used to indicate how much a color deviates from standard. The higher the E, the more inaccurate the color. This is because the human eye is only capable of detecting color difference at certain thresholds. It is hard to detect if average E is below 5, less than average 3 E and less than 5 E is excellent, the smaller the E is, the better the color is. Between 5 to 10 E is detectable, over 10E is significantly detectable.
    Color Gamut(sRGB): The specific range of colors that one device is able to display. Our test is based on sRGB. If wide-gamut device is tested, Adobe RGB or NTSC gamut will be noted for reference. Display with over 90% will be enough for everyday use, higher than a certain percentage will not affect using experience significantly. However, photo playback requires precisely range, 10bit video requires wider gamut.
    Restricted by our devices, we will not test the viewing angle. On average, more than 30 would bring over 50% brightness loss.

Professional Color Evaluation

The Gamma 2.2 of the U12+ screen is stable, and the contrast and gradation of the color perform better. However, due to the inability to adjust the color temperature of the screen, U12+ does not play more accurate grayscale and color registration. In P3 color mode, the color temperature is somewhat high, close to 7500K level; while sRGB mode is slightly lower than the standard 6500K level, but The color quasi-performance has been close to the excellent level, the color gamut coverage has basically reached 100%, and there is no phenomenon of color dynamic loss, which has good reference for applications such as photo color contrast.


Since the U12+'s screen color mode is controllable, everyday web pages, photo albums, and social applications in sRGB mode do not suffer from visible loss of warm color or insufficient color saturation. However, the brightness is a short board with a relatively obvious U12+ screen. The peak brightness is only 410cd/m2, and the maximum brightness of the manual brightness mode is 370. It barely meets the minimum brightness requirement of HDR10. We believe that for better readability of the contents, the brightness above 500cd/m2 is the baseline under outdoor solar light, otherwise the user is more difficult to see when the sunlight is strong.


U12+'s screen touch is In-Cell Display. The color contrast and viewing angle of the screen are of a good level. The screen is also black enough. When viewing horizontally, the brightness and contrast are slightly lost. HTC U12+ is still sticking to the technical route of LCD panel. Compared with U11, the most important advancement is to provide sRGB mode to make color performance more stable, users can choose according to their own interests and preferences. However, the brightness of the screen is not good enough, which will inevitably affect the user's experience in outdoor use and taking pictures.

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