Ben WoodsEurope Editor
Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.
HTC has officially unveiled the HTC One Mini, a smaller version of the HTC One Android smartphone that went on sale just a little earlier in the year and has notably since gone on to become quite the hit, at least in terms of how widely it is being offered – some 181 countries spanning more than 580 operators.
While the Mini keeps its same method of construction – namely its aluminium shell with plastic banding around the outside, which does seem to overlap a little more with the aluminium than the HTC One – it’s a little bit shorter in length (it measures 132 x 63.2 x 9.25mm), 5.4mm to be precise and nearly the same in width – at 5mm narrower. It’s also a tiny bit thinner.
The end result is one that will please anyone with smaller hands that have recently been despairing at the flood of ‘phablets’ that have hit the market this year. The overall reduction also makes the phone a full 20 or so grams lighter, which is never a bad thing.
Many of the features remain the same, so it’s largely unsurprising that the phone performs in much the same way as its larger brother, but even where cutbacks have been made – such as in the dual-core 1.4GHz processor rather than a quad-core, or the removal of NFC – you don’t tend to notice it too much. At least, in our limited hands-on testing, which was admittedly not all that demanding, there were no coughs or splutters and everything scrolled smoothly enough.
One place where you might notice the the impact of the reduction in overall size is the screen, which has gone from from 4.7-inches (1080p) to 4.3-inches (720p). Though it doesn’t ruin the overall look of the screen or the device – colors remain as vibrant as ever, for example – it’s perhaps worth bearing in mind if you’re a stickler for 1080p.
The design also retains the BoomSound speakers found in the HTC One.
While I’d like to tell you the reduction in chassis size has made no difference to the sound out of the speakers, I can’t as the unit we were given to play with for a few minutes came with nothing preloaded. A personal annoyance of mine found on the HTC One also remains, namely the fact that I constantly try and tap the HTC logo on the screen to go back to the home screen. The logo, in fact, does nothing.
It also keeps the same BlinkFeed social and news update system in place giving you quick, at a glance access to updates. Personally, I like BlinkFeed, but I’m aware others don’t.
The camera on the rear of the phone is also the same as on the HTC One, albeit with a few tweaks of the software here and there.
Ultimately, and unsurprisingly, if you like the HTC One but thought it was a bit large then the Mini will likely be right up your street, but if you didn’t like the camera on the HTC One then you’ll be disappointed here. That said, while no specific pricing had been announced at the time of writing, it’s due to come in two tiers lower than the HTC One in terms of contract pricing, making it a pretty appealing handset at what should be a slightly-less than top-of-the-range price.
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