HTC One Mini Android Smartphone: Review, Features and Specifications


Are you looking for the review about the brand new HTC One mini, then, here you can read the detailed review about the mini-variant of popular and award winning android smartphone HTC One. Lets find out its new features, pros and cons.

Introduction


As we know, the HTC One is a beautiful, robust and ultra powerful smartphone that appears great in the hand and appears spectacular due to the highest-resolution screen yet spotted. However its size made it feel way too big for a few hands. Now HTC has brought out its own mini-variant of the award winning HTC One, the One Mini, which is goes head to head with the recently launched by Samsung named as Galaxy S4 Mini. The One Mini boasts a stunning 4.3-inch Super LCD panel and appears much smaller in the hand than the HTC One.
HTC One Mini

Obviously, the brand new 4.3-inch mini looks much like the HTC One. Hot on the heels of the power-packed HTC One mini is comparatively low powered, and also much more pocket-friendly. HTC appears to using absolutely consistent design approach across the refurbished One series. Apart from its similar-looking aluminum and plastic casing, you will find features available in its full-sized version such as 4-megapixel Ultra-pixel camera sensor, HTC's Sense 5 UI, Boom-Sound stereo speakers at the front and Zoe all make a look and feel here as well. There are actually, even so, just a few hardware downsides when compared to its full-sized version, with the optical image stabilization on the camera sensor, IR blaster, and NFC taken out for space availability and cost-saving reasons. However, HTC doesn't disappoint by stripping out too many features from it, compared to HTC One, and makes it one of the most trouble-free smartphones. Is there anything noteworthy, save for screen diagonal, that HTC given up on to attain the less price of the One mini? Lets find it out its new features, specification and much more in this device.

Design/Build


The One mini is available in Black and Silver colors, as well. Maintaining most of the design aspects from the flagship device HTC One, its mini-variant, One mini seems to be more compact version with the same premium looks. But, while it has used up most of the design aspects of its elder sibling, the One mini does not come with the aluminum Uni body construction. Its front and back are built from aluminum, but there is a denser white plastic mark up that sandwiched in between the two portions. That doesn't give a premium look, but it also doesn't feel cheap either. Other than that, it feels every portion as sturdy as its sibling, and feels more like a premium device than Samsung's glossy plastic Galaxy S4 mini. It measures 132 x 63.2 x 9.3 mm and weighs around 122g instead of 143g. Its smooth curving back making it feel sleeker than it is and feels amazingly right-sized in your palm. The One mini features 4.3-inch display installed on vaguely smaller sized and lighter case, that makes it comfortable as well as trouble-free to hold in even your palm is relatively small.
HTC One mini body

The front of the device houses the display panel, installed in between the front-facing dual Boom Sound speakers. The speaker grill seen on this device is not as broad as it is on its elder sibling. Flipping back the device, you can see a 4-megapixel Ultra-Pixel rear camera lens positioned towards the top. The camera module is exactly the similar to its bigger version. According to HTC, this device doesn't come with optical image stabilization, which is available on high-end handsets. The non-availability of OIS results in a smaller overall lens, which lets keep the One Mini so compact. The flash also moved too, however this does not seem to affect the quality of the images taken. For self-shot and video chat a secondary camera is provided on top of the display. Speaking about the ports and buttons on the One mini, beneath the display panel you can see two feather-touch keys for home and back, with the HTC logo in the center. The volume and power buttons are all positioned as on the HTC One. The sides host the micro-SIM slot and volume rocker keys, and the audio jack alongside power button is situated on the top of the device, while the bottom panel boasts a microphone and a Micro-USB port. Just like its full-sized version, the One Mini doesn't come with a removable back cover, while the HTC logo is imprinted in the center of rear panel followed by Beats audio logo, towards the bottom part of the phone. Because of non-removable back cover you can't replace the damaged battery or expand storage memory via SD card, 16 GB is all you get with the Mini.

Display


The HTC One Mini comes with a 4.3-inch 720p Super-LCD3 display panel, instead of a 4.7-inch 1080p Super-LCD3 full HD display panel seen on the HTC One. Here, Super LCD3 technology provides quite accurate color reproduction and it's effortless to share videos and pictures with high picture quality at off-angles. And, also this type of display is an excellent option that operates remarkably well in direct sunlight. Its display is not very reflective and the viewing angles were never an issue. Even though, the device doesn't features Full HD like One, but the company has managed to bring in all other awesome features from it, like the excellent contrast, maximum brightness and ultra wide viewing angles.
HtC one mini display

Talking about the display quality, I'm really impressed the display quality from the LCD display. It boasts a pixel density of 341ppi, that is incredibly greater than the Galaxy S4 Mini's 275ppi pixel density and much more crisper than the iPhone 5's 325ppi. However, 341ppi pixel density is more than enough for a screen of this dimension. The device's high pixel density helps make text very clear and sharper, and means this device is great for web browsing. Looking at text on the handset was always, sharp and very clear against white backgrounds. But, because of its smaller screen dimension, it's very difficult to look at when watching a 1080p video. Considering the One Mini's 4.3-inch screen size, 720p videos work pretty well. In terms of protection, the company has used Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the device, which makes it much stronger, and much more scratch-resistant.

