TechRadar Reacts: HTC One Mini

18th Jul 2013 | 23:22

TechRadar Reacts: HTC One Mini

Do good things come in small packages?

The relentless march of the Mini Phones continues with the HTC One Mini, a not-so-mini version of the world's best phone, the HTC One.

But what do your faithful TechRadar writers think of this dinky new device? Let's find out, complete with knee-jerk scores out of five.

Gareth - Phones and Tablets Editor

What's really different about the One Mini apart from it being smaller? Not a lot – and I'm even a fan of that plastic edging, as it manages to offer differentiation without seeming cheap. Sure, there's a slower processor, lower-res screen and fewer fancy parts on the camera, but HTC has done the right thing and kept the core things that made the One awesome (BoomSound, UltraPixel, aluminium shell) and will be offering them at a lower price.

I do think 16GB of internal storage is just too low in this day and age – especially with all the Zoes and video highlights we can expect users to take. But overall, it's a stunning phone that has a real chance of cleaning up the mid-range market… and that's one that will include the 'cheaper' iPhone later this year.

Knee-jerk score: 4.5

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Patrick - UK Editor in Chief

I'll start with the great big caveat that I'm highly unlikely to ever plump for the 'mini' version of the phone because I actively like a bigger screen, but from the looks of things the HTC One mini has a lot going for it. Making sure that it keeps the cool design of its big brother is a great move and, on the whole, the decision to make this look and feel like a different size option, rather than a class below, is a positive one.

Knee-jerk score: 4

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Kate - News Editor

I don't know if you know this about me, but I am quite small. My hands are quite small and my face isn't much bigger. So when I was using an HTC One in the pub a couple of weeks ago my friends literally laughed in my tiny face when I put it to my ear because the handset is nearly as big as my head. So yeah, I'm in favour of the cut-down screen size. What I'm not in favour of is the cut-down storage size - it doesn't take long to fill up 16GB these days - or the still pretty hefty price tag. I could definitely live without BlinkFeed too, thanks. But it's a gorgeous looking phone and I really like the HTC One, so as long as that dual-core Snapdragon 400 can keep up with me, I'm on board.

Knee-jerk score: 4

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John - Phones and Tablets Writer

I was impressed when I picked up the Galaxy S4 Mini last month as it was a great improvement on its predecessor but the HTC One Mini looks like its gone - and pardon the pun here - one further with its lush metal body and classy Sense overlay. For all the good things though I really wish there was a microSD slot as that 16GB of storage is going to fill up fast, especially if you're addicted to the Zoe and Highlights features. Oh, and I'm still not sold on the whole UltraPixel business, just give me an 8MP rear snapper thanks.

Knee-jerk score: 4.5

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Hugh - Staff Writer

It's tough to find an argument against the HTC One Mini. By putting its bigger sibling in an even sleeker package - what's not to love? Given HTC's less-than-stellar profits for the second quarter, let's hope the Mini is here to give it a leg-up. Sure, there are still a few niggling issues with the Mini – the sliced storage is particularly annoying if you're a space hoarder like me - but if I ever break out of my iPhone ways, I guarantee this is the handset I'll be reaching for.

Knee-jerk score: 4.5

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Dan - Associate Editor

WOOOOOOOOO! That's pretty much my view of the original HTC One. I think it's a terrific smartphone, and if I wasn't so embedded in iOS, it's the phone I would have. But I feel like the Mini is an unwelcome sullying of the HTC One's supreme wonderment - not to mention the fact I think all this Mini-ing of handsets is a bit of a snoozeworthy idea. The spec sheet just shouts COMPROMISE. In the end though, it will be the (hopefully decent) price that dictates whether the HTC One Mini is a phone you should consider. After all, it still has the great HTC One aluminium unibody, so it looks the part at least.

Knee-jerk score: 3.5

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James - Reviews Editor

I don't like this new trend for 'mini' versions of mobile devices. It's a similar phenomenon to Hollywood's sequelitis and assumes that we're all too stupid to choose a midrange phone unless it's equated with a flagship product. But maybe the truth is that we are all that stupid, because if the iPad mini and Samsung Galaxy S Minis hadn't sold well, and if we weren't all gullible enough to go and see predictably terrible Terminator sequels at the cinema, they wouldn't exist. So yeah, the HTC One Mini looks like a pretty great midrange handset – the best, even. But I'd wait for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Mini if I were you, rumour has it it'll come with free tickets to see Sharknado 2.

Knee-jerk score: 3

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Alex - Associate Editor, Reviews

Right off the bat, I agree with Kate. Even though I have big old banana hands, I've always found phones like the One and the S4 to be too big. That's why I was fond of the HTC First; finally an LTE Android device that didn't feel like having a paperback book in my pocket. I personally don't care much about big screens because I don't watch a lot of videos on my phone, that's what my Nexus 7 and my 47-inch TV are for.

I've often said that if I could have a flagship Android device the size an iPhone 5, I'd have my perfect phone, but unfortunately that's not what we're getting here. The big step down in battery size is worrying, as battery life has never been an HTC strong suit. The loss of NFC chip actually bothers me more than the drop down to dual-core, because the NFC-enabled PayByPhone app saves me from having to carry meter change here in San Francisco. While I'm glad that there hasn't been a drop down in camera quality, unlike the S4 to the S4 mini, the 16GB of storage will probably be a deal breaker for me, as my Google Play All Access subscription has me recklessly downloading new albums. That, combined with my impulsive picture snapping, would likely fill this mini up fast.

Knee-jerk score: 3.5

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Total knee-jerk score: 4

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