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.

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.

Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Gaming

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.
Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Mobile

It hasn't even been announced yet, but you can already reserve the Galaxy S10

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

Moto G7 vs. Nokia 7.1: The battle for budget smartphone supremacy

If you're hunting for a reasonably priced smartphone, then you should definitely be checking out the latest devices from Nokia and Motorola. We compare the Moto G7 to the Nokia 7.1 to find out how they differ and which is better.
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.