Back in April, I reviewed the HTC One and it’s a good quality phone. But you might not like the size of it. If you find the 4.7-inch screen too small, you might want to check out the HTC One Max phablet with its 5.9-inch display.
But if you want something smaller, the HTC One Mini may be more to your liking.
The Mini is 132 mm x 63.2 mm x 9.3 mm and features a 4.3-inch screen. This makes the phone the same thickness as HTC One but about 5 mm thinner and shorter.
The Mini weighs 122 g, which is also 21 g lighter than its larger counterpart. Despite its light weight, the aluminum unibody design is sturdy and it fits well in the hand.
Marketed as a mid-range phone, the Mini is not as powerful as the flagship One. But it is still a solid device for most uses. The Mini uses a dual-core 1.4 GHz Krait 300 CPU with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset. (By comparison, the One uses a quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU.)
The phone’s Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen also has a slightly lower resolution (720p) than the One’s, which is capable of full 1080p. But images and videos still look crisp and vibrant. (Frankly, a 1080p 4.3-inch screen would probably be a bit of overkill anyway.)
Sound is also quite good on the device. Back in September, HTC sold back its stake in Beats Electronics, so it is unclear whether the next HTC device – the One Two (codenamed M8) – will utilize Beats Audio. But being developed before the split, the One Mini does include the equalizing software.
Add in the dual frontal stereo speakers and audio playback is great – from music, to movies, to incoming calls. (Your voice may sound a little distorted on the other end of a phone call at times, but it’s usually still clean enough to distinguish what you’re saying.)
The Mini’s home screen uses HTC BlinkFeed. Part of the HTC Sense software suite, it kind of emulates the look of the live tiles look of Metro screen on Windows 8. But the BlinkFeed mosaic tiles are feeds for news and social media apps.
I’ve encountered the interface before and it’s a nice, quick way to keep yourself up-to-date on the types on the goings-on of your online friends and the news of the day.
The built-in cameras work reasonably well. The main camera is only 4 MP, which seems a little low-rent by today’s standards. But it can still shoot 1080p video at 30 fps and it takes crisp photos, generally with a good balance of colour, as you can see in the photo below.
The main camera also features a panorama mode that works better than ones on many cameras I’ve tested. It offers guidance by providing a dotted line and a circle in the centre of the screen. (It kind of looks like the spirit level.) The dotted line moves up and down as you pan and the goal is to keep it as horizontal as possible to avoid distortion in the final image. But what’s really nice about this feature is that if you screw up slightly, it doesn’t stop and give you an error message. It will give you a stitched-together photo no matter how badly you pan. This can make for some fun photos in their own right.)
The 1.6 MP secondary camera which can also shoot 720p video is OK but nothing special.
The phone has no memory card slot, but comes with 16 GB of internal storage and 1 GB of RAM. It uses a 1,800 mAH lithium battery, which promises 13.27 hours of talk time and 692 hours on standby. (Though those numbers are for 3G and the phone can run on the LTE network.)
The HTC One MIni is available exclusively at Rogers for $99.99 with a two-year plan or $399.99 outright. It ships with on Gingerbread (Android 4.2). But Rogers confirmed in a forum post, that the operating system will be updated to KitKat (4.4) in late February.