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HTC One Mini 2 review

 Review: June 2014  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The HTC One Mini 2 shares the premium design and iconic good looks of the HTC One M8, but in a more compact form, with a reduced specification and lower price.

Today's best buy: HTC One Mini 2 - Sim Free Sm ... from Amazon (£184)



 

A mini version of the HTC One M8

With the HTC One Mini 2, you get a smaller, cheaper version of the flagship One M8 superphone. The same design features that make the M8 so attractive are all preserved here. It's still quite a large phone, but compact in comparison to the full-size version. With a maximum depth of 10.6mm, it's not particularly slim, but the tapered edges make it feel thinner and easy to grip. It's lighter than the M8 too, so if you like to slip your phone into a pocket, you'll find the One Mini 2 much more convenient.

The most attractive elements of the design are the brushed metal finish and the twin speaker grilles situated above and below the screen. These not only look good, but  thanks to their size, position and their built-in amps they deliver an audio punch that is lacking in most phones. To complement the premium materials, the handset comes in three attractive colours - Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver, and Amber Gold. It's a truly iconic look.

Although the screen is smaller than the M8, measuring 4.5 inches diagonally, it's still a good size, big enough to watch videos comfortably. It's a HD screen with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution - typical for phones priced just below the flagship models. It's slightly less bright than the M8's, but still a good, sharp screen.

The phone runs Android KitKat with HTC Sense 6. HTC Blinkfeed provides a useful stream of personalised content from Facebook and selected internet sites on your home screen.

Quadcore processor

The One Mini 2 uses a Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, which gives about half the processing power of the M8, but is nevertherless very fast in its own right. You won't notice any sluggishness in daily tasks, and even graphics intensive games run well. Remember that the screen resolution is lower than on the flagship M8, so less GPU isn't a huge problem. Having said that, there are certainly faster models available for the same money - the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact for instance.

The built-in storage is 16GB, which is acceptable considering that a microSD card slot is available for you to add up to 128GB more space. The 1GB of RAM is just enough for a device of this type.

Overall there's a feeling that HTC have cut the spec of the Mini 2 to the absolute minimum they thought they could get away with.

13 megapixel camera

In contrast with the disappointing UltraPixel camera of the M8, the Mini2 comes with a conventional HDR 13 megapixel camera. We think that's a good decision. The camera is sharp, has good low lighting performance and can be zoomed and cropped without losing important detail. It's also capable of 1080p video recording.

The front camera is a winner too - a 5 megapixel BSI sensor with support for 1080p video recording - perfect for selfies and video selfies! The Touch Up software makes you even more beautiful than usual by eliminating red eye and smoothing skin.

Connectivity

The Mini 2 is a 4G phone that can also run on 2G and 3G networks. It has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB, NFC and a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones.

Battery life

The battery is rated at 2100mAh, which is on the small side for a phone with this hardware. You certainly won't manage a full day of continuous use, although in the real world you might get one or two days between charges. Heavy users should consider other options - perhaps the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact or the full HTC One M8.

Conclusion

Possibly the best-looking compact phone (apart from the iPhone), the HTC One Mini 2 gives you iconic looks, premium materials and Boomsound speakers. With a decent-sized HD display, quadcore processor and top camera, it's a good all-rounder. But although it costs less than the HTC One M8, it doesn't cost a lot less. We feel that it's rather expensive considering all the cost savings that HTC has made compared to its flagship phone.

In this price range, we'd also recommend the Sony Xperia Z1 CompactMotorola Moto X and the Google Nexus 5. You could even save yourself a pile of money and pick the Motorola Moto G, which matches many of the features of the Mini 2 for half the price!


HTC One Mini 2 features include:

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HTC One Mini 2 user reviews

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Average rating from 1 review:

Reviewed by Neil Badavi from UK on 25th Dec 2014
If you are planning to use a bluetooth earpiece then do not buy this phone, the volume is too low even at its highest. Found this out the day after getting it, hopefully can go back to store and exchange back to an iPhone. Android not as easy to use either. If anyone has any advice on the volume issue on bluetooth please mail me on neilbadavi@gmail.com just in case I can't exchange. Thanks.
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