HTC Desire 12 and Desire 12+ marry mid-range specs with good looks

Offering high-end internals is only one of the ways to motivate customers to buy a particular smartphone. HTC is betting on a fancy finish to spark purchases of its new mid-range Desire 12 and Desire 12+ handsets. The new phones' headlining feature is the "acrylic glass" body that mimics the look of the company's glass-finished U11 phones but purportedly offers increased shatter resistance. Let's take a deeper look.

HTC Desire 12 (left) and Desire 12+ (right)

Both models' screens share a 1440x720 resolution and a math teacher-infuriating 18:9 aspect ratio. The regular Desire 12's display measures 5.5" (14 cm) diagonally and the 12+ pumps it up to 6" (15.2 cm). Their screens' side bezels look pretty small—a nod to the edge-to-edge displays found on current crop of flagship phones.

The Desire 12 gets a MediaTek Helio MT6739 four-core ARM Cortex-A53 SoC and 2 GB or 3 GB of system memory. Graphics horsepower comes by way of a PowerVR GE8100 graphics processor. Buyers can choose between versions with either 16 GB or 32 GB of onboard storage capacity. The fancier Desire 12+ swaps out the MediaTek chip for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 with eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores churning at up to 1.8 GHz. The SoC's Adreno 506 GPU handles pixel-pushing duties. The plus-labeled handset gets gets 3 GB of memory and 32 GB of storage as standard.

HTC Desire 12

The surprisingly-significant differences between the Desire 12 and the 12+ continue on their camera setups. The Desire 12's out-facing camera is a 13-megapixel number, while the Desire 12+ adds a second 2-MP sensor for adding bokeh effects to photos. The self-portrait cameras are also different. The regular Desire 12 gets a 5-MP snapper and the 12+ ups the ante with an 8-MP unit. Both phones' cameras have a face-detection feature.

HTC Desire 12+

Both phones get headphone jacks to go along with their Micro-USB ports. If the integrated flash storage isn't enough, users can fit microSD cards as large as 2 TB. The back of the Desire 12+ is decked out with a fingerprint sensor. Despite the very different SoCs, both models have the same Cat.4 LTE capability. The Desire 12 has a 2730-mAh battery and the larger phone gets a 2956-mAh pack.

The manufacturer says the Desire 12+ will run "Android 8.0 with HTC Sense." There's no OS version info for the Desire 12 other than it runs Android. The company's silence on the software front coupled with the big gulf in hardware specs between the models suggests the Desire 12 could be stuck with Android Nougat.

HTC was coy about pricing and availability for the Desire 12 and Desire 12+. The company reportedly let on to Engadget that dollar figures and available finishes would vary by region. GSMArena says the Desire 12+ should go for between 235€ and 249€ in Europe (about $240 to $254 without VAT), and that the lower-end Desire 12 should set buyers back 185€ to 199€ ($188 to $203).

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