HTC One Mini 2 review

HTC One Mini 2 review

T3 4
  • This pared-down handset looks like a smaller version of the HTC One M8 and behaves like one, but it’s a different phone entirely. Read more in our HTC One Mini 2 review

    HTC One Mini 2 review

    Love

    • Great M8 design
    • Impressive battery life
    • Excellent speakers

    Hate

    • Expensive
    • It's evolution not revolution
    • Is it that bit too long?

    The HTC One Mini 2 is NOT a smaller version of the HTC One M8, but actually that’s ok.

    Unlike the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact  HTC has decided that its smaller phones will still aim to achieve the same goals that its flaghship phones do, but in a number of different ways.

    Other rivals include the iPhone 5c and to an extent, the cheaper Motorola Moto E and Moto G.

    The HTC One Mini 2 is not the miniature powerhouse you were expecting; instead it’s leaner than that, with battery life getting as much focus as the screen. Is that a bad thing? Of course not, and here’s why.

    HTC One Mini 2: Size and build

    Take a glance at the HTC One Mini 2 and it’s clear that HTC is onto a good thing - it’s a stunning phone and every bit as good looking as the HTC One M8.

    The combination of brushed metal with black plastic accents feels premium, while a slight increase in weight over the last one actually helps it feel more planted in the hand.

    The phone is also thicker, however despite its 10.6mm thickness the curved back helps negate a lot of that plus it allows more room for hardware and battery.

    If we had any complaints about the design then it would be its length. With the phone already featuring a 4.5-inch display the addition of the bezel at the bottom can sometimes make using the screen a little awkward, a problem which will surely be accented if you have smaller hands.

  • The HTC One Mini 2, just like the One Mini before it,  is looking to condense the full-fat M8 experience into a smaller more pocket-friendly package

    HTC One Mini 2 review

    Love

    • Great M8 design
    • Impressive battery life
    • Excellent speakers

    Hate

    • Expensive
    • It's evolution not revolution
    • Is it that bit too long?

    The HTC One Mini 2 is the maker's second attempt at taking a flagship smartphone and then shrinking it down into a more pocket-friendly package while losing none of the power that makes the HTC One M8 one of the best smartphones on the market.

    Unlike the original HTC One Mini (a shrunken down version of the first HTC One), the new Mini 2 is up against some serious competition incuding the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact as well as Apple's iPhone 5c which boasts the near unbeatable combination of iOS 7 and Apple's app ecosystem.

    We went hands-on with the new HTC One Mini 2 and from our short time spent with the phone it's clear that while the specs aren't a straight carry over, the Mini 2 is no semi-skimmed effort.

    HTC One Mini 2: Size and build

    Physically, the HTC One Mini 2 is an almost complete copy of the HTC One M8 with the exception of a subtle black plastic band that runs around the edge of the device.

    It's a far better implementation of the same design cues used in the original Mini, whereas on the original it had the effect of visibly lowering the look of the phone it actually compliments the metal looking as good as the larger M8.

    The new HTC One Mini 2 is larger than the original, it's also heavier and thicker, this is unsurprisingly to accomadate not only the beefier specs but a more suitable battery.

    It's a noiticable difference, especially if you have the original Mini to hand but ultimately the curved back helps negate the 10.6mm thickness, of course time will tell on whether it turns out to be a negative or not, but for now we like the fact it feels more planted in your hand.

    HTC One Mini 2: Features

    The HTC One Mini 2 shares the same software as the M8, which means you'll get the new Sense 6 UI as well as Android KitKat 4.4.2.

    As we've seen on the M8, Sense 6.0 isn't so much an overhaul as a significant update, bringing with it fullscreen apps and a more transparent UI that makes the whole experience feel slicker.

    The smaller screen doesn't seem to affect this at all, instead the transparency actually helps make the most of the display with fullscreen wallpapers helping to show off the 4.5-inch display.

    HTC One Mini 2: Screen

    As has become apparent over the last 12 months, the need for a Full-HD screen is no longer a must, with the quality of displays now reaching a level that is becoming imperceptable to the eye it's more about the quality of the screen, not the resolution.

    As such the HTC One Mini 2 comes with a 4.5-inch 720p display, there's no word on a ppi yet but just from having a quick look it feels like a much more natural display, by which we mean whites are whiter and colours are less harshly contrasted.

    It's a good first impression but of course we'll need longer to determine viewing angles, glare and its all round performance.

    HTC One Mini 2: Camera

    Even before you dive into the camera app you'll notice a glaring ommision from the back of the HTC One Mini 2 and that's the Duo Camera from the M8.

    HTC has decided to drop the new camera tech for the Mini 2, which we're guessing it something to do with keeping the Mini 2 price down. HTC has included a 13MP sensor on the back, instead of its famed UltraPixel camera, along with a massive 5MP front-facing camera with both able to shoot 1080p video.

    HTC One Mini 2: Battery

    HTC has appropriately upped the battery from 1800mAh to 2100mAh, whether or not this will be enough to compensate for the larger screen and processor will remain to be seen but for now that seems like a worthy upgrade considering the bump in specs.

    HTC One Mini 2: Performance

    This is where HTC and Sony part ways as rather than carry over all the hardware HTC has opted for a slight drop in specs, it's an understandable move and could make up precious hours in battery life.

    What you get then is a 1.2Ghz Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor along with 1GB of RAM, there's also 16GB of storage along with the ability to up that to 32GB via microSD.

    Even with the drop in specs the One Mini 2 is light years ahead of the original Mini and that certainly wasn't a slouch either. Menus zip along whilst multi-tasking felt quick and effortless, of course the real question is whether they've found the balance between power and battery life.

    HTC One Mini 2: Verdict

    The HTC One Mini 2 isn't a straight switch to a smaller format - there's a slight drop in specs but from what we've seen the changes are impressivly balanced with the Mini 2 feeling every bit as fast as the M8.

    Of course the big question will be whether the Mini 2 can still offer everyday performance, a flagship-quality camera experience and a battery life that can compete with its rivals - stay tuned for our full review...

    HTC One Mini 2 release date: June 2014

    HTC One Mini 2 price: TBC

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