HTC One mini 2 hands-on: First look

GSMArena team, 15 May 2014.

Hardware

The HTC One mini 2 takes its design cues almost entirely from the big One (M8), it will even inherit its color options: Gunmetal Gray (the one we have), Glacial Silver and Amber Gold. Here's a quick hardware tour and a comparison between the One mini 2, the original One mini and the One (M8).

The metal unibody has been updated and now there's less plastic around the sides than before. It's a matte black plastic that's very unobtrusive. The screen grew to 4.5", but the smartphone remains nicely compact; it's only as wide as the old One mini.

The stereo speakers make it rather tall though, standing at 137.4mm - over 5mm taller than the previous model, it's even a millimeter taller than the Samsung Galaxy S5, which has 5.1" screen. HTC made the move to on-screen buttons this generation, but this didn't help the height problem.

HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2
HTC One mini 2 (left) and HTC One mini (right)

HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2
HTC One mini 2 (left) and HTC One (M8)

The new One mini 2 (a winning name, isn't it?) is a tad heavier though metal phones feel better when they have a bit of heft to them. The curved back lets the device rest comfortably in the palm of your hand.

HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2
HTC One mini 2 in the hand

The phone is also a just over millimeter thicker than the previous model, but the Li-Po battery grew to 2,100mAh.

HTC promises over 16 hours of 3G talk time with the battery, but we'll do our own tests to verify that. The One mini 2 also features an Extreme power saving mode, which can be enabled automatically at a preset battery charge. It disables the most power-hungry features and switches the launcher with a simplified one that only allows access to the remaining features.

HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2
Extreme power saving mode turns the One mini 2 into a feature phone but extends battery life

Let's move away from physical size, obviously it will be an issue for some but the improvements HTC made to the new device should balance that out.

Screen resolution went unchanged, 720p, but pixel density remains in Retina territory at 326ppi. It's a high-quality LCD with great image quality and viewing angles.

HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2
The HTC One mini 2 has a high-quality screen

The BoomSound stereo speakers that surround the display no longer have Beats, but they have individual amps, the same ones used in the One (M8).

The HTC One mini 2 features a 13MP camera on the back that records 1080p video, while the camera on the front shoots 5MP stills and also records 1080p videos. There's only a single-LED flash on the back, rather than a dual-tone flash like on the One (M8).

HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2
5MP camera above the screen • BoomSound speakers above and below • 13MP camera on the back with LED flash

Unlike last time, here you shouldn't worry about storage when recording 1080p videos - the HTC One mini 2's 16 gigs worth of built-in storage is expandable with a microSD card. The second card slot, which you can spot bellow is for the nanoSIM. The previous generation used the larger microSIM.

HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2
Card slots on either side of the One mini 2, nanoSIM and microSD

It's hard to notice but the first batch of Gunmetal Gray phones (like ours) have a volume button that doesn't quite match the brushed metal look of the rest of the phone. HTC says it has reconsidered the design and will change the button to match the back.

The 3.5mm audio jack is on top, near the power key, not at the bottom next to the microUSB 2.0 port like it is on the HTC One (M8).

HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2 HTC One Mini 2
3.5mm audio jack and power key on top • microUSB 2.0 port on bottom