We asked about the HTC U12 Plus this week, and the fact that what we had to ask tells you part of the story with the once-behemoth Taiwanese smartphone maker.
HTC has its long history with Android, but there’s been a long slow slide from an important brand to an alternative, and the problem that HTC doesn’t have the cut-through it once did.
Hence our simple poll question: Is the HTC U12 Plus hot, or not?
We could’ve thrown arguments at you from both sides, we could’ve fed you information, we could’ve guided the debated. But, we didn’t. We just wanted to hear your thoughts: hot, or not.
What’s immediately clear from the poll is that HTC doesn’t invoke as much interest as it deserves. The U12 Plus looks like a strong device, but our poll numbers fell off a cliff this week. We know that this kind of poll about a particular device or brand tends not to gain as many votes on broader trends or concepts that are more debateable, no matter what your budget or your brand of choice.
So, a lower vote makes some sense: if you haven’t seen the device you might not yet have an opinion, or you’re simply just invested in another brand and ecosystem so you hold off from contributing.
But our poll numbers from last week’s 65,000 plus in total fell down to around 25,000. YouTube poll numbers alone fell from 44,000 to 10,000. Ouch!
It’s not exactly rigorous hard science to present this as truly significant, but there’s only one theory that makes sene here: the HTC U12 Plus couldn’t even get a reaction. Even asking questions about being able to remap the LG G7’s Google Assistant button, another fringe sort of poll, did at least double those numbers.
Onto the results though, and for those that did vote, it’s actually a divergent set of results.
The first result from our website poll shows a great win for HTC – nearly 80 percent think its hot! That’s a solid result. We’ve always been inclined to believe those that are voting on the website are a little more on the enthusiast side and very deeply interested in new phones and flagships. So that’s our theory on this positive result – the enthusiasts have found something they like. Will they buy it though?
Here’s what website voters said:
From there though, only Instagram voters were in clear agreement. 63 percent said it was hot. The YouTubers delivered a slight win at 53 percent, Twitter users were line-ball at 51 percent hot, while the Facebook poll handed HTC an outright loss, with 55 percent voting not hot.
Here’s a sample of the comments these results:
And the usual comment if there’s a phone without a headphone jack, even if HTC bundle in wireless headphones, BoomSound, Hi-Fi Quad DAC… the list goes on:
One other interesting feature of the comments was that a number of comments weren’t actually sure of what HTC did offer, or voted based on misinformation.
Some people said HTC UI looked ugly and had too much bloatware. But for at least several generations, the HTC experience has been close to stock Android, with ever reducing bloatware, which could mean the phones aren’t being seen enough. Others argued about the phone being buttonless and a risk, although that too is a slight misnomer: the phone has buttons, but the buttons don’t click, they’re pressure-sensitive. That adds more modes to each button, and we’ll discuss exactly how that feels in our coming extended review.
But the takeaway is that HTC isn’t getting its message across clearly. And that people aren’t picking up the new phones – or maybe they can’t, considering the lack of retail or carrier relationships that HTC has in its pocket. And their price tag – some $270 more than the OnePlus 6 at RRP, and fighting with the Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhones at the highest-of-high prices.
It’s easy for us to be on the outside, and many comments said they’d actually love nothing more than to see the company return to the top. But all we’re hearing is that HTC aren’t making it easy for themselves with their pricing a massive problem. Let us know down below your insights or thoughts on the results, and thanks for your votes and comments. See you next week!