HTC One Mini: Slim and slick

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 17 2013, 02:11am hrs
HTC One MiniThe HTC One mini is here, and if you think that ?mini? means you are getting a trimmed-down version of the widely popular HTC One, you are sadly mistaken.
HTC One Mini: Did you know that a third of all people on Earth2.3 billionaccess the internet and roughly 1.2 billion do so via a mobile device Do not be surprised but a change in mobile phones has occurred swiftly over the past few years, with people dumping their feature phones in favour of smartphones with touchscreens. As smartphones replace feature phones, internet access through a mobile device will dramatically increase. Research firm says that of the five billion mobile phones in the world in 2012, about 1.08 billion are smartphones. Owners of a smartphone consume the internet at a vastly higher amount than feature phone consumersaccording to Nielsen, 82% of smartphone users access mobile browsers, compared to only 19% of feature phone owners. Sales of mobile devices already eclipsed sales of personal computers in Q4 of 2012, and Morgan Stanley projects that by 2014, mobile web surfing will eclipse that of desktop web surfing.

This transition has churned up the waters in the mobile device industry segment, with massive new challenges being created for the handset makers. How do you develop the best possible experience for the widest possible set of customers As the device makers compete fiercely to attract new customers with their offerings, HTC seems to be miles ahead when it comes to giving people a fantastic, optimised internet experience on its handsets. Be it the HTC Desire, Explorer, Butterfly or the more recent One device, web surfing on these devices is simply superb. I believe that HTC offers the best smartphone experience, not to mention their devices stunning looks.

The HTC One mini is here, and if you think that mini means you are getting a trimmed-down version of the widely popular HTC One, you are sadly mistaken. The Rs 36,790-a-piece One mini is a judicious mix of hardware and software, brought together to result in a snappy and smooth smartphone experience for the user. It packs multimedia, communication and top internet functionality in one highly stylish device. Constructed of polished metal alloy, it has a 4.3-inch display screen and narrow build for convenient single-hand operation.

I believe that the 4.3-inch mini looks much like the full-sized version (HTC One), and that goes for both the hardware and software. In addition to its similar-looking aluminum-and-plastic frame youll find both a 4-megapixel ultrapixel camera sensor and HTCs Sense 5 user interface, meaning automatic video highlights, Zoe and BlinkFeed all make an appearance here as well. Its 1.4 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor may be less powerful than the HTC Ones 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 chipset, but I was still able to do everything I needed to on the mini without delay. There are, however, a few hardware drawbacks compared to the original, with the IR blaster, optical image stabilisation on the camera and NFC stripped out for space and cost-saving reasons.

When it comes to software, the mini is happily up-to-date with Android 4.2.2 topped with HTCs Sense 5.0 interface. You can enjoy a home screen that updates automatically with over 1,400 content partners. News, sports, blogs, posts and more displays on your home screen constantly. You can also customise your very own HTC BlinkFeed and start connecting to the content that matters most. Yes, BlinkFeed commands the main home screen by default with social networks, news outlets, and other content you set up. Interestingly, you cant turn off BlinkFeed in the settings, but you can shunt it to a secondary or tertiary screen. Otherwise, navigation and customisation features remain the same on the mini as they did on the original One.

Like the original, the mini is blessed with HTC Beats and BoomSound for enhanced audio through the phones twin external speakers. These speakers lie beneath micro-drilled holes both above and below the screen, bringing plenty of oomph, as advertised. And they project sound at you, not away, for great sound from a smartphone. In my experience, music and voices all sounded loud and rich, even with volume set midway.

HTC has also given the mini the same 4-megapixel ultrapixel camera resolution as it did the flagship One. That means, youll have the same layout, controls, filters, and add-ons, including HDR, panorama, and antishake, slow and fast motion, and white balance presets. You also get Zoe mode, which groups photos into three second snippets. Photos captured by me were very goodclear, colourful and sharp enough for your every day use.

With its classy design and a strong feature set, the mini is currently my favourite device for staying connected and surfing the web. I must applaud HTC for marrying value and performance, and the One mini comes highly recommended.


* Dimensions:13.2 x 6.32 x 0.925 cm

* Display: 10.92 cm 720p HD super LCD 2 display

* Processor: Dual Core 1.4 GHz processor

* Platform: HTC BlinkFeed with Sense 5 & Android Jelly Bean

* Memory: 16 GB RAM

* Camera: HTC ultrapixel camera (16 MP front)

* Weight: 128g