HTC Desire 12 and 12 Plus launch with 'new-retro' features at a lower cost

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HTC has unveiled the Desire 12 and 12 Plus, two phones that bring the new, longer 18:9 screen format at a lower cost.

The Desire 12 has a 5.5-inch screen with less bezel around the side, and offers a single 13MP sensor on the rear of the phone, with an f/2.2 aperture sensor. 

It's got 2GB of RAM with 16GB of onboard storage, or 3GB if you go for the 32GB capacity, and both variants are capable of handling up to 2TB micro SD cards.

Inside is a Mediatek quad-core CPU, which hints at a lower cost for the phone, as does the fact the HTC Desire 12 screen is only a 5.5-inch HD panel.

That means a resolution of 720 x 1440, and it's a long way from the QHD of the top-end Samsung Galaxy S9, for instance.

The HTC Desire 12

The HTC Desire 12 Plus pumps things up a little, and will clearly be the more expensive of the two, although has the same lower resolution. 

The main change is to the camera on the rear of the phone, with the 13MP sensor joined by a 2MP option, designed to give some background blur bokeh effects.

It's a hint to the past here, where HTC was one of the first brands out there to bring dual sensors to the market, with the HTC One M8 offering the same depth perception.

The retro twist doesn't stop there on these phones, as both will have a similar acrylic glass rear to the HTC U11, although stop short of using the same Liquid Glass technique that made those phones look so stunning.

The HTC Desire 12+ is also running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 CPU under the hood, with slightly more grunt being fed into the handset. Whether that's the reason the Desire 12 Plus is running Android Oreo and the smaller Desire 12 an unknown version of Android remains to be seen, though.

The annoying thing is we don't know what that price will be on either of these, so it's hard to see if these are mid-range or low-end phones, with competitor brands already filling that space.

But if we base it on HTC's efforts in the past, then we can assume it'll be at a slightly higher cost than we expect, so we'll probably be seeing both of these phones shipping for above £200 (around $280, AU$360). 

However, they do come with HTC's decent Sense software, which brings a more professional and premium experience to the mix, combined with the stronger build quality we still expect from the brand.

When you'll be able to get your hands on these phones is still anyone's guess, with pricing and regional availability still to be confirmed, but we'd expect these to start rolling onto shelves between April and May.