• Our HTC One Mini review: The Small One

    Software:

    The One Mini has HTCís Sense overlay. I already mentioned it earlier but in the almost one year Iíve been using my HTC One, Sense has never grown on me. After a few months I gave up and threw a third party launcher on it.

    One of the things I dislike most about it is Blinkfeed which you can basically think of as a fancy RSS reader (itís actually more than that). Fortunately, the Mini literally just got an update which allows you to remove it.



    Another thing that really annoys me is that by default the home screens are 4 icons wide while the app draw is only 3 wide (it can be changed to 4x5). Not only is this setup confusing but I think it looks terrible too. Then again, like I said a few times, you can just throw on a 3rd party launcher and wash your hands of Sense.

    Performance:

    Under the hood, the Mini has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC. Youíll also find it on the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Mega and Motorola Moto X all of which Iíve reviewed recently. While itís not as fast as a Snapdragon 800, it offers good performance as long as you donít over do the resolution.

    Iím not going to bother listing web browser benchmarks. Iíve reviewed a few Snapdragon 400 power phones and theyíre all fine for web browsing.

    1280x720 is a lot of pixels to push and indeed, I think the GS4 with itís 960x540 display is a better match. Still, the One should play most games you throw at it.

    As a Phone:

    Sound quality, maximum earpiece and speakerphone volume and RF performance are all average.

    Sound can be a little rough sounding and there is some hiss.

    RF performance and maximum speakerphone and earpiece volumes are all similar to my iPhone 5s.

    Media Playback:

    If you want to be able to store a lot of video on your phone you should look elsewhere. The Mini ships with 16GB of non expandable storage of which only 10.8GB is available.

    The Mini is missing the Oneís infrared blaster so you canít use it to replace your TV remote. Then again, the software HTC ships with the One is pretty useless so I guess youíre not missing out on much.

    You get Beats audio which comprises two features; First off you get an insanely powerful headphone amp. Itís so loud it can over drive some of my headphones including my Sennheiser Momentums. I question the inclusion of this feature since it will definitely damage your hearing. Maybe itís for driving really high impedance headphones.

    Secondly you get a custom equalization/sound processing setting which make the headphone output and built-in speakers sound better. For the most part thereís no downside to using Beats compared to other phones. Music from the headphone out sounds great. The built-in speakers are literally the best sounding ones youíll find on a phone though Iíve noticed theyíre not quite as loud as most phones.
    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