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HTC One mini review - smaller, lighter, much cheaper HTC One

£379

Manufacturer: HTC

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The HTC One mini is a slightly smaller, much cheaper version of the excellent HTC One. Here's our HTC One mini review.

HTC One mini

The HTC One mini is the latest in a growing trend: it's a cut-down version of top-of-the-range Android smartphone, in this case the HTC One. But don't let the term 'mini' fool you. The HTC One mini is cheaper and slightly smaller than its big brother. But it is far from tiny, and its specs and performance are healthy.

Indeed, given how much we already like the HTC One, the HTC One mini represents a pretty good deal. That's because where the full HTC One costs £500, the HTC One mini is £379. See also: HTC One mini vs HTC One comparison review.

HTC One mini: performance and specs

Quite simply the HTC One mini is no slouch, but it can't compete with the full-blown HTC One. The full-spec HTC One combines a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, quad-core, 1.7GHz processor with 2GB DDR2 RAM. It aced our GeekBench 2 synthetic performance benchmark, turning in a record average score of 2721 points (the Galaxy S4 has since topped this). The HTC One mini has a less-impressive dual-core chip running at 1.4GHz, paired with only 775MB RAM. But still it managed a respectable 1383 points in the GeekBench test.

To put that into context its around the same score as the Samsung Galaxy S3 attained, a little way behind the iPhone 5, but nowhere near the performance of the Nexus 4. The important point is the HTC One mini is a perfectly decent performer that feels fast enough in use.

Another test we like to run is the GLBenchMark Egypt HD test of graphics performance. Here the HTC One mini was again respectable without being outstanding. It managed an average score of 24.4fps. This is some way behind the HTC One's score of 34fps, and again the Galaxy S4 tops out the scoring with 41fps. But you won't find any problem with the HTC One mini's graphics performance.

Our final benchmark measures javascript performance via the Sunspider test. Here the HTC One mini managed a time of 1271ms, almost identical to its big brother. Our current gold standard is the iPhone 5 with a blink and you'll miss it time of 903ms, but you'll find the web-browsing experience swift and snappy with the HTC One mini.

The HTC One mini is a little lacking in the storage department, however. It has only 16GB onboard storage, and no expansion slot for SD cards. On our brand new handset, once we'd synched our Google account more than 5GB of storage was used up, too. See also: Galaxy S4 mini vs HTC One mini comparison review.

HTC One mini: Design, build, display

As we've already said, the HTC One and its mini brother look extremely similar. And this is good news for HTC One mini fans, as the original is something of a design classic. In this instance, however, the all over aluminium that gave the HTC One such a premium feel has disappeared - or at least some of it has. With the HTC One mini there's a strip of white plastic around the outside. It's a small thing but it does make a big difference.

The HTC One mini is, of course, smaller than its big brother, but not by much. Both phones are the same thickness, for instance, but there is a small difference in weight. If you are looking for a much smaller HTC One this is not it - in the hand or the pocket it feels much the same. The HTC One mini measures 63x132x9.3mm and weighs 122g. It's a decent, slim and lightweight phone.

The HTC One has a 4.7in display with the highest pixel density on the market at 469ppi. The HTC One mini can't match this, but it is no slouch with a 4.3in display that has a pixel density of 341ppi. That's better than the iPhone 5! Not too shabby for a phone in this price range.

The 4.3in Gorilla Glass 3 display has a resolution of 720x1280. It is sharp and colourful and the touchscreen is responsive.

HTC One mini: Software

The HTC One mini runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with HTC's Sense 5 user interface overlay so you get HTC BlinkFeed, HTC Zoe and HTC BoomSound. See also: Group test: what's the best Android phone?

HTC One mini: Battery life

The HTC One mini has an 1800mAh cell that HTC suggests will offer 20.72 hours of talk time and 500 hours on standby. We'd take these figures with a pinch of salt. In our experience the HTC One mini lasted the best part of a couple of days on standby.

HTC One mini: Cameras

The HTC One mini comes with the same 4Mp Ultrapixel rear-facing camera as does the HTC One. That's great news for those wanting to save cash by opting for the mini version. However, it's worth noting that the front camera offers lower quality snaps at 1.6Mp and only 720p video instead of Full HD. It's not a bad downgrade though, as you're likely to use the front-facing camera principally for video calling.

The rear-facing snapper is a decent smartphone camera. The faster sensor means you can quickly capture shots - critical for a smartphone snapper. And there are good options: you can change exposure and contrast, tweak ISO levels and adjust sharpness. There's also an HDR mode, but you don't get the shot-selection modes offered by other high-end phones, however.

Pictures taken were pretty good: occasionally noisy which we didn't expect from a camera with such a low pixel count, but good in low-light conditions. It's not a camera for serious photographers, but it will let you take multiple decent snaps in a timely fashion - even in a dingy bar.

HTC One mini: Connectivity

The HTC One mini supports 4G LTE mobile networks via the Micro-SIM slot. There's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but no NFC. See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?

HTC one mini Expert Verdict »

HTC One Mini Scores 8.7 out of 10 based on 143 reviews
Dual-core Qualcom processor running at 1.4GHz
775MB RAM
16GB storage (11GB available)
4.3in Gorilla Glass 3 display, 720x1280
4Mp, 1.7Mp cameras
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
1800mAh cell
63x132x9.3mm
122g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The HTC One mini isn't as good as the HTC One. Its performance is decent but not spectacular, and the addition of a layer of plastic has removed some of the original's chic. But this is a very strong handset at a decent price. Well worth a look.


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