So, as is always the question for smartphone manufacturers, how do you follow up on success? For HTC, the answer is with the HTC One mini, a downsized version of its flagship. But, how will a smaller device compare to the original?
|Image Credit: Janitors|
When it comes to design you’ll be hard pushed to spot much difference. Whilst the size is obvious (the clue’s in the name), the same unibody aluminium shell remains. On the front the popular BoomSound speakers return, and the only real divergence is a rather ugly plastic bezel around the device. It doesn’t spoil the One mini’s looks – the finish and feel is still outstanding – but it’s a hint that things may not be as premium here.
Delve a little deeper, and you’ll find that this is not the case. While the aesthetics may have been slightly tweaked, the original software remains in place. BlinkFeed, the news and social aggregator, makes another appearance and looks every bit as enticing on the scaled-down display (despite a ppi of only 342, visuals are never an issue), and the minimalist app menu also remains. Android 4.2.2 sits below this, which is impressive, although HTC Sense mostly covers it up.
Of course there have been some cutbacks, and the hulking quad-core processor has been swapped for a 1.4GHz dual-core offering. Historically, mini devices have struggled to adapt to such reductions, but the HTC One mini performs smoothly. It’s not going to rival the top handsets for power, of course, but it will do well given its price bracket. 16GB internal storage may not be enough though, especially given the lack of expandable memory.
|Image Credit: Janitors|
Crucially, nothing is lost when it comes to imaging. Arguably the most intriguing aspect of the HTC One, the UltraPixel camera has made the hop in full, and users get the same excellent clarity and low light performance as before. HTC Zoe offers up that extra bit of magic, and with 1080p video in the mix it becomes a comprehensive package.
We may not have spent much time in the HTC One mini’s company, but our fleeting minutes have indicated it will be an exciting prospect. It ticks a lot of boxes, with its specifications exceeding expectations. Sure, there may be some issues over the storage and some complaints about that bezel, but on the whole it’s looking pretty good.
Pit it against its main rival, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, and it already looks to have the edge. The Korean firm may have packed in some of its trickery, but on paper the HTC beats it for imaging, display and design. Of course it’s not fair to judge before full testing, but we imagine the Taiwanese firm is feeling pretty smug right now.
Watch HTC One Mini Hands On
Mini mobile phones are a growing trend, and whether people see value in them or not is irrelevant. Striking the balance between affordability and performance is a tough task but, if it works to form on full release, HTC might have come pretty close.
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This guest post was written by Dan Grose of Dialaphone, the home of all the latest smartphone deals.