HTC U11 Plus
The HTC U11 Plus as seen on its official

HTC, which was once a prominent smartphone brand, has lost its dominance as the industry underwent a massive transformation. The Taiwanese tech giant's smartphones still grab the attention of many but fail to transform into sales like Apple and Samsung flagships. But the company isn't giving up hope.

"Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter at HTC as we continue to drive innovation in our branded smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses," Cher Wang, chairwoman at HTC, said in a statement after Google officially closed a $1.1 billion deal with HTC Corp.

On those lines, HTC seems to be working on a new smartphone that has just appeared on benchmarking website GeekBench. The leaked smartphone appears to be a mid-range device as it uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, which is the same processor as Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Moto G5S Plus, BlackBerry KEYone and others.

Paired with the SD625 is 3GB RAM, which further defines the mid-range nature of the phone. The Geekbench listing also reveals that it'll run Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box, which isn't surprising given HTC's close ties with Google and promise to deliver the latest software on its smartphones.

HTC U11 as seen on the company's website
HTC U11 as seen on the company's websiteHTC

Other features of the unnamed HTC mid-range smartphone are unknown at the moment, but the device's configuration scored a decent 770 on single-core test and 3893 in multi-core test.

As for the handset's release, it may or may not arrive at the MWC 2018, which is to be held in Barcelona later this month. But if it misses the global tradeshow event, the smartphone maker might just launch the rumoured handset at a standalone event sometime in March.

HTC has already clarified that it won't be launching a flagship smartphone at MWC, which means the hopes of seeing U12 can be sidelined for the moment. According to GSMArena, the new mid-range HTC smartphone could either be a new variant of HTC U11, which already has three models – HTC U11+, U11 Life, and U11 EYEs. The new handset could be a "Lite" version of the U11 Life without water-resistance structure, Edge Sense feature and USonic earbud experience.

Another possibility for the unannounced HTC smartphone is that it could be launched as a successor to HTC One A9, which was known for its iPhone 6-like design. Such a move could impress fans who failed to see the goodness of HTC's Liquid Glass design and still favour the solid metallic build.

In any case, the new HTC smartphone could break covers sometime in March, so stay tuned for updates.