HTC One mini hands-on
posted by John V. / Jul 18, 2013, 1:52 PM
There was a time when we craved larger versions of certain smartphones, but it’s funny how things have turned out. Nowadays, we have all of these monster sized smartphones that keep pushing the envelope on how large of a display they can somehow magically fit into a tight spot. Strange to say, consumers have the complete opposite mentality on what they now desire, as “mini” versions have seemingly become the coveted thing with today’s popular flagship devices.
Proving itself to be one mainstream hit in the industry, the HTC One is the latest beloved smartphone to receive the “mini” treatment. Spending some quality time on an upcoming product, the aptly named HTC One mini intends to replicate its elder’s popularity, but this time, it’s going to be in a smaller package – fittingly enough. Naturally, we’re curious about this more pocket-friendly version of the venerable device, so let’s take a closer look to see what this small bundle of joy is packing.
Being a smaller version and all, the HTC One mini is obviously sporting a smaller sized display – a 4.3-inch Super LCD-3 display to be exact. It’s kind of strange coming back to a 4.3-inch screen, especially when we’ve been so used to displays that are significantly bigger. Regardless of that, it’s worth mentioning that the resolution has been notched down to 720p, which is down from the 1080p in use with the original model. Looking at the numbers, pixel density jumps down just a tiny bit to 342 ppi, but honestly, it’s still just as detailed. At the same time, the other qualities of the display are intact this time around too – like its modest brightness output, natural color reproduction, and good viewing angles. Certainly not as imposing when compared to the HTC One’s display, this is still one sharp looking thing that undoubtedly adds to the handset’s appeal.
Matching its bigger brother to the tooth, well, size aside, the HTC One mini employs the same characteristic design that makes the original so darn iconic. From its chamfered beveled edges, to its aluminum cladded chassis, it’s one fine and solid feeling piece of hardware that doesn’t make any compromises whatsoever. Best part of it all, it’s now more pocket-friendly than ever before, as its dimensions measure in at 132 x 63.2 x 9.25mm. Available in both black and silver, it’s able to maintain a very clean looking appearance, which in turn, seems to do a decent job at repelling smudges and fingerprints. Overall, there aren’t any surprises whatsoever with this one, seeing that it simply replicated the fabulous design we all know and love.
If we take a look around the handset, it’s quite clear everything from before is back again with this, right? Well, that’s pretty true for the most part. As much as we appreciate the more distinct feeling power button, it’s no longer incorporating an IR blaster like before – we’re told that it was omitted to meet a certain price point criteria. So yeah, it’s a bummer to see it go, but considering that this handset is targeting a totally different segment, it shouldn’t be too bad. Also, the volume control is now two separated buttons – whereas before, it was a single piece. Aside from those two things, everything else from before is found here again, including hallmark features such as its two front-firing speakers with HTC BoomSound and HTC UltraPixel camera. Even though its UltraPixel camera shares the same BSI sensor and f2.0 aperture lens, it’s actually lacking optical image stabilization.
Sure, some of the hardware ticking inside of this thing might be different, but the experience isn’t changing one bit with the HTC One mini. In fact, it’s running the same HTC Sense 5 UI on top of Jelly Bean – so it’s packing along HTC BlinkFeed that takes precedence on the homescreen. Honestly, there’s nothing else that needs to be said about the experience. Therefore, if you live off social networking, you’ll surely appreciate all what HTC has done with the BlinkFeed and the experience to cater to your every requests.
Ensuring that things are running smoothly, the HTC One mini is powered by a dual-core processor this time around – as opposed to the quad-core one employed by the original. Despite the choice of going with a processor that might be viewed as inferior, it’s more than suitable in delivering the same lovable level of performance. With its dual-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM, the handset is able to pull off basic tasks with little fluff – and things seem to operate smoothly from what we can see thus far.
Was the HTC One just too big for you to handle? Well, surely enough, the HTC One mini is hoping to win you over this time around, since it’s everything you wanted in the original model, but it’s all packaged in a smaller form factor. However, seeing that we all know that HTC’s flagship is currently selling for $200 on-contract, the HTC One mini requires a price point that’s remarkably competitive to give consumers a reason to choose it over its elder brother – size aside, obviously. From what we can gather thus far in our short time checking it out, the HTC One mini seems like a wonderful addition to the family, which gives consumers just another option in what to pick up. Naturally, choice is always a great thing to find.
