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HTC One Mini
A couple of weeks ago I was able to spend some time with the HTC One Mini. HTC sent an unlocked international one to evaluate last week and since I personally have no reason to go with a mini version I decided to conduct an experiment and have it tested by someone who the smaller size may appeal to so my wife spent time with it this past weekend.
My wife and I both use T-Mobile HTC One devices and I am perfectly happy with it. My wife likes it too, but it is a bit large for her hand and it has slipped out a few times. The second she saw the HTC One Mini in my hand, she asked to hold it and then told me I couldn't have it back.
What did HTC take out of the One to make the One Mini?
After holding the One Mini and immediately deciding that the smaller size was more desirable, my wife asked what was different from the HTC One she is fond of. The following are the differences between the One and the One Mini:
- Size: The One Mini is 5.4 mm shorter, 5 mm narrower, and just 0.05 mm thinner. The One Mini is 21 grams less in weight as well.
- Display: The One Mini has a 4.3 inch 720p display at 341 ppi compared to the 4.7 inch 1080p 468 ppi display on the One.
- Processor: A dual-core 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400 is used on the Mini instead of the Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7 GHz model.
- OS: The One Mini launches with Android 4.2.2, while the One is still officially at 4.2. I have since made the SWITCH so am enjoying the many benefits of 4.2.2.
- Memory: The HTC One Mini has half the RAM (1GB) and half the internal storage (16GB).
- Wireless: The One Mini lacks NFC, 802.11 ac, and an infrared port.
- Camera: The One Mini has no optical image stabilization and the front facing camera drops from 2.1 megapixels to 1.6 megapixels.
- Battery: The One Mini has an 1,800 mAh battery, compared to 2,300 mAh on the One.
As I look at the differences here, I realize there is no way I could accept moving from the One to the One Mini as I take lots of videos and photos, load up plenty of apps, and regularly use my One as a remote for home and hotel TVs. The 4.7 inch display device fits well in my hand and I find it to be one of the smaller high end smartphones available today.
On the other hand, the smaller size is the most noticeable difference and the one specification that grabbed my wife's attention at first. She has only installed about five additional 3rd party apps with a focus on using her smartphone for social networking, phone calls, and taking pictures. She didn't even know the One had an IR port or NFC so losing these two features has no impact on her.
Wife's feedback on using the HTC One Mini
My wife enjoyed using the HTC One Mini this weekend and plans to continue using it for the next week before I have to return it to HTC. It looks like I will have to see about switching her from the full size One to the One Mini in the future though, based on this direct feedback:
- Size: In my initial hands-on I felt the HTC One would challenge the iPhone 5 as a one-handed device and my wife could not stop commenting on her ability to use the One Mini with a single hand. She said, and her texts verified this, that her ability to enter text was more accurate with far fewer mistakes. She hasn't dropped the One Mini and found it fit into her pocket much more easily.
- Phone functionality: I'm not sure if my wife's One is faulty or if the size of the device just isn't right for her, but she often sounds poor on the One and experiences regular proximity sensor failures (calls switch to mute, speaker mode, and hang up). On the One Mini, that isn't even optimized for T-Mobile USA, she sounds fantastic and has yet to experience any kind of proximity sensor issue. The One Mini may be sized better to fit her face, but this needs a bit further investigation.
- Performance: My wife felt the One Mini was more responsive than the One so obviously the difference in processor and RAM hasn't affected her usage. She said the battery charged faster on the One Mini, it has less capacity, and easily lasted more than a day for the last three days.
- Camera: My wife took about 30 photos over the past three days and saw no difference in the image quality compared to the One.
This long weekend experiment was a success and now I have to try to pry the HTC One Mini from my wife's hands. I do think there is a place for a smaller sized device like the HTC One Mini, iPhone 5, and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and even though smartphone enthusiasts like me want the latest and greatest that doesn't always mean the specifications have to be the highest.
We don't yet know which US carrier(s) will be getting the HTC One Mini and what price we will see it launch at. With the HTC One at $199, on contract, I imagine we will see this at half that price or less. The version my wife and I tested out is an international unlocked one with support for AT&T and T-Mobile. We used a T-Mobile USA SIM and noted that 3G and H network status showed up in the status bar. This model does not have the 1700 MHz HSPA+ network for T-Mobile, but seems to work fine on the refarmed T-Mobile 1900 MHz network. I did not see T-Mobile LTE support on this HTC One Mini.
Related HTC One and HTC One Mini coverage
- HTC One Mini competes with Apple iPhone 5 for single hand crown (Gallery)
- HTC One Mini vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini: What are consumers giving up for small size?
- MoDaCo.SWITCH lets me choose the Sense or Google experience on my HTC One
- Android 4.2.2 rolling out for HTC One, raising the bar even higher
- An HTC One without Sense is not an HTC One
- T-Mobile HTC One: World's best smartphone on US best value major carrier
- HTC One review