Wednesday, 10 September 2014

HTC One Mini 2

It’s been a proverbial lifetime since the trend with mobile phones was to get smaller and smaller. After all, it was how manufacturers showed off their technical prowess: by consistently fitting more and more extra gadgets into ever decreasing phone bodies. Back then, the smallest phone won.

Nowadays, however, it’s a completely different story. If manufacturers were trying to make the smallest phone possible, we’d all be forever losing our phones down the backs of sofas or inside your choice of bodily cavity. Instead, bigger is, once again, better. Many manufacturers feel that what consumers truly desire is to carry a reasonably sized TV in their pocket, and some feel it necessary to release Mega or Max editions of their products, as entire marketing departments attempt to compensate for personal deficiencies.

Fortunately, however, it has also become common practice for many manufacturers to release Mini versions of their newest phones. With the release of the gargantuan One M8, HTC have followed that up with its complimentary “small” phone, the One Mini 2.


When you first get your hands on the One Mini 2, two things become abundantly clear. Firstly, HTC’s naming department have apparently all given up trying, and could probably benefit from some sort of culling, and second; it’s not exactly mini. To put it into perspective, HTC’s flagship phone, the One M8, is roughly 14.6cm tall. The mini? 13.7, not even a single cm shorter. The scenarios pretty much the same when you look at the phones’ widths, and the M8 even measures up as a few mms thinner than the Mini. In fact, if you put the One Mini 2 against the previous iteration of the HTC One (2013), they’re pretty much identical, give or take a few measly millimetres.

So if the Mini 2 isn’t exactly a mini M8, then what is it? Well, in many ways you could look at it as an M8 on a budget (if we’re using the word ‘budget’ rather loosely.) For instance, the Mini 2 boasts a reasonable quad core CPU that, at 1.2GHz, clocks in at a little over half of what the M8 manages. The Mini 2 only possesses 1GB of RAM, as opposed to the M8’s 2GB. Several additional (and depending on your usage, irrelevant) features have also been binned on the Mini 2. For instance, gone is the M8’s all important Barometer, but so too is the ability to use your phone as a remote control. Many of the features dropped in order to make the Mini 2 so ‘mini’ won’t necessarily hinder your usage of the phone, but are features that set the top dogs apart.


However, if you take the One Mini 2 away from its Daddy, and use it without drawing comparisons, it’s a surprisingly good phone. The phone’s general speed and processing power is enough to handle bouncing between several apps, including music and games, and the 16GB of storage is plenty enough, especially when you consider that you can expand on this with Micro SD cards. The 4.5 inch screen offers crisp images at consistently high resolutions, with the trademark vibrancy we’ve come to expect of Super LCD displays; which is ideal to show off all the photos you’ll be taking, given that the One Mini 2 forgoes the Dual-Sensor 4MP camera of the M8, in favour of a 13MP version instead.

Unfortunately, however, the phone lacks one thing overall, and that’s purpose. The mini tag is all well and good, but it seems to be little more than a title. I could accept it being a budget M8 rather happily, but there is one major downfall: the One E8 - essentially a plastic M8, with the spec to match. In comparison, the One Mini 2 becomes little more than an underpowered and under equipped iteration of an otherwise great phone; and, all of this coming from someone who just got one.

Overall, then, the HTC One Mini 2 gets 3 out of 5 from one apparently bitter owner. It’s a great phone in its own right, but splash a bit and get the real deal, or the E8.

[★★★☆☆]

Adam Freeman


HTC One Mini 2 at CeX


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