Review: HTC One Mini

The HTC One has been a critical success – can its Mini Me
version do as well? David Phelan finds out

If the HTC One ain’t broke, and it ain’t, why fix it? Well, if it’s too big, perhaps. The HTC One is a gorgeous, powerful and highly enjoyable phone but it’s true that it’s big – too hefty for smaller hands. Even so, the camera with its bigger sensor, appealing all-aluminium back and thumping audio from twin, front-facing speakers are hard to beat.

So HTC has lifted all of those and placed them carefully into a smaller phone, the HTC One Mini. Looks-wise, they’re almost identical: a plastic frame wraps round the edge of the Mini but doesn’t distract from the classy look of the phone. The Beats Audio logo on the back is downplayed because it’s no longer bright red (this looks better) but the rear view is pretty similar.

And now it fits any hand very comfortably. Some changes must have been made, surely? Yes, but none is a deal-breaker. The display on the HTC One is amazing – the highest pixel density of any phone yet, cramming a Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) into a 4.7in screen. The display here is 4.3ins and only has 720 x 1,280 pixels. I say “only” but that’s a 342 pixels per inch resolution, so still quite a bit higher than the iPhone 5’s Retina display and outgunning most other mobiles, too. So it still looks great, just not quite as stunning as the One.

The processor is dual-core on the Mini, quad-core on the One, so not as fast. But in use it’s still nippy and shows no signs of sluggishness. Fewer pixels to manipulate helps here. And there’s no NFC here – the clever but not yet widely usable technology that lets you pair your phone to a suitable speaker or pay for a latte with a tap.But otherwise it’s intact. Still 4G, and compatible with all three UK LTE frequencies so it’s fast on EE now and will be on Vodafone, O2 and Three in due course.

It also still has the One’s ground-breaking camera that has fewer pixels (a 4MP count) but more spread out and bigger so more accurate and capable in low light. You don’t need to use the flash barely at all. The stereo front-facing speakers mean it’s great for watching video on the phone and Beats Audio software makes music sound strong and bassy when played through headphones.

And the HTC manipulation of Android’s software remains elegant and attractive. Specialities include BlinkFeed, a handsome program that streams social networking updates, tweets and news feeds as you desire.

Although there are some details, like that outstanding Full HD screen, that are missing from the One Mini, in almost every way this phone is as good as its earlier sibling and the smaller size tips the balance to make it, ultimately, a better all-round phone.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

    £40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

    Recruitment Genius: Partner Manager - EMEA

    £50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Partner Manager is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Sales Manager - OTE £100,000

    £45000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Sales Manager is re...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...

    Day In a Page

    Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

    Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

    But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
    Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

    Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

    Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

    Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

    Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
    England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

    England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

    In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)