HTC One Mini – introduction
We’re currently in the process of putting the HTC One Mini through our rigorous and in-depth testing process – you know this takes a little time!
But in the meantime we’ve put together a little gallery of the our hands on pictures with the new phone – see below for some highlights or check the next page for the full run down of all our snaps!
The HTC One Mini follows in the footsteps of its outlandishly successful bigger brother, slicing off some components but managing to maintain a real sense of class.
However, while coming in at a similar price (well, unconfirmed but likely) and a slightly lower set of specs than its Samsung competitor, there’s no doubt that the HTC One Mini is a more impressive device (and it has a higher-resolution screen to boot).
For a start, it takes on that unibody design from the larger One, only adding in a plastic band around the edge but maintaining the aluminium back and front speakers. It still feels very premium in the hand, and at 122g feels very well balanced.
Those that love specs will baulk at this device, so we’ll get the downgrades out of the way early doors: there’s no NFC chip, the CPU is a Snapdragon 400 dual core option clocked at 1.4GHz, and the screen has been shrunk to 4.3-inches and a 720p resolution.
However, HTC has managed to keep in the main things we’re fans of with the One: namely BoomSound and the UltraPixel sensor. BlinkFeed is there as well (and enhanced thanks to the One Mini running Android 4.2.2 right out of the box) but that’s something that many users are finding they only use sporadically.
We’ve said before: spend some time setting Blinkfeed up and it will reward you, but we understand how this is a hassle for some people. However, it’s impressive that it’s made it in a full-fledged format for the One Mini, making it really feel like this is just a shrunken version of the larger option.
There are other compromises too: the battery is down to 1800mAh, and that could play havoc with some users if the battery life isn’t up to snuff, which has been a problem for HTC over the years. However, the One managed to tame its power demons after a refresh, so we’re hopeful HTC Has managed the same thing here.
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In the hand, as we mentioned, the HTC One Mini is a really premium-feeling device. It almost annoys us how little the plastic band, manufactured in the same way as the HTC One X+, doesn’t interfere with your general use, as this just shows that Nokia got it totally the wrong way round with the Lumia 925.
The plastic band also makes the phone a little easier to grip, which we’re big fans of, as the One did have a slight kamikaze habit in normal use, so overall the tweaks in design don’t seem to have hurt the little tyke.
With the lower-speed processor, you’d be forgiven for worrying that the One Mini would have real problems keeping up with all the things that life might throw it at – in reality, we noticed not one issue when flipping through the apps and screens.
Firing up the HTC One Mini camera app was no problem, and it’s great to see the HTC Zoe functionality (and the exact same camera interface) staring straight back at us when we did so.
The burst mode and 3-second Zoe clips all performed precisely as we’d hoped they would, and even uploading was speedy too (which is also possible over 4G as the One Mini supports that too). The 1GB of RAM might be a concern for those that recognise the weight of certain parts of the Sense UI, which HTC runs over the top of native Android, but we encountered no issues in our fairly lengthy hands on time with the phone.
In fact we can only see one glaring issue with the HTC One Mini: only 16GB of storage on board. The company told us that it didn’t anticipate that the target demographic would want to fill it up with more than that, but that seems to preclude anyone that wants to pop a movie or two, a large game and a year’s worth of HTC Zoe video highlights in there.
Sure, there will be those that only use 1GB of photo over the course of the device, and they’d be the same people that take pictures of their kids, animals and food, but there are many other tech-savvy users out there that don’t think twice about downloading a couple of movies and Grand Theft Auto, yet don’t want to pay top whack for a smartphone.
However, beyond that we can see that this is a really quality phone, and one that packs all the treats that HTC is quickly becoming famous for: a great camera in low light, a swift shot latency, great audio (with the same internal amplifier and Beats Audio on board) and Sense 5.0 with the latest version of Android on board.
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Would we recommend the HTC One Mini to a friend? Of course not – it’s not out yet. But we would urge anyone looking to spend around £25-£30 ($40) a month on a phone contract (that’s a rough estimate, as we don’t have final pricing for the HTC One Mini) to wait and check out this phone, when it’s launched in August.
If you’re not a fan of the HTC One for price alone, then the One Mini is definitely going to fill your needs. It seems a little expensive given the compromises on offer – we’d have preferred to see this phone coming in at £20-£25 ($30) a month to be truly attractive – but there’s no doubt that it’s got all the bits it needs to be a winner, and if users can get on board with the lack of external storage (why, HTC, WHY?) then we can see a real winner on the shelves of your local phone emporium in the weeks to come.
In fact, it makes us wonder whether Samsung will think about refreshing the Galaxy S4 Mini in the meantime, as it’s now very likely to be second best to this little nugget – and even Apple’s cheaper iPhone, which is likely coming later this year, will have more of a fight on its hands than it would have previously been expected to encounter.
Fancy a chuckle? Watch the HTC One Mini do battle with its big brother in the latest QuickRadar:
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Hands on pictures
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