HTC One mini 2 Review
August 12, 2014
COMMENTS

Slimmed down specs, but still as awesome.

HTC has been struggling in the past years thanks to stiff competition from Apple and Samsung. But the release of last year’s HTC One proved that the company can still make a great smartphone. The HTC One was one of the best designed smartphones in my opinion, and the recently released HTC One M8 simply improves on the already great design. Just like the first HTC One, the HTC One M8 will also come with a less-powerful version – the HTC One mini 2. I don’t know who comes up with these naming conventions, so let’s just take a look at HTC’s new addition to the M8 family.

Design and Specifications

The HTC One mini 2 basically looks like a slimmed down HTC One M8, and in my opinion is much easier to hold and use compared to its big brother. I’m not really fond of big-screen smartphones, so the 137.4 x 65 x 10.6 mm seems to be the perfect size for me.

The HTC One mini 2 is about 70 percent metal while the rest is polycarbonate plastic. To compare, the HTC One M8 has about 90 percent metal. The focus on more metal to cover most of the smartphone gives the HTC One mini 2 a more premium feel compared to the first mini. A had a small problem with the curved back especially when using the smartphone on a flat surface. The smartphone keeps swinging side to side because of it and it somehow adds annoyance when using it in that position.

This smartphone comes with a 4.5-inch screen that comes with a decent 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. It doesn’t match the full HD display of the original, but I can’t say anything bad about the screen. Colors are decent, and the touchscreen is very responsive.

Controls are kept to a minimum, with the power button and volume rockers as the only buttons you will find one the smartphone. On both sides you will find the ports for the nano SIM card and the micro SD card. A 3.5 mm audio jack is located on top and the usual connectivity options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE) is present. HTC’s signature BoomSound front facing speakers also make an appearance.

Powered by a Quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, the HTC One mini 2 also features 16 GB storage along with 1 GB of RAM. The specifications seem minimal, but when I was using for a couple of weeks, I never really any serious problems. Performance hiccups is there, but general usage yielded a smooth performance.

A 13 megapixel camera comes with the HTC One mini 2 along with a 5 megapixel one perfect for well, selfies. You may notice HTC has ditched the Duo camera present on the HTC One M8, but that’s about the major differences this one has with its bigger sibling.

Lastly, the HTC One mini 2 runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat and uses HTC’s own Sense 6.0 overlay. I generally preferred the design aesthetics of Sense 6.0 compared to Samsung’s TouchWiz, which I think look more ‘serious’ in tone.

Performance

I’ve been using the HTC One mini 2 for more than a couple of weeks and I couldn’t be happier with it. That’s something coming from someone who has been using an iPhone for more than 3 years. Even if the phone comes with a subpar processor, I honestly did not have any problems using it, every app installs and launches as expected, and most performance hiccups are bearable.

I used the HTC One mini 2 with the (only) two local providers here in the UAE: Du and Etisalat. I didn’t have any problems making calls on the smartphone, each call was crisp and clear without any noticeable distortions. Same goes for the date connectivity, 4G LTE speeds were accurate and browsing on the smartphone was fast and smooth.

The 13 megapixel camera may seem better than the one found on the HTC One M8, but results for the images were ‘strictly okay.’ Images taken outside shows the best results though seeing the image at 100 percent showed a rather blurry close-up. Low-light images did not fare well, since most images taken in the dark or dimly-lit areas simply showed a dark image.

The front facing 5 megapixel camera is the same one found on the HTC One M8 and somehow fares better in performance. It isn’t the best, but with the increased resolution, selfies (I had to try it) looked better compared to the first mini. Overall, the HTC One mini 2’s cameras aren’t the best, but they’re good enough considering the price and specifications.

Packing a 2110 mAh battery, the HTC One mini 2 somehow performs at par with the HTC One M8. You get about 556 hours of standby time along with 16 hours of talk time. Translate that to real time usage and I was able to full use the device on a typical day (7 am – 9 pm) and still have about 10 percent left on the battery when I went home – a feat that’s rarely achieved even with higher-priced smartphones.

A mini to rule them all?

The HTC One mini 2 costs 1549 AED, which is about 1000 AED cheaper than the HTC One M8. The specifications aren’t the best, but overall, the HTC One mini 2’s excellent design, decent performance and battery life is highly recommended for users looking for a great smartphone without burning a hole in their wallets.

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Passionate for all things tech - you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of Blu-ray discs and occasionally plays on his Xbox.
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