HTC had been a pioneer in camera technology on smartphones and with HTC U12+, things remain same. This time around, there are four cameras on phone, two on front and two at rear of device. At rear, phone has a dual camera setup with 12 MP + 16 MP sensors with an f/1.8 and f/2.6 aperture respectively. Both cameras have both Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS). Camera also has auto-focus and 2x optical zoom found on most flagship devices of 2018.
Cameras on this phone can take amazing shots in well-lit areas, and very good shots in low-light settings. Low-light performance isn't as good as Huawei P20 Pro, but it is a step up from HTC U11. And that's saying something. Rear cameras on phone provide rich colors and tons of detail in most shots.
During my camera test, pictures I took from HTC U12+ lack a bit of saturation as compared to images from Google Pixel 2. Also, Samsung Galaxy S9's camera took brighter images but overall, HTC U12+ did not lack behind both of these devices from a huge margin. HTC is slowly but surely adding more features to its camera app. There's still a pro mode if you want more control over your photos, as well as panorama, hyperlapse, and slow motion video modes. Camera app itself is a bit laggier than Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 2, but only by milliseconds, it's barely worth mentioning here.
Dual-camera setup allows HTC U12+ to take portrait shots with a bokeh effect, just like most other phones. There are two different ways to take bokeh shots: automatically or manually. Automatic bokeh shots snap a photo and have HTC's camera app decide how much to blur the background, while manual bokeh mode lets you adjust a slider before you take photo. You can also edit amount of blur after photo has been taken, too. Bokeh shots turn out okay for most part, but only if there's plenty of light surrounding your subject. Phone has edge detection issues just like most other devices, but I haven't run into as many problems as I would have expected. Photos taken with portrait mode also lack color accuracy, more so than any other phone I've used.
HTC U12+ can shoot videos up to 4K at 60fps, and shoot slow motion video in 1080p at 240fps. Phone doesn't offer higher frame rates in slow motion like Samsung Galaxy S9, but 1080p at 240fps should be fine for most people. Also, making its return is Sonic Zoom (formerly known as Acoustic Focus), which lets you zoom in on a subject while shooting video to amplify subject's sound. It works really well, and HTC says it's 60 percent louder and 33 percent more focused this time around.
On front, there are two 8MP camera sensors, each with an aperture of f/2.0 and an 84-degree field of view. There's no OIS with front cameras though, so you'll experience some shaky videos if you tend to vlog with your phone. Selfies taken with HTC U12+ are generally good, though it can be hard to capture a clear photo if you're not completely still. There's also a beauty mode built into camera app that lets you adjust your face for smoothness, brightness, eye size, and face structure. This mode overpowers way too much at times, even at lowest settings and I personally think that you're better off just turning this off altogether.
There were some issues with HTC U12+'s camera as well. I ran into a few inconsistencies with portrait mode on front-facing camera. Phone struggles to tell hair and background apart much more often than with rear-facing camera. You'll just have to make sure you're in a well-lit area if you want portrait mode to look good. There are new AR stickers built into camera app, which can be used with front or rear cameras. There are some fun ones like dogs, pandas, or cats, but also some questionable ones. I also ran into a weird performance issue quite frequently where HTC U12+ drastically changes exposure level when focusing on a subject. If sensors pick up too much light, camera app will flicker and crush all blacks almost immediately. There's no smooth transition between a well-lit setting and a low-light setting. I'm hoping this issue can be fixed with a software update, because it can get extremely annoying.
Overall, I would like to say that if you're looking for a phone with a good camera, HTC U12+ won't disappoint you.