HTC should know by now that the smartphone landscape is hard to disturb. Once a leading brand in this field, HTC has somewhat devolved into a third-party manufacturer for Google's previous Nexus phones.

Sure, it still makes excellent modern phones, but it was also recently absorbed by the search company to help it with design and production of Pixel handsets, which is saying something.

Even still, HTC continues to try, and its perseverance is a welcome breath of fresh air in the already-crowded smartphone landscape. As such, it's just unveiled the low-cost but pretty Desire 12 and Desire 12 Plus, which might not have flagship-level specs but do have flagship-level aesthetics. More importantly, their design language fits right into 2018 trends, such as a bezel-less look, 18:9 displays, HTC Sense Assistant, and Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

HTC Desire 12

The base model, Desire 12, is the smaller of the two models with a 5.5-inch LCD display that has a 1,440 x 720 resolution. It won't have the sharpest display in the world, but its low price makes up for that. Under the hood is a Mediatek MT6739 processor, and customers have two variants to choose from: 2 GB of RAM with 16 GB of internal storage or 3 GB of RAM with 32 GB of internal storage. The storage isn't really a big deal, though, since both models support expandable memory up to 2 TB via a microSD card slot.

On the front is a 5-megapixel selfie shooter and on the back is a 13-megapixel camera. The phones are wrapped in a shimmery acrylic material, which HTC says is "a tribute to our liquid surface heritage but with a new streamlined look."

HTC Desire 12 Plus

The Desire 12 Plus is for those who like a bigger phone. The device sports a 6-inch LCD display but with the same resolution as its smaller Desire 12 sibling. Under the hood, things get better. The phone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor with 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, and, as mentioned, a microSD card slot.

On the front is an 8-megapixel selfie shooter, and on the back is a dual camera system that includes one 13-megapixel lens and an additional 2-megapixel lens to allow for bokeh-style portraits.

Both phones come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a microUSB port for charging. The Desire 12 packs a 2,730 mAh battery, while the Desire 12 Plus packs a 2,965 mAh battery. The Desire 12 Plus also sports a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, but not the Desire 12.

HTC has yet to confirm exact pricing, release date, region availability, and color options but did tell Engadget that gold will be one of the options.

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