HTC is going through a significant period of change but we're still looking ahead to its next flagship phone. Here's what we know about the HTC U12 release date and specs so far.

When is the HTC U12 release date?

You might have heard about HTC's deal with Google and rightly wondering about whether this means there will be any more new phones from the company going forward – and you'd be right to do so.

If you haven't heard about it, HTC has agreed a deal with Google. It's a 'Cooperation Agreement' rather than a buyout or acquisition, but does include $1.1bn in cash.

In a nutshell, some employees are moving to Google and the latter will gain a non-exclusive licence for HTC intellectual property. That said, it appears HTC will continue to make and sell smartphones.

"This agreement also supports HTC’s continued branded smartphone strategy, enabling a more streamlined product portfolio, greater operational efficiency and financial flexibility," says a statement from HTC.

It adds that the company will retain 'best-in-class engineering talent' which is 'currently working on the next flagship phone'. From this we can assume that the HTC U12 is on its way.

So we know HTC is working on a follow-up to the U11 and should it come to fruition, we expect it to be announced around May 2018. HTC is a slightly tricky one to pin down as the last three flagship devices have been announced in March, April and May – with the latter two going on sale the following month.

HTC announced the HTC U11+ and HTC U11 Life earlier this week.

What are the rumoured new features and specifications of the HTC U12?

It's too early for any decent concrete leaks about the U12 but we'll keep an eye out. However, there are a couple of interesting concepts out there giving us a look at what HTC's 2018 flagship might look like.

The first, below, shows a design similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6. It features tiny bezels at the top and bottom in order to fit in a 5.7in 4K display with curved corners, according to Gizmochina.

HTC U12 leak

More design changes are in force with HTC going back to a metal casing, rather than the shiny glass of the U11 and there's no visible fingerprint scanner. Gizmochina suggests that Qualcomm's under-display sensor tech will be in use.

Other rumours specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There are JBL speakers but no headphone jack, a 16Mp front facing camera and dual rear cameras.

The concept of dual-cameras has seemingly been confirmed by HTC itself, which says it will start producing dual-camera phones again next year.

Another HTC U12 concept looks similar at the front, albeit with stereo speakers and no rounded corners on the screen. At the back it's also showing a metal design but a single camera and fingerprint scanner.