Beautiful phone. But specs and measures are disappointing. If Razr M or SGS4 mini can fit a 4,3 display into a compact body, than HTC should also find a way.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 4:12 AM 4
Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011
Not a chance with front facing speakers. Well worth the extra dimensions, in my opinion.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 4:43 AM 13
not too mention it's weak battery life and no sd card
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 9:18 AM 0
Posts: 128; Member since: May 18, 2013
The only Android flavored phone that got my attention is Sony Xperia Z. I hope they would make a mini version of it.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 5:17 AM 1
with better display and snappier cpu, Z would be the best phone, althought it is still nice as of now :)
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 5:21 AM 1
Posts: 128; Member since: May 18, 2013
the fact that the phone can be submerged underwater is already a plus and besides, I would still keep it from being submerged. scary despite the fact that it is water resistant. HTC One Mini is still a good phone i think. Better than that other manufacturer who floods the mobile industry with so much crap.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 5:45 AM 1
Posts: 436; Member since: Mar 15, 2013
I don't know y the mini version shouldn't have the same specs of the original, than when the updates arrive they claim its specs doesnt support an update n jst left behind.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 8:36 AM 0
Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011
Manufacturers are limited by the battery. Mini devices are obviously smaller than their non-mini siblings, and so have less space for a large battery that allows for specs like a Snapdragon 600.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 11:42 AM 1
Posts: 27; Member since: Jul 03, 2013
Well guys, i don't get it...some comments really don't make any sense. First of all I would like to say this is a great device, but also, might be a large fail for HTC and I will explain why. Main criteria for buying a mini device is compactness, followed with decent specs. HTC one mini fails on the very first criteria, although it has great specs. This phone is not mini at all, just look at it, its almost the same size S3/S4 is so a lot of ppl wouldn't consider mini, yet downgraded ONE with a bit smaller size. Putting the size on the side, it has almost all specs lower that S4 mini (CPU, RAM, battery, camera, no removable battery, no sd slot), yet very few advantages such as looks and screen. Although it has better screen, this could also be a disadvantage since it is a lot more power demanding than qhd screen, and having in mind smaller battery than S4 mini, it is clear S4 mini will outperform ONE mini in this segment by far, and the qhd full rgb matrix SAMOLED screen is great although its not 720p. Maybe its outdated according to the 2013 flagships, but if I consider my S2 still a great phone with a great screen for my needs, which has even lower res. Not to mention SAMSUNG updates (at least one major update) and HTC updates (nonexistent except flagships). Having all this in mind, it comes only to looks, and we can say speakers. From all that we may conclude that S4 mini will sell far better coz it has all the mini range buyers want. Great CPU, GPU, RAM, battery, camera, software support, removable battery and SD slot. HTC will succeed in this case only if priced a lot cheaper which I highly doubt so as a competition to S4 mini i can see only SONY XP V, but in that battle its also matter of preferences. If someone can prove me wrong I would be glad to listen:) That's just my observation made following common sense.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 8:57 AM 1
I think the biggest reason for the majority of people who buy midrange phone is “PRICE” and S4 Mini is fails on that. with about the same price point you can get a lot better options like S3, Xperia ZR/SP/ZL, etc... Depends where you live, and all the phone that i mentioned is compact enough and pocketable, so there is no big problem with the size.
posted on Jul 20, 2013, 11:48 AM 0
Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011
"Looking at the numbers, pixel density jumps down just a tiny bit to 342 ppi, but honestly, it’s still just as detailed." Well, "honestly," it isn't just as detailed, because "detailed" implies the presence of details, and a 1080p screen by its very nature provides more details than a 720p screen.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 10:25 AM 0
Posts: 257; Member since: Dec 07, 2011
i highly doubt they will update this to to 4.3 let alone 5.0 and beyond.The HTC One is 50/50. I would stay away from ALL HTC phones. Even if it has good specs. If it doesn't have support down the road than than point buying HTC phones period.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 2:15 PM 2
Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010
Anyone who knows me from this website or just has seen my posts, you all know how much of a Samsung fanboy I am. However, even I can't argue that the HTC One Mini is superior, because it obviously is. Design: that is a given. Display, HTC has easily the best display on the market with it's super lcd 3, it's very clear, bright,vivid and yet natural and accurate. It doesn't hurt that it is still at 720p vs Samsung's qhd. Software: Sorry to say but Sense 5 is awesome and I love it way better than Samsung's Touchwiz, Touchwiz needs a makeover, desperately. Where Sense 5 can run very smooth on even a lower clocked processor, Touchwiz lags even on the SGS4.
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 5:03 PM 0
Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012
HTC One mini... laugh, another copycat. This time they copied Shamesung SG4 mini name. HTC - Silently Stealing
posted on Jul 18, 2013, 5:45 PM 1
Posts: 332; Member since: Dec 08, 2011
I don't think having a "Mini" for a phone is anything Samsung created. I'm pretty sure a while ago HTC released the HTC HD Mini as a mini version of the HD2 (also kinda released with android as the Aria). That was years ago. Nothing new.
posted on Jul 19, 2013, 1:51 PM 0
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