HTC One mini 2 review: Growing up

GSMArena team, 26 May 2014.

Introduction

Another season, another flagship, another mini in tow. Guess we all know the drill but HTC had quite a few decisions to make. To begin with, they went for a bigger screen, placing the mini 2 right between the original and last season's flagship. The UltraPixel camera was dropped for a regular 13MP unit, which looks like a good move judging by our recent experience with the Desire 816.

In fact, the latest mini is quite close to last year's flagship - which more than makes sense - but we bet the first thing on HTC's mind was closing the gap on Sony's Xperia Z1 compact. However, at a price that's uncomfortably close to 500, this mini is asking a lot. Let's just say, a better chipset would have been nice at this price point.


HTC One Mini 2 official photos

Then again, with KitKat right out of the box, the Snapdragon 400 will probably do just fine. Plus, the One mini 2 has something the former flagship and its compact version don't - a memory card slot. The BoomSound stereo speakers on the front are a definite asset too. And the looks and build are something you just can't take away.

Let's look at the rest of the key specs.

Key features

  • Metal unibody with brushed finish
  • 4.5" 720p Super LCD2, 326 pixels per inch, Gorilla Glass 3, ambient light sensor
  • LTE connectivity
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with the latest HTC Sense 6
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 processor, Adreno 305 GPU and 1GB of RAM
  • 13MP camera, single LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • 5MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • 16GB of built-in storage, expandable via a microSD card slot
  • Active noise cancellation with a secondary microphone
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • 2110mAh battery; Extreme Power Saving Mode

Main disadvantages

  • Bigger than most 4.5" smartphones and too big for the mini moniker
  • Snapdragon 800-powered alternatives in its price bracket
  • Lacks the Motion Launch features of the HTC One (M8) (wake the phone with a swipe or a double tap)
  • Non user-replaceable battery

The HTC One mini has a lot going for it and there are precious few phones that can make a better first impression. One thing that raises a flag though is price. It would have been difficult to swallow even with the bells and whistles of the One (M8) - in comparison, a Snapdragon 800-powered, water-resistant Xperia Z1 Compact with a 20.7 MP camera will run you much less.

Perhaps the original One is cheaper too where you are, which is doing the One mini 2 no favor - especially considering it's hard to say which one's the mini in that pair. The honeymoon will soon be over and HTC wouldn't want potential buyers, who are always looking around anyway, to start fooling around.

HTC One mini 2 HTC One mini 2
Handling the HTC One mini 2

Sony already has an alternative that's tough to resist and Samsung won't take long either. The One mini 2 has character to spare - there's no doubt about it - but can it keep your attention once it has it?

Next Page »