We review the new HTC Desire 12 and Desire 12+ smartphones and find them trendy, feature packed and pocket friendly.
A lot of you may not know this but HTC was actually the first company to come out with an Android-based phone. Touted as the ‘HTC Dream’ phone, it paved way for Google to one day take on Apple in the smartphone OS wars.
Back in the day, HTC was a mere manufacturer of notebook computers slowly transitioning into mass production of some of the first touch based wireless devices the world had ever seen. Though initially sold under the ‘QTEK’ brand, it was only years later than in 2006, the line of devices were rebranded to carry the ‘HTC’ logo and heritage.
Today the brand has produced some of the best flagship devices around competing with the likes of other OEMs such as Samsung, Huawei and Apple. HTC seems to have strategically positioned itself to cater to various sectors of the market. However today we are going to be focusing on its ‘Desire’ line of devices meant for the budget conscious. These phones may not dig a deep hole in your pocket but neither do they compromise on their outstanding good looks and snappy performances.
HTC Desire 12 and 12+ Smartphones at a glance
|Specifications||Desire 12||Desire 12+|
|Display||5.5 Inches IPS LCD 720×1440 (293 ppi)||6.0 Inches IPS LCD 720×1440 (268 ppi)|
|Processor||Mediatek MT6739 (Quad Core)||Snapdragon 450 (Octa-Core)|
|Camera||13MP (Rear) + 5MP (Front)||Dual Lens 13MP (Rear) + 8MP Front|
|Operating System||Android 7 Nougat||Android 8 Oreo|
|Storage||32GB Internal and Expandable up to 512GB via hybrid slot||32GB Internal and Expandable up to 512GB via hybrid slot|
|Colors Available||Royal Gold, Warm Silver and Cool Black||Royal Gold, Warm Silver and Cool Black|
HTC Desire 12
What we liked
+ Very reasonably priced and good value for money
+ 18:9 screen aspect ratio makes it a comfortable watch for viewing videos on the go
+ Hybrid sim option
+ Elegant design and color variants
+ Phase detection autofocus and HDR options for a phone in this segment is a huge welcome
+ Good battery life
What we didn’t like
+ Average camera performance
+ No fast charging support
+ Android 7.0 when many phones in this price range are already on Oreo with Android Pie in the pipeline
+ Lack of accessories in the market
Though the screen ratio might seem idea as the perfect companion to binge on Netflix and movies while on the go, the pixel density doesn’t exactly do justice. Colors just don’t seem to pop out but given the price we can’t really complain. However the lower display resolution results in good battery life so why not take it in good spirit.
Not a lot of phones in this price range pack phase detection autofocus and HDR capture modes. The phone’s inbuilt camera has some pretty neat features like Video Pic which allows you to capture images while recording full HD videos at 1080p. Low light photography isn’t the Desire 10’s strongest suite, and so would require some retouching using apps like Snapseed or Adobe Photoshop mobile. With a single lens 13 megapixel camera, pictures taken during the day are stunning with the perfect balance of dynamic ranges. There’s no problem of noise or pictures having that grainy effect when you zoom in. Quite handy tool to use as a quick point and shoot device.
With a quad core 64 bit MediaTek MT6739 processor, performance is snappy and apps open without much lag. Games run smoothly without turning the device into a hot plate. Definitely suitable for your regular day to day tasks and social media immersion.
We managed to have the phone get through an entire day and still have about 30% charge remaining with intensive use. Take in mind, this was after pushing the phone to its limits browsing the internet with flash intensive websites, playing games that are heavily GPU Intensive and navigating through the city via Google Maps. Thanks to the energy efficient of the Desire 12’s quad-core processor, energy efficiency hasn’t been compromised and HTC seems to have done a really good job with the power management of the device without compromising on overall performance.
HTC Desire 12+
What we liked
+ Dual Lens 13 MP + 2MP Camera
+ Android O Support
+ Fingerprint Reader
+ Front LED Flash for those stellar party selfies
+ Stellar battery life
What we didn’t like
+ Plethora of HTC bloatware
+ No fast charging support
+ No NFC support
+ Lack of USB Type-C functionality
Impressive screen ratio of 18:9 for both these phones. Viewing angles are great for single-handed experiences. The phone size isn’t too big hence is very comfortable to hold and won’t easily slip off your hand. Colors seem vibrant for the bigger brother in the series and at 6 inches diagonally, this definitely seems like the perfect size for the phablet category.
Today if there’s one thing that everyone is concerned about in the camera department, its performance in low light. HTC seems to have that covered pretty well with the large f/2.0 aperture which lets in more light so every detail is captured in its original form. For all you selfie obsessed fanatics, the front LED flash is a blessing as it doesn’t fade out colors and photos look very natural with ambient lighting.
Rear camera seems to do a pretty good job during the day if you’re into clicking scenic photographs of the mountains as the photos look crisp and very detailed. Color composition could be better but isn’t really a deal breaker given the price of the phone.
HTC has never been a slouch in the performance departments as its chipsets have always been optimized for the perfect hardware and software combination. Given the fact they decided to opt for the Snapdragon 450 Octa Core processor, you can be rest assured that you’re never going to be faced with any lags if you’re just going to use it as your daily drive for a little gaming and social media interactions.
With a 2965mAH battery, the Desire 12+ can easily get you through the day with no harm to battery life. We managed to have about 23% remaining by the end of the night after pushing the device through all sorts of rigorous testing. We’re guessing the performance of the Snapdragon 450 processor coupled with HTC’s software based power management solutions seems to do a pretty good job in ensuring you don’t have to run around looking for a plug point to charge your phone or carry a bulk power bank around.
The premium-feel Desire 12+ is being retailed for AED799 while it’s slightly modified counterpart the Desire 12 is available for just AED 649
Both the Desire 12 and Desire 12+ phones are great devices for the given price. They’re elegantly designed, extremely comfortable to hold and perform pretty well as your daily drivers. However when it comes to matching up to devices at similar price points, the Desire series lacks a few features here and there which may or may not seem like a deal breaker. But taking design cues from the U series, the phone definitely manages to grab a lot of attention from far given its metallic resemblance. Overall we were quite impressed with the devices and look forward to what HTC has to offer in the near future.