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February 5, 2018

HTC reportedly working on entry-level ‘Breeze’ smartphone

by John_A

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 was unfortunately let down by an aged look. Well, whispers have begun that HTC are planning a new entry-level handset, and it looks to be something far more 2018.

Everything we know about the “Breeze” comes from a Tweet by serial leaker Evan Blass, and reveals fairly little outside of the basics.

HTC's got an upcoming 5.5" phone, Breeze (second time as HTC codename), that's mostly notable for pushing full screen, 18:9 aspect ratio down to entry level. Therefore specs are nothing special (Mediatek SoC, 2/16GB, 13/5MP, 2730mAh, etc), and it should be priced to reflect that.

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 4, 2018

The Breeze having an 18:9 display ratio display would put the device firmly into the “bezel-less” category, giving the device a far more up-to-date appearance than HTC’s previous low-end offerings. Despite being previously relegated to the status of “phablet,” don’t be put off by the screen size either; 5.5-inches is fairly small in the world of bezel-less designs, so you can expect this phone to be relatively petite in the hand — or to have larger bezels than we would expect from an 18:9 design.

There’s no word on what sort of resolution you can be expecting from the device, but since the device will be an entry-level phone, don’t go expecting a 4K resolution or OLED screen tech. It will likely be an IPS LCD with a resolution no larger than 1080p — and is much more likely to be 720p.

In terms of the phone’s innards, a Mediatek SoC processor paired with 2GB of RAM and a titchy 16GB hard drive marks this phone as an extremely low-end offering. The budget HTC U11 Life came with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage in the lowest-end model, so the HTC Breeze is clearly a model beneath even that in power. Two gigabytes of RAM puts the HTC Breeze above the requirements for Android Go, however, so the Breeze will most likely be packing HTC’s Sense UI over the top of Android.

Depending on the screen resolution, a 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. But regardless of battery power, the initial camera specs seem decent, with 13MP on the rear and 5MP on the front. Not bad in a phone that’s most likely going to be sub-$200 in price.

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. Despite Blass’ good record, these are still just rumors at this point, and there’s still a lot that could change between now and a potential reveal.

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