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HTC One Mini Review - Pros and Cons

Updated on December 10, 2013

One of the more popular phones is the HTC One. While desirable to many, the phone was also out of reach for a substantial portion of the public. To address this problem, HTC introduced a scaled down version that is more affordable to people. This version is known as the HTC One Mini.

The HTC One Mini retains the general design of the HTC One, but has reduced specifications in order to reduce the cost and price of the phone. While it looks very similar to the HTC One, the HTC One Mini is a different phone with its own set of pros and cons.


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Good: the camera of the HTC One Mini produces very good photos

The Mini uses a special kind of camera in the back with an extra large sensor. The sensor is much larger than you will find with most other smartphones. The enhanced sensitivity allows the HTC to produce better quality photos than would otherwise be possible with a smaller sensor. It is able to cope with situations that most other smartphone cameras cannot handle.

In practice, the HTC produces better photos than most smartphones. The difference in image quality is very noticeable. This becomes even more pronounced when there is not enough light around. This is a good thing because most smartphones tend to produce photos that are significantly poorer in quality than say digital cameras.


Good: the HTC One Mini looks like the HTC One

The Mini looks almost like a mirror image of the HTC One. The main difference being the slightly smaller screen. From a distance, it will be very hard to tell them apart. That is a good thing because the HTC One is noted for its attractive and premium exterior design.

If you wanted the HTC One because of its looks, but couldn't afford its price tag, then the Mini is a very good alternative. You get pretty much the same metal phone, but without having to spend the same amount of money. It's not exactly the same, but it comes very close.


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Good: the Mini is cheaper and more affordable than the HTC One

The HTC One Mini is not a cheap smartphone, but it's cheaper and therefore more affordable to a greater segment of the population. The HTC One Mini is, as its name might suggest, meant to be a scaled down and more affordable version of the HTC One.

By reducing some specifications, the HTC One Mini is also reduced in price. It still retains most, if not all, of its older brother features and specs. For fans of HTC with a limited budget, the Mini is a realistic option as long as they are willing to sacrifice some features.


Good: the speakers of the HTC One Mini can handle music

The Mini comes with stereo speakers which produce sound quality that is good enough for listening to music. Often times, the speakers of other phones are good enough for voice, but of poor quality when it comes to playing music.

The HTC One Mini can be used to play music without sacrificing any sound quality. It may not be used often in such a way by most people, but it can do the job if and when it's required. The same cannot be said of other smartphones.


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Neutral: the HTC One Mini comes with 16 GB of internal storage which cannot be expanded

The HTC One Mini comes with 16 gigabytes of internal storage, which is a lot and more than what most smartphones have. On the other hand, there is no MicroSD slot to expand the amount of storage in case you run out of space.

If you need more, you will either need to delete files or use cloud storage using the Internet. While you can get a limited amount for free, it's usually more expensive than buying a MicroSD card of equivalent size.

It would have been advantageous to the consumer if a MicroSD slot had been available. MicroSD cards are very cheap and you can easily swap them out. The HTC One Mini is not a small phone and there should be enough room for such a slot. Not including it is an oversight in my opinion.


Neutral: the camera of the HTC One Mini is good, but only 4 megapixels

Like the HTC One, the Mini comes with a 4 megapixels camera in the back. It is important to remember that more megapixels does not equal better quality. The camera of the Mini is very different from other smartphone cameras which can make it hard to compare. It basically uses a bigger sensor, which is said to improve image quality, but also generates fewer pixels.

The camera is actually very good in terms of the quality of its photos, but photos are too small at only 4 megapixels in my opinion. That limits the size of the photos when you're editing. For example, cropping is more difficult. While image quality is most important, the size of the photos should also be of sufficient size. HTC seems to have emphasized quality at the expense of photo size.

The amount of megapixels may have been appropriate a few years ago, but it's no longer competitive nowadays. Anything less than 5 megapixels should only be reserved for the cheapest smartphones, which the HTC One Mini is not.


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Bad: the HTC One Mini battery capacity is on the low side

The HTC One Mini comes with a 1800 mAh battery, which reduces the amount of time you can use the Mini before you need to recharge. The Mini actually has less capacity than many other smartphones. This is bad because the HTC One is not a budget phone and priced accordingly.

For the money, the Mini should have a bigger battery with more capacity. The Mini is not a thin or compact phone where room for a bigger battery may be an issue. Not installing a bigger battery is a mistake in my opinion, especially since it's not that expensive and would really make a difference.


Bad: the HTC One Mini is still on the expensive side

While cheaper than the HTC One, the Mini is still fairly expensive. Most of its specifications are closer to a mid-range phone, but its priced closer to a high-end phone. There are a number of phones out there with equivalent specifications, but with a lower asking price.

However, the HTC One Mini does have a few premium features such as the camera. It still has the premium design that made its predecessor popular. Whether that is enough is for each individual to decide for themselves.


4 stars for HTC One Mini

Summary and comparison of the HTC One Mini strengths and weaknesses

The HTC One Mini is a very good looking phone with its premium design. It feels sturdy in the hand and looks like its build to last. Its specifications such as processor and RAM are not top of the class, but mostly sufficient for the majority of people.

In my opinion, the HTC One Mini is targeted at those people who wanted the HTC One, but who could not afford its asking price. If you are one of those people, then the Mini is an absolute must. You won't be disappointed with the Mini in that case. It looks almost the same, but it's cheaper and retains most of its features, including the camera. If you loved the HTC One, you will almost certainly love the Mini.

However, looks can be highly subjective depending on the person involved. If you don't care for the HTC looks, then it becomes harder to form an opinion. The Mini is still a very good option as a smartphone, but is not obviously better than the competition. There are other phones that can approach the Mini in terms of features and specs, but are much cheaper. It's really up to each person to decide.

Pros:

  • very good looking phone
  • looks like the HTC One, but more affordable
  • very good camera
  • good speakers
  • lots of storage space

Cons:

  • photos of 4 megapixels are insufficient
  • storage space cannot be expanded, unless you use the Internet
  • below average battery size
  • somewhat expensive


HTC One Mini specifications

Type
Smart Phone
Operating System
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean /w HTC Sense
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core 1.4 GHz
Graphics
Adreno 305
Band
LTE: 800/1800/2600 MHz (EMEA)
 
LTE: 900/1800/2100/2600 MHz (Asia)
 
UMTS/HSPA: 900/1900/2100 MHz up to 42 Mbps (EMEA)
 
UMTS/HSPA: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz up to 42 Mbps (Asia)
 
EDGE/GPRS: 850/900/1800/1900
Style
Bar
Color
Glacial Silver, Stealth Black, Blue
Dimension (H X W X D)
132mm x 63.2mm x 9.25mm
Weight
About 122g
LCD
4.3-inch Multi-Touch /w Gorilla Glass 3
LCD Resolution
HD (720 X 1280, 341 PPI)
Rear camera
HTC UltraPixel Camera
 
BSI sensor, Pixel size 2.0 µm, Sensor size 1/3"
 
Dedicated HTC ImageChip 2
 
F2.0 aperture and 28 mm lens
 
1080p Full HD video recording with HDR Video
Front camera
1.6 MP with BSI sensor, 720 HD video
RAM
1 Gigabyte (GB)
Flash memory
16GB
Memory card slot
None
Connectors
microUSB, USB 2.0, 3.5 earjack
Wireless Connectivity
Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi a/b/g/n 2.4G/5GHz, HTC Connect™
FM radio
Supported
Sensors
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, ambient light , GPS + GLONASS
Speakers
HTC BoomSound™
 
Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
Battery
Lithium-Polymer 1800mAh

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