HTC One Mini Hands-on: Bite Sized Fun

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After months of rumors, HTC has finally revealed the much anticipated HTC One Mini, a pint-sized version of the flagship One that will be launching internationally this August. The One Mini retains many of the same sweet features as its bigger brother–including BoomSound speakers, the customizable BlinkFeed interface and Ultrapixel camera–but with a smaller 4.3-inch display and more mid-range specs. We got a chance to go hands-on with the newest member of the One family and came away impressed with the overall package.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, the One Mini carries the same aluminum exterior front and rear panels and polycarbonate sides as its big brother, though you don’t get the polished chamfered edges that make the One pop. HTC also sacrificed the One’s spun metal volume rocker and IR blaster built into the power button in the name of cost savings.  Unlike the original One, which was only available in silver, the One Mini will be available in both Glacial Silver and Stealth Black. Despite those changes, the One Mini might be the most beautiful mid-range smartphone on the planet.

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htc-one-mini-bottom

Measuring 5.2 x 2.5 x 0.36 inches and weighing 4.3 ounces, the Mini is nearly an ounce lighter than the full-size One, though it’s heavier than Samsung’s 3.8-ounce Galaxy S4 Mini. That’s to be expected, though, as the One Mini is made out of aluminum rather than plastic like the S4 Mini.

As part of its downsizing, the One Mini also sees some of its specs reduced. That starts with its 4.3-inch display, which drops down from the 1080p resolution found on the full-sized One to 720p. During our brief hands-on, however, we didn’t notice any discernible difference in the One Mini’s overall image quality. 

htc-one-mini-back

Instead of a 1.7-GHz dual-core Snapdragon 600 processor, the One Mini sports a 1.4-GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 chip. The S4 Mini has a 1.7-GHz dual-core processor. The One Mini’s RAM is also cut down to 1GB from the 2GB found in the One, and onboard storage drops from 32GB to 16GB. Still, the HTC One mini seemed just as snappy as the larger One. Swiping between home screens was smooth and apps opened and closed in a flash.

HTC-One-Stacked

The One Mini includes the same Ultrapixel rear camera as its big brother, which is designed to excel in low-light situations. However, the Mini’s shooter doesn’t include optical image stabilization. Samsung’s S4 Mini also has a lesser rear-facing shooter than its sibling, reducing it from 13-megapixels to 8.

The only omission that we really miss on the One Mini is the lack of a built-in IR blaster. If you want to use your smartphone as a remote, you’ll have to step up to the full-size One.

HTC isn’t saying which carriers the One Mini will land on, or how much it will cost, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the device sell for $99. Stay tuned for our full review of the One Mini in the coming weeks.

 

AUTHOR BIO
Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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