Android and Me

HTC One mini first impressions

12 months ago 14

So you like the HTC One, but you want something a bit smaller? The HTC One mini may be the phone you’ve been waiting for. Our good friends at Negri Electronics were kind enough to send over a demo unit for me to play around with. A full review of the HTC One mini will be up sometime next week, but I wanted to share a few first impressions about the device in case you’re thinking about buying it.

Most of the features that people love about the HTC One are baked into the HTC One mini. To say that the two phones look similar would be a gross understatement. The HTC One mini does have a bit more plastic along the edges than the HTC One, but the full metal body i nearly identical along the back, as are the front-facing BoomSound speakers along the front. The speaker grill on the One mini isn’t quite as wide as it is on the One, and the mini’s LED flash is below the camera lens as opposed to being on its side. That’s really all there is to differentiate these two devices if they’re just sitting on a table. In fact, my wife didn’t even know that I was using the HTC One mini for the better part of a week until I asked her if the HTC One mini looked much smaller than my HTC One.

And that’s where the problem lies with this phone. The HTC One mini has a 4.3-inch display, 0.4-inches smaller than the display on the HTC One. The HTC One mini’s 132 x 63.2 x 9.25mm size isn’t exactly small. In fact, the HTC One mini is only 3.9% shorter, 7.3% less wide and a mere 0.5% thinner than the HTC One. That’s even 10mm taller than the HTC EVO 4G! But looks and measurements can be deceiving. Visually, the size difference between the HTC One mini and the HTC One isn’t much, but the device does feel significantly smaller when you hold it in your hand or put it in your pocket.

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Unlike the Motorola DROID Mini, the HTC One mini does not feature the same internal specification as its full-sized counterpart. HTC has dumped the One mini’s specs down one notch, equipping it with a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB RAM, 4.3-inch 720p Super LCD 2 display and an 1800 mAh battery. Fortunately, the Ultrapixel camera remains the same (minus optical image stabilization) as does the phone’s front-facing stereo BoomSound speakers. Performance is a bit slower than what I’ve been used to with the HTC One, but the mini didn’t seems to suffer too much when playing my favorite 3D games. (I still have a few levels to beat in Kingdom Rush).

Since the HTC One mini is lacking optical image stabilization, I was pleasantly surprised when most of the images captured with the device did not turn our blurry. Low-light performance is just as good as it is with the HTC One and video highlights (my favorite feature of Sense 5) have gotten even better with half a dozen new filters and the option to use your own music to create the video.

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So far, the HTC One mini has treated me very well. I used it as my main device during the holiday weekend and had no issues with the slower processor. I’ll be exploring the device in more detail in my full review next week. If you have any specific questions you’d like me to address in our full review of the HTC One mini, be sure to leave a comment below.