It’s a growing trend amongst phone manufacturers to release a smaller, cut down version of their flagship handsets and HTC is no exception. Considering the buzz surrounding the HTC One M8, it’s hardly surprising that some people were excited for a smaller, lighter version of the phone. It’s not that much dissimilar to the M8, with a 4.5-inch display and Android 4.4 KitKat, even if it does pack a little bit less power with a Snapdragon 400 processor. But does it match up to the success of it’s bigger brother?
Some of the annoying hardware changes from the M8 have thankfully not been carried over to the Mini 2, and the fact that the headphone jack is still on the top of the handset is a welcome choice from the designers. While a lot of hardware has been removed (see below), the fact that BoomSound is still present is a huge relief. It still packs the same loud booming sound that makes audio with the M8 so great.
The display itself is rather great, it’s just not helped by the comparisons with the technical superiority of the M8’s display, I say technical because the resolution might be lower but it’s not like anybody can actually tell the difference. Some people might claim they can, but those people would be liars.
The camera might be completely different to the one included on both the M8 and the M7, since HTC decided to remove the UltraPixel sensor from the Mini 2, however they made up for that with the inclusion of a 13MP rear-facing camera. It doesn’t amount to much, but it will certainly quell the fears of people who think that a camera is terrible just because it’s 4MP.
The 2,100 mAH battery is lower than the M8, but it is a significant step up from the 1,800 mAh included in the original One Mini. Despite it being a lower capacity than the M8, the device’s lower power consumption does mean that the battery life is more than enough to last you through the day. Should the worst happen, however, the Mini 2 does come with the Extreme Power Saving feature that will switch off all but the phone’s bare essentials when you need to conserve power the most.
What’s not so great
For a phone that’s supposed to be “mini” the Mini 2 isn’t actually that much smaller than the M8. The display itself is only 1/2 an inch smaller than the M8, which makes it roughly the same size as the average smartphone on the market. Considering it’s not that much smaller, it makes the hardware cuts even more annoying.
While the M8 itself was rather heavy, the Mini 2 suffers from the opposite problem since it’s far too light. It’s so light that it feels like it’s going to snap in two halfway through sending a text.
The major problem about the Mini 2 is that most of the fantastic hardware included in the M8 has been completely removed. A perfect example is the dual camera, which gives the M8 a whole host of post-photography editing features, is gone. In it’s place is a bog standard 13MP camera that you’d find on any other smartphone on the market. While there are some people who will appreciate the resolution boost, it means the camera on the Mini 2 doesn’t have the functions that made the camera on the M8 so special. Similarly, the display is lower. I mentioned before that nobody will notice will dip in quality, but they will notice the drop in brightness. Even at full brightness the phone is just far too dark.
The cool features have all gone as well. The slower processor in the Mini 2 means that the motion gestures from the M8 are not included. Similarly the DotView Case, one of the coolest accessories for the M8, is just not available for the Mini 2.
While HTC One Mini 2 isn’t a bad phone by itself, it struggles thanks to it being compared to the superior HTC One M8. The fact that most of the features that make the M8 great have been stripped out, and that certainly doesn’t work to the Mini 2’s advantage. That’s the main problem. With both the M8 and the M7 readily available for a not too dissimilar price, it’s hard to imagine why you’d want to get hold of the Mini 2
By Tom Pritchard | July 18th, 2014