HTC is not expected to release many smartphones this year. The HTC U12+ (code-named “Imagine”) will be the company’s flagship phone, but the company hasn’t stopped releasing mid-range phones. The HTC Desire 12 and the Desire 12+ have been in the rumors for the past couple of months and HTC officially launched the two “mid-range” devices on Tuesday.
In the past few years, the company hasn’t been known for providing exceptional value in budget or mid-range phones. Competitors have outperformed them in this area. The HTC Desire 12 and the Desire 12+ are HTC’s latest attempt to make competitive mid-range phones, so let’s take a look at the specifications.
HTC Desire 12
On first glance, the HTC Desire 12 looks similar to flagship HTC phones with an acrylic back. It has a 5.5-inch HD+ (1440×720) IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The display’s resolution is arguably too low for its size, although it’s worth noting that the screen area of a 5.5-inch 18:9 display is less than that of a 5.5-inch 16:9 display.
The phone is powered by a MediaTek MT6739 system-on-chip, which is the successor to the MT6737m. There is not much to say here as the MT6739 is an entry-level SoC raises doubts about the “mid-range” nature of the Desire 12. The SoC has only a single quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 cluster, and the PowerVR GE8100 GPU isn’t anything to boast about either. RAM is either 2GB or 3GB, paired with either 16GB or 32GB internal storage, along with a microSD card slot.
The Desire 12 has a 13MP rear camera with a f/2.2 aperture, and it can record Full HD video. The phone has a 5MP front camera with a f/2.4 aperture.
It’s powered by a 2730mAh battery, and it runs HTC Sense on top of Android Nougat. Strangely, the phone does not have a fingerprint sensor. This is a poor decision on HTC’s part when considering the fact that even $100 phones have fingerprint sensors these days. The pricing of the Desire 12 ranges between €185 and €199, depending on the market.
HTC Desire 12+
The Desire 12+ has the better specifications of the duo. It has the same design as the Desire 12, but features a bigger 6-inch HD+ (1440×720) 18:9 IPS display. The display resolution is certainly too low for its size here.
The phone also features a better SoC: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450. This is considerably better than the MediaTek MT6739, as it’s a downgraded variant of the popular Snapdragon 625. The chip comes with eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz paired with the Adreno 506 GPU. There is 3GB of RAM paired with 32GB of storage along with a microSD card slot.
The Desire 12+ has dual rear cameras. The primary camera is 13MP with a f/2.2 aperture, and there is a 2MP depth-sensing secondary camera. On the front, there is an 8MP front camera with a f/2.0 aperture.
The phone does have a rear fingerprint sensor, which is another upgrade over the Desire 12. In terms of software, it’s powered by HTC Sense on top of Android 8.0 Oreo – which means it’s required to have Project Treble support.
Both phones have 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, micro-USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack (which is absent on HTC’s flagship phones). The Desire 12+ is powered by a 2965mAh battery. It is already said to be on pre-order, and it costs between €235 and €249, depending on the market.
Our view: HTC’s new phones look nice from a design perspective. The presence of 18:9 displays is also a plus point. However, the specifications of both devices are weak in the face of strong competition in the budget and mid-range price segments. The Desire 12 shows a series of regrettable decisions made by HTC, ranging from the lack of a fingerprint sensor to the inclusion of MediaTek’s entry-level MT6739 SoC. The software on the Desire 12 is also a disappointment as the phone will launch with Android Nougat, while the Desire 12+ comes with Android Oreo.
The prices of the two devices aren’t competitive with the likes of Xiaomi and Honor, so it remains to be seen how well they will perform in the market.