The hotly rumoured and much leaked HTC One Mini has finally launched. It’s an upper mid-range handset that effectively replaces last year’s One S, but shares the exact same styling, software, and most of the features of the very well received HTC One.
HTC says the Mini is an attempt to take the One range to as wide an audience as possible. Yet curiously it’s unlikely to be massively cheaper, nor is it considerably smaller. It’s a tall handset, thanks to the presence of the impressive BoomSound speakers at either end, and with the same aluminium unibody chassis as the One – and the same build quality – it is a solid, weighty device too.
The device has been shrunk to fit around a 4.3″ display (720p and over 300ppi pixel density), and it does feel particularly good in the hand. It’s easy to manoeuvre your thumb around the screen, and easier to reach up to the power button still located on the top left edge of the phone.
As is always the case with ‘Mini’ variants the specs have also been reduced in several areas. Compared to the One the processor is now dual-core rather than quad-core (Snapdragon 400), RAM – somewhat disappointingly – is 1GB rather than 2GB (with around 770MB available), storage capacity has dropped to 16GB (the unit we were handling had less than 10GB available, although we can’t be sure it will be as low from a factory reset), and the battery capacity has also fallen.
On top of that HTC couldn’t find room to squeeze in either NFC or the infrared port from the One.
You do get the full Sense experience, including an upgraded Zoe that has more themes and now enables you to add your own music tracks, and Android 4.2.2 is on board. The camera is the same ‘Ultra-pixel’ branded four megapixel sensor from the One.
On the whole our first impressions of the One Mini are very positive. The One was one of the most impressive phones we’ve ever seen, and though the Mini doesn’t have quite the same wow factor as its bigger brother, it appears to share all of that device’s strengths. The reduced didn’t appear to have any significant impact on performance.
A shortage of storage is likely to be the biggest concern for most users, and we’ll have to wait and see whether a shortage of RAM hinders the prospects of future OS updates, a pertinent concern given HTC’s recent announcement that it wouldn’t be updating the One S any further, little more than a year after it went on sale.
The HTC One Mini goes on sale in August. Check back for our full review soon.