HTC HD mini ReviewHTC HD mini 8.5
To tell you the truth, we are really into the idea of having a small device, which can do it all - place phone calls, send messages, play music, video and games, surf the web and take pictures. In really however, it seems it's pretty difficult to create one, which manages to do all this stuff in the right way. Take, for example, the HTC HD mini. It might be pretty capable in certain areas, but its camera is just not good enough. The HD mini has a 5-megapixel autofocus shooter without a flash, which makes somewhat dark and detail-lacking photos. Most of the objects are quite blurred, although colors seem natural. On the whole however, this isn't a good phone for taking pictured. Indoor shots are bearable, but due to the lack of flash, the less light there is, the more noise you will encounter.
Video is recorded in VGA resolution at about 28 fps. It's pretty usable, although not perfectly smooth.
HTC HD mini sample video at 640x480 pixels resolution
The interface of the camera app is very intuitive. You have touch focus, which is a great feature, and you also have a number of other basic settings like white balance, brightness adjustment, ISO sensitivity and image effects.
Without a kickstand on the back, but with a 3.2-inch screen, the HTC HD mini is still a pretty good smartphone to watch videos on. The bad news is there is no support for the DivX, Xvid and H.264 codecs out of the box. The good news is you can flawlessly watch MPEG-4 coded videos with a maximum resolution of 800x480 pixels. We encountered absolutely no issues when watching videos of such high resolutions. In order to get support for other codecs however, you'll need to install some additional software.
The HTC HD mini is equipped with HTC's music player, which is pretty simple and straightforward - something we truly value these days. Listening to music with the earphones from the box was more than enjoyable, as the sound was perfectly balanced, with decent amount of lows and highs, as well as more than enough power. These are definitely one of the better earphones one can find in the box of their phone. The loudspeaker on the other hand is pretty faint, so keep in mind you won't be able to suddenly start a party with it.
Software and GPS:
We've said it before and we'll say it again - the official YouTube client for Windows Mobile is very, very good. Its interface is great and you can easily filter the content by categories. More importantly, the video quality is superb, so we can simply describe the app with one word only - beautiful.
We also mentioned that you get HTC's Twitter client, Peep, which we really like, although we had a problem here. You know how a lot of people like to tweet links, right? Well, clicking a link in a certain tweet here can be a real pain in the neck. Sometimes you may need to try about ten times in order to select a link. It's unbelievably hard and irritating.
The Office Mobile suite is of course here to let you work with documents. While it might be useful if you just want to view a document, it won't really provide you with some actual functionality - only the most basic stuff is here.
When you get a Windows Mobile phone, you expect to see a nice catalog of third-party applications. Unfortunately Windows Marketplace for Mobile is pretty poor, especially if you want games. Almost all of the offerings are paid and cost a lot for what they offer. Otherwise, the Marketplace app itself is nice and easy to use, with options to read user reviews and view screenshots. However, what good is a decent interface without a proper content.
In addition to Google Maps, the HTC HD mini also comes with a trial version of CoPilot Live, which a pretty decent navigation solution. The best part is that it doesn't require constant internet connection like Google Maps.
The GPS module inside the HTC HD mini managed to find the satellites in about a minute and a half in a cloudy weather and with A-GPS turned off, which is a very good result. Warm start was of course instantaneous.
1. barmalei (Posts: 20; Member since: 08 Dec 2009)
Nice looking compact phone that shares a lot of things inside with HTC HD2, which is a good thing. Too bad they were not able to squeeze in a decent camera. One thing that I am going to miss with a lot of new phones is the presence oh hardware buttons. There are a lot of different situations when it is so much more convenient to push a real button. Also, regarding the WM, I am not sure I share optimism about the upcoming Windows phone 7. As a business user, I don't really mind WM at all, and I am afraid the new OS will be a little bit too much average-consumer oriented. And thank you, fellows, for a nice review, as always (btw, that latest YouTube I Hate Iceland clip frame is a nice touch)!
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