Camera


HTC One mini features the Ultra-Pixel camera, which is seen on its bigger brother, with the exception that it doesn't have the optical image stabilization (OIS) feature, which offers lengthier exposure times without any blur. This has a minor effect on image quality as I noted a few times where the captured images were much more blurry than I thought, especially when compared to the HTC One. The Ultra-Pixel camera is actually a 4MP camera with larger pixels that can grabs more light rather than other smartphone's sensor. The device further features a dedicated HTC Image-Chip 2, the company's own Image Signal processor (ISP), which helps better and faster shots in almost any light conditions. It is incredibly fast to focus and grab a shot with this device, and also the video shoot button shares a single screen using the shutter key, this boosting things up much further. A lot of shooting modes also provided, like HDR, Sweep Panorama, group portrait, various scene options like normal, portrait, landscape, night, macro, text, backlight and lots of color effects, too. Just like other HTC smartphone devices, One Mini also provides 'lenses' for putting effects like negative, sepia and vintage. Its camera is also bundled with the Zoe feature, which is seen on the HTC One, allows you to records one second of video before, and three seconds after the image has been captured. In case you missed to grab that action shot, you've still got it. Additionally, its camera app incorporates features like face and smile detection, shutter sound, geo-tagging and a grid interface.
htc camera

Talking about its camera performance, I didn't experience any delay, both in shooting and saving a photo. You can generally foresee really good shots from the Mini, and much better photos in low light condition. However, I wasn't so pleased with its daylight shots, which were highly overexposed in bright light conditions. Videos recorded on the device top out at full high definition (1080p) with a steady 30fps - the recorded footage works smooth, with no noticeable artifacts, but a little bit underexposed, so I would like to recommend using the HDR video mode for best results. Furthermore, you can able to record in high definition with 60 frames per second count, as well as slow motion video with adjustable playback speed. The 1.6MP front-facing camera is not much useful for anything apart from self-portrait.

Software


The One mini operates on Google's mobile operating system Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Sense 5.0 UI on the top. The main home screen provided on the device is replaced by the BlinkFeed, the most popular Sense 5 UI feature, was first spotted on the HTC One. BlinkFeed is actually a mix of various Internet and social feeds moving on the home screen in the form of tiles, as you find on Windows Phone. Even so, there were some setbacks in the UI of this device when it comes to personalization, as Sense 5.0 UI has taken away scenes and skins to modify the overall look and feel of the interface. In point of fact, I could say that the latest HTC Sense 5.0 UI has cut down the amount of skinning features. Besides the BlinkFeed, users will also get two extra home screen panes, where users can put their apps along with other widgets. One big modification with Android 4.2.2 is the inclusion of a settings tile and a clear all notifications button in the notification area. This area can be viewed by swiping down from the top part of the screen, and will provide you with updates on various things, such as messages, emails, app updates and much more. Furthermore, visual changes can be seen to the app panel as well. Its menu has a nice look and you can organize apps either in a 3x4 or 4x5 grids, which make browsing the apps easier.
HTC one mini gallery

The device ships with the refurbished Gallery app that lets browsing videos and photos on it, alongside it offer on online services like Dropbox, Flickr, Facebook and Picasa. It also enables browsing according to Events and Albums, first found on its bigger version. Its messaging app provides some exciting functionalities, such as a secure inbox, a password encrypted folder for keeping private messages, and the feature to restrict messages from chosen senders. Additionally, it has some preloaded apps like Car app, which displays only necessary apps while one drives, Polaris office, TuneIn Radio and SoundHound as well. You will also notice HTC included a kid mode, Zoodles, which enables users to allow selective permission to access some apps for kids.

Performance


The One mini is run by a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor along with 1GB RAM, and Adreno 305 graphics processor as well for better graphics performance. There is 16GB of internal storage available, out of which only 11GB is user-accessible and remaining space goes for system apps. Sadly, you can't expand the storage memory via microSD card. It's very disappointing that One mini could come with at least 32GB inbuilt storage, if SDCard slot is not available. But, it offers 25GB of Dropbox space free for two-years, even so, cloud storage is not quite handy always. No matter the lower specs, the device does operate pretty smoothly. I couldn't find any serious troubles while using the phone, but I did encounter some lag when there are a lot of apps open. Here, Speakers aren't nearly as awesome as HTC One's, but voices come loud and clean in the earpiece.

Talking about the gaming performance, I was able to play games like such as Temple Run 2 and Subway Surfers without any hiccups but things get a tad choppy while playing heavy graphics games like Shadow Gun and Nova 3. However, the One Mini's small screen isn't really as gaming-friendly as its larger One. Sometimes, during heavy use, the whole back of the device gets noticeably warm. I think the aluminum case of the device dissipate the heat over a larger area than plastic case, which makes it even more noticeable. It comes with a 1800mAh battery. According to HTC, it can offer up to 692 hours of standby time and approximately 13 hours of talk-time on 3G networks. If you don't make use of your device a lot, then you could get through a day without having a recharge. If you are a heavy user, then you may need to recharge it in the middle of the day.

Conclusion


The HTC One Mini is one of the good-looking smartphones I have ever seen. It is also quite easy to handle and comfortable to hold with one hand. HTC kept similar award winning design the One has, and didn't take out any of the unique features like the Ultra-Pixel camera or boom sound speakers. The device surely seems like a premium one and incorporates most of HTC Sense 5 experience, such as BlinkFeed, zoe and the updated Gallery. To attain a lower cost, the company only striped out a tad of processing power and memory. However, you can't compare its specs and performance with HTC One, even considering the reduced price tag. And, it's very disappointing that the device doesn't come up with more storage space or microSD card slot. Despite the lesser specifications, this device is a pretty nice phone and manages to load up most of the main features from the HTC One.


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Comments

Guest Author: Ace13 Feb 2015

Really nice article about the features and specifications of HTC One Mini Android smpartphone. HTC is the reputed brand in the market and its devices are also long life leaving in the hands of so many users. But the HTC phones not so popular and sold in big quantity in the market due to its high prices. What is lowest price of HTC Android smartphone?



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