June 16, 2014

HTC One Mini 2 Review

HTC One Mini 2 Review

HTC One Mini 2 Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Performance
Battery Power
Overall Score 4G.co.uk grey star

Pros

Cons

High end design Average power
BoomSound speakers Disappointing battery
Good camera Screen not full HD

Verdict:

The HTC One Mini 2 might look like a high end handset but it doesn’t perform like one. Still, with a sub-£400 price tag, a decent camera and some compelling features it’s easy to recommend.

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HTC One Mini 2 Review

The HTC One Mini 2 has quite a lot to live up to, not only is it the successor to the impressively premium HTC One Mini but it exists in the shadow of the HTC One M8, a phone which took smartphone design to a whole new level. So how does it fare? Read on to find out.

Design

HTC One Mini 2 Review

If there’s one thing HTC really couldn’t afford to make a mess of with the HTC One Mini 2 it’s the design. Thankfully it hasn’t. The HTC One Mini 2 is carved out of brushed aluminium, just like the HTC One M8, and its curved back fits comfortably in the hand.

Round the front there’s the dual front facing BoomSound speakers above and below the screen. These inevitably mean that the top and bottom bezels are quite large but it’s well worth it as they deliver superior sound quality, for immersive music, video and gaming even when you don’t have headphones plugged in.

It’s not a total triumph of design though, as while the HTC One M8 is almost all metal, the HTC One Mini 2 has a sliver of plastic running around the edge and at 10.6mm thick it’s rather on the chunky side.

But it still looks better than most handsets, in fact it even outclasses most flagships, let alone the upper mid-range phones it’s competing with. It feels well-built too, which is good, because this is one phone that you’re not going to want to hide away in a case.

Screen

The HTC One Mini 2 has a 4.5 inch 720 x 1280 Super LCD2 display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. It’s slightly disappointing that it’s not full HD, but then this is a £360 phone, so it’s not expected and it’s still fairly crisp.

The colours seem ever so slightly muted and not quite as natural as they could be, which is a shame too, but this isn’t a bad screen by any means and the size will likely be a big selling point for a lot of people as it’s small enough to easily fit in pockets and small bags but large enough to comfortably use.

Performance

Sadly while the HTC One Mini 2 looks high end it doesn’t have the specs to back it up. Its 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM are mid-range to the bone and while they cut it on some phones there are noticeable issues with the HTC One Mini 2.

It’s not a poor performer really but it can take several seconds to launch applications and there’s even sometimes a bit of slow down when moving between home screens which we really wouldn’t expect on a device of this price.

Camera

HTC One Mini 2 Review

The HTC One Mini 2’s camera is interesting for the simple fact that it’s not the same camera as the HTC One M8 has. That phone has a 4 Ultrapixel snapper, as does the HTC One and the original HTC One Mini, but the Mini 2 has a 13 megapixel camera instead.

More megapixels is debatably a good thing but it does mean that each pixel is smaller and lets less light in, so photos taken in dark scenes won’t come out as well. It also lacks the secondary depth sensor that the HTC One M8 has.

Nevertheless the HTC One Mini 2 is capable of taking some fairly detailed and impressive photos, especially by the standards of a mid-range handset.
The front facing camera is worth a mention too, because at 5 megapixels it’s far more adept than the secondary snappers on most phones. The HTC One Mini 2 can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps with either camera, so it’s not bad for recording video either.

Interface

The HTC One Mini 2 runs the latest version of Android (4.4.2 KitKat) and it’s overlaid with Sense 6, which is the latest version of HTC’s interface. So it’s up to date, but more importantly it’s intuitive and easy to use and includes handy features like BlinkFeed, which puts all your news and updates in one place. However it’s worth noting that the Mini 2 lacks the Motion Launch features of the HTC One M8.

Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity

The HTC One Mini 2’s 2110 mAh battery is on the small side and sadly that translates to underwhelming performance. It’s not terrible but it will struggle to quite make it through a day with moderate use and you can blast it down by lunch if you use it heavily. In its defence it is at least marginally better than the battery life of the original HTC One Mini, but only marginally.

The Mini 2 comes with 16GB of built in storage along with a microSD card slot which supports cards of up to 128GB, so memory shouldn’t be a problem. It’s pretty well equipped for connectivity options too, with Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC all on board.

Our Verdict

The HTC One Mini 2 is a stylish, pocket friendly handset with some premium features like NFC and 4G and even some selling points that almost no non-HTC handset can offer, such as impressive stereo speakers.

It’s also an improvement over the original HTC One Mini in almost every way, with a bigger, higher resolution screen, better specs and a higher megapixel camera.

But despite those improvements it still struggles a little in use and the battery life really lets it down. For £360 the HTC One Mini 2 has a whole lot going for it, but it’s far from perfect.

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HTC One Mini 2 Specification

Dimensions : 137.4 x 65 x 10.6mm
Weight: 137 grams
Screen size: 4.5” LCD (720 x 1280)
Screen Resolution: 720 x 1280 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 326
Processor: 1.2GHz Quad core application processor
RAM: 1 GB
On-board Memory: 16GB (microSD support)
Camera:  13MP (rear) 5MP (front facing)
Operating system: Android 4.4.2
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ Yes
Battery capacity: 2110mAh
Colours: Grey, Silver, Gold
Launch Date:  Out Now
Price: £360