• Our HTC One Mini review: The Small One

    Body:



    As nice as the HTC One’s body is I must say, the Mini’s is even nicer. The full-sized One has a really cool plastic inlayed in metal on the back, similar to what you’ll find on the side of an iPhone. Well the Mini one-ups the full size by having plastic inlay sides too. So not only do the sides of the Mini look more interesting but they feel nicer too.



    In my hand I always thought that the One felt too big and the sides were too hard. Since the Mini is smaller and the sides are softer it also feels much nicer in my hand.



    Otherwise the body is just like the One. From metal skin on the back along with the top and bottom of the front to the transition from plastic to metal and glass to metal. There aren’t many phones which are more tactile than the One Mini.



    The power button is borderline hard to press while the volume buttons plain suck because they don't stick out enough though they’re not as bad as the buttons you’ll find on the HTC One.



    MicroSIM slot


    power button, headphone jack


    volume buttons


    microUSB


    camera, LED flash


    stereo speakers


    Display:

    The Mini has a 4.3” 1280x720 display while its bigger brother has a 1920x1080 4.7”. So it’s 0.4” smaller and has about 40% less resolution. Does that mean it looks terrible and blocky? Actually it looks pretty damn good to me. It’s not quite sharp as HTC One but most of the time I don't notice it and I'm sure most users won’t notice it at all.

    Like the full sized One, the Mini’s display is one of the brightest on the market and is excellent outdoors in direct sunlight.

    Camera:



    HTC turned a lot of heads last year when they released the One with a 4 megapixel ‘Ultrapixel’ sensor instead of trying to cram in the most megapixels like most of their competitors. The result was that the One’s low light performance is one of the best on the market. Off the top of my head, the only phone which has better low-light is the Nokia 1020 though the Apple iPhone 5s comes close.

    The One Mini has the same Ultrapixel sensor as the One but unfortunately, it omits the One’s image stabilization which is a bit of shame since it worked great with video.

    Still, like the One, Mini has a fairly wide 28mm (35mm equivalent) lens which is more forgiving when it comes to masking camera shake in video.

    Performance is similar to the full size though you’ll have to hold it more steady in low light. Fortunately, the Mini is smaller and thus easier to hold so I guess that sort of cancels out the lack of stabilization

    Speed is excellent. Focusing is very quick and there’s a brisk 10 frame per second burst mode.

    Picture quality is decent. In situations where other cameras have to resort to multi-frame exposure cheater modes, the One only has to take one picture.

    Outdoors, the One falls behind the competition in terms of resolution to the point that sometimes you’ll notice the lower resolution. I also found that the Mini sometimes tends to overexpose.

    One thing about the HTC One is that the pictures are always kind of gritty looking - even when there is lots of light. I get the feeling that the sensor is tuned for low light and thus always trying to exact as much detail from dark areas of pictures.

    HTC makes a big deal about their Zoe feature. Basically it snaps 20 pictures in about 2 seconds starting about half a second BEFORE you press the shutter button. To top it off it also records a 2 second video clip. I used to use this feature a lot but these days use it sparingly because the video clip is too short and unless I’m anticipating a shot I find it easier to just use the regular capture mode.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our HTC One Mini review: The Small One started by howard View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. EricSony's Avatar
      EricSony -
      The Samsung S4 Mini has 16gb internal memory, not 8! At least the one I got from Fido does (so the Rogers version most certainly does as well).
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by EricSony View Post
      The Samsung S4 Mini has 16gb internal memory, not 8! At least the one I got from Fido does (so the Rogers version most certainly does as well).
      Thanks, fixed that. I remembered wrong.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      These "mini" versions of their bigger counterparts are....cute, but overpriced. For what they are asking for them you might as well wait a bit longer and just get their bigger brothers. Better resale value to boot. There are some great choices now in the $200.00 and under club, with the Moto G being the tip of the iceberg. Samsung has the Light, Alcatel has a few contenders, and the Nexus is always looming at not too much more than that.
      I guess if your looking for smaller, then these might be a good item to consider, but other than that I don't see the point.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
      These "mini" versions of their bigger counterparts are....cute, but overpriced. For what they are asking for them you might as well wait a bit longer and just get their bigger brothers. Better resale value to boot. There are some great choices now in the $200.00 and under club, with the Moto G being the tip of the iceberg. Samsung has the Light, Alcatel has a few contenders, and the Nexus is always looming at not too much more than that.
      I guess if your looking for smaller, then these might be a good item to consider, but other than that I don't see the point.
      Good point, unless you want something small, the difference between an inexpensive flagship like the Alcatel Idol X and and a 'mini' version of a flagship is usually pretty small so if you were to take brand out of the equation the mini's could get squeezed out of the equation.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
      Good point, unless you want something small, the difference between an inexpensive flagship like the Alcatel Idol X and and a 'mini' version of a flagship is usually pretty small so if you were to take brand out of the equation the mini's could get squeezed out of the equation.
      Unfortunately most folks just don't realize that there are some good choices out there if they are willing to take brand out of said equation. That's why it's up to us big mouth---er---reviewers to let 'em know they exist 2014 will indeed be a big year for the off brands with low cost chip manufacturers like Mediatek stepping up their game with some nice, powerful chipsets that are bound to make a big splash. Here's to the near future
    1. EricSony's Avatar
      EricSony -
      Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
      Unfortunately most folks just don't realize that there are some good choices out there if they are willing to take brand out of said equation. That's why it's up to us big mouth---er---reviewers to let 'em know they exist 2014 will indeed be a big year for the off brands with low cost chip manufacturers like Mediatek stepping up their game with some nice, powerful chipsets that are bound to make a big splash. Here's to the near future
      While there are those who blindingly buy a phone because it's a brand they like, there are others who buy those mini phones for the very fact they are mini. I tried the Samsung S4 for two weeks and returned it; never got used to talking into what would've been a tablet only a couple of years ago. I also appreciate a light phone and no other phone in the market has the screen size, weight and features combination that the S4 mini does, which is why I bought it. Not everyone is out to buy the biggest spec monster they can get for their dough, especially if they're only going to use it to make phone calls/text/browse 99.9% of the time, which is what the vast majority of owners do. The S4 mini weight nothing, has a great, perfectly-sized screen (and putting it side by side with the large S4, I have to get a magnifying glass to notice any resolution difference), has a great camera and does any task I throw at it reliably and fast (no hanging or lagging to be found anywhere). I'm a happy camper.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Quote Originally Posted by EricSony View Post
      While there are those who blindingly buy a phone because it's a brand they like, there are others who buy those mini phones for the very fact they are mini. I tried the Samsung S4 for two weeks and returned it; never got used to talking into what would've been a tablet only a couple of years ago. I also appreciate a light phone and no other phone in the market has the screen size, weight and features combination that the S4 mini does, which is why I bought it. Not everyone is out to buy the biggest spec monster they can get for their dough, especially if they're only going to use it to make phone calls/text/browse 99.9% of the time, which is what the vast majority of owners do. The S4 mini weight nothing, has a great, perfectly-sized screen (and putting it side by side with the large S4, I have to get a magnifying glass to notice any resolution difference), has a great camera and does any task I throw at it reliably and fast (no hanging or lagging to be found anywhere). I'm a happy camper.
      Well I will say that I bought the Galaxy Light for exactly that same reason. I liked the smaller size compared to a 5" phone which are just too cumbersome to carry around in a jeans pocket,especially in the summer. I did find it to be a bit too small, though, a 4.5" screen is a sweet spot to me, good size without the bulk. As with all things, it will always vary from one person to another. One persons perfect phablet is another persons monstrosity....to each his/her own