Emerging Technology

GADGET WATCH: HTC One Mini

Patrick Stafford /

HTC has managed to win over a significant portion of the smartphone and tablet market in the past few years. Most recently, its HTC One smartphone has managed to strike a convincing argument it can stand up to industry giants Apple and Samsung.

Now, the company has released a miniature version of the One – the One Mini. But does it stack up against the competition?

Hardware and features

The HTC One Mini features a 4.3 inch screen, measuring a native resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels, and 342 ppi. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass, while the devices itself is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core 1.4Ghz processor.

Running on Android Jelly Bean, the device features 16GB of internal storage, along with 1GB of RAM. Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a microUSB port.

The gadget’s camera features two lenses, with one 4MP along with an LED flash, while a 1.6MP lens is fitted on the front of the device.

What’s the consensus?

Over at The Verge, the publication hones in on the most obvious feature – the design. The One was praised for its sleek design made of aluminium, and the One Mini has earned similar respect.

“The only area where HTC’s lower budget becomes apparent is around the sides of the new phone. They’re wrapped in a thick band of glossy white plastic rather than the thin layer of matte white sandwiched between a pair of chamfered aluminum edges on the One.”

“It makes the One mini appear less sophisticated and refined, but on the other hand, the softer plastic surface is friendlier to your palm.”

However, The Verge also says this is an upgrade, making the phone easier to hand with little strain, noting you can use a thumb to reach every corner of the display.

The screen itself has also been given some praise, with The Verge noting the lower resolution doesn’t actually matter too much given the pixel density.

If there’s one complaint to be made, it’s that the automatic brightness doesn’t go high enough, making the phone difficult to read in direct sunlight.”

Engadget said the phone’s cameras provided good shots, hinting at “strong performance”. The publication did note the lenses don’t have the optical image stabilisation seen in other phones, but noted the camera performs well in low-light.

It also had good things to say about the camera app, making menus easier to access, along with the HTC sync service which transfers data through a Dropbox file to a newly purchased phone. It’s handy if the phone is ever lost, too.

At PC Advisor, the publication praised the gadget’s battery life, saying the device lasted a couple of days on standby mode – although overall it said the device wasn’t quite as good as the HTC One.

Who’s it for?

The HTC One Mini certainly isn’t on the same level as its big brother, but the reviews are clear: this is an impressive smartphone at an affordable price point. While there are some caveats, such as the lower-powered battery, the solid build means the HTC One Mini is well worth checking out for its price range.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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