May 21, 2014

HTC One M8 vs HTC One Mini 2 – Is bigger always better?

HTC One M8 vs HTC One Mini 2

The HTC One M8 is a fantastic handset, but with its large screen and equally big price tag it’s not a good fit for everyone. That’s why HTC has now come out with the HTC One Mini 2. A smaller, cheaper, but still distinctly premium phone. So, with two major HTC handsets out in the wild with two different screen sizes the question is, is bigger always better?

HTC One M8 vs HTC One Mini 2 – Build

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The HTC One M8 (above) is luxuriously premium with a brushed aluminium back that curves comfortably into your hand and barely a speck of plastic in sight. At 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4mm and 160g it’s not exactly small or light, but then that’s the trade-off for having a large screen and a metal body.

Having said that it also doesn’t feel uncomfortably large or heavy. It will still fit in most pockets and it’s just about useable with one hand so the size isn’t particularly prohibitive.

The HTC One Mini 2 has a similar design, with the same brushed metal back and speaker grills on the front, but around the edge of the phone there’s a plastic band which makes it look slightly cheaper and worse than the M8.

Its dimensions are 137.43 x 65.04 x 10.6mm and it weighs 137g, so it’s a little smaller and lighter than the HTC One M8 and while the M8’s size isn’t overly prohibitive there’s no denying that the One Mini 2 feels a little more portable thanks to its smaller size. While the One M8 will fit in most pockets the One Mini 2 should fit in just about all pockets and it’s also more comfortable to use with one hand.

One area where it does falter though is in that at 10.6mm thick it’s actually fatter than the HTC One M8, so while it’s not likely to stick out the top of your pocket it may create a bulge.

HTC One M8 vs HTC One Mini 2 – Display

HTC One Mini 2

The HTC One M8 has a 5 inch 1080 x 1920 display with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch, while the HTC One Mini 2 (above ) has a 4.5 inch 720 x 1280 display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. So it’s both smaller and lower resolution. That resolution difference is noticeable, leading to less sharp images than its larger sibling is capable of, but it’s a fairly small difference and both phones have great screens overall.

Beyond the respective quality the size is also a consideration. With that extra half an inch the HTC One M8 is more immersive for films, video and web browsing, but it’s also less portable, harder to use with one hand and a little heavier, which if holding the phone for an extended period, while watching a film for example, does actually make a difference as it will start to feel uncomfortable before the HTC One Min 2 does.

Plus the screen on the One Mini 2 is still far from small, so you’re not sacrificing too much in immersion. Really it’s subjective as to which size point is better but the One M8 has it beat on resolution.

HTC One M8 vs HTC One Mini 2 – Power

The HTC One M8 has a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM, while the HTC One Mini 2 has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM, which leaves the One M8 as far and away the more powerful of the two.

Having said that the Mini 2 still has a fair bit of power and seems fairly zippy at most things, so you might not miss the extra power too much.

HTC One M8 vs HTC One Mini 2 – Camera

HTC One M8 Review

The HTC One M8 (above) has a 4 Ultrapixel camera with a second sensor used for judging depth of field, which allows you to change the focus of a photo or blur the background after taking it, while the Ultrapixels in the main lens ensure it performs well in low light.

The HTC One Mini 2 has a 13 megapixel camera, so images can be blown up to a larger size without losing quality, but it doesn’t perform as well in low light. It also doesn’t have a depth sensor and while the M8 has a dual LED flash the Mini 2 only has a single one.

The two phones both have a 5 megapixel front facing camera though, which makes them great for selfies and both phones can shoot video in 1080p.
HTC One M8 vs HTC One Mini 2 – Battery life, memory and connectivity

The HTC One M8 has a 2600 mAh battery capable of up to 496 hours of standby time or 20 hours of talk time, while the One Mini 2 has a 2100 mAh battery capable of up to 556 hours of standby time or 16.2 hours of talk time, making the M8 better in active use.

The HTC One M8 comes with a choice of 16 or 32GB of built in storage while the One Mini 2 comes with just 16GB, but both phones have a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 128GB.

Both phones support Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. The only difference is that the HTC One M8 also supports infrared, while the HTC One Mini 2 doesn’t.

HTC One M8 vs HTC One Mini 2 – Conclusion

Both the HTC One M8 and the HTC One Mini 2 are great phones. That said the HTC One M8 is clearly the better of the two, thanks to a superior build, more power, a better screen and a more full-featured camera. That’s ok though because it also costs more than the HTC One Mini 2.

As for whether bigger is always better, the answer is no. The HTC One M8 is right on the edge of being problematically large while the portability and ease of one-handed use on the HTC One Mini 2 are undeniably appealing, but in this case, when you take all the specs into account too, bigger certainly comes out as better.

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Looking to find out more about the HTC One M8: