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The HTC Breeze and HTC Desire 12: Everything you need to know

HTC to bring back the Desire name with the Desire 12 smartphone

HTC U11 Life review back angle
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

HTC isn’t set to reveal a flagship phone at MWC 2018, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t bring another phone, the tricksy scamp. The recent HTC U11 Life was a good budget offering from the Taiwanese company, offering decent specifications that were unfortunately let down by an aged look. Well, whispers have begun that HTC is planning a new entry-level handset, and it looks to be something far more 2018.

Here’s everything we know about the HTC Breeze, which may eventually be named the Desire 12.

Name and release

It’s unlikely HTC will call the new phone the Breeze when it’s released, but it may be a new entry into the company’s long-running Desire series, usually reserved for midrange and low-cost phones. The Breeze has been tipped to become the HTC Desire 12 upon release.

It’s possible the phone may make a quiet appearance at Mobile World Congress, although it won’t be shown off at a glitzy launch event. If not, expect a press release to herald the phone’s arrival in the near future.

Features and specs

The HTC Breeze, or Desire 12, isn’t going to be a flagship phone, and various leaks have given us a look at the modest specification list. The latest comes from the retail box for the Desire 12, and it echoes much of what we have heard from previous rumors. A MediaTek chip with 3GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch screen, a MicroSD card slot, a 2,730mAh battery, and two cameras. The rear camera is listed with 12 megapixels, and the front with 5 megapixels.

The retail box does give us one new piece of information, and that is a screen resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels, which is also known as HD+, and is in-line with the phone having an 18:9 aspect ratio display. Before this, much of what we know about the Breeze/Desire 12’s specs came from a tweet by mobile leaker Evan Blass.

HTC's got an upcoming 5.5" phone, Breeze (second time as HTC codename), that's mostly notable for pushing full screen, 18:9 aspect ratio down to entry level. Therefore specs are nothing special (Mediatek SoC, 2/16GB, 13/5MP, 2730mAh, etc), and it should be priced to reflect that.

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 4, 2018

Despite being previously relegated to the status of “phablet,” don’t be put off by the 5.5-inch screen size. This is fairly small in the world of bezel-less, 18:9 aspect ratio phone designs, so you can expect it be relatively petite in the hand — or to have larger bezels than we would expect from an 18:9 design. The leak disagreed with the retail box, stating 2GB of RAM rather than 3GB, but did agree with a MediaTek processor.

The camera specs are also slightly different, with the rear camera potentially between 12 megapixels and 13 megapixels. This is most likely down to conflicting unofficial information describing the same sensor. The 2,730mAh battery could be enough to see the phone through a standard workday — but we’d have to spend time with the phone to be sure. A 5.5-inch screen is still a heavy draw on battery power, though.

The question remains: Will the HTC Breeze be good enough to stand alone in a competitive market? It will need a significant price difference to beat the Honor 7X with these specs, and we’ll have to wait to see more to know for sure.  We’ll update here when more is revealed about the phone.

Updated on February 20: Added rumors the HTC Breeze will be named the Desire 12.

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