There are only two ways one can view the HTC One these days. Either you think of it as the best Android smartphone around, or the number two, behind Samsung’s Galaxy S4. There’s no third option, unless you also consider Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra, which however is not available for sale yet.
HTC One Mini Specs and Features
But what about HTC One mini? It’s clearly not a game-changer, it’s not targeted at power junkies and is in no way a flagship device, but how “bad” is it compared with big bro? Can it be described as an upper mid-ranger, full-blown mid-end device or, worse, a low-ender?
No prizes for narrowing that down to two options, since not even the biggest, craziest Android speed addict out there (and I say that with love) could ever look at something as cool as the One mini and say it’s an entry-level gadget.
That said, how about we ditch all the chitchat and get down to the facts? The cold numbers, specs and features that make the One mini a downgrade compared with HTC’s current top-liner.
Design and build quality
Unlike Samsung, whose Galaxy S4 Mini really does look “mini” from a mile away compared with the original GS4, HTC seems to have been given HTC One mini’s design much more thought. The Taiwanese have clearly intended for the aesthetic differences between their two leading phones to be as subtle as possible.
In the end, they’ve nailed that perfectly, but that’s not to say the One mini is an “architectural” marvel. It’s robust, solid and elegant, just like its brother, it rocks the same aluminum unibody that’s attracted so many devotees of late, but it’s a little tall.
In fact, it’s only four percent shorter than the 4.7-inch One. And that’s despite the usable screen real estate measuring 4.3 inches in diagonal. It’s also a mere 5 mm narrower than the One, so all in all the bezels could have been slimmer.
Plus, the One mini is no featherweight, weighing in at 122 grams (15 more than the GS4 Mini, 21 less than the One). On the bright side, it is exactly as thin as its sibling, rocking a 9.3 mm profile.
There’s absolutely no way we can make this comparison so as the One mini can win, but it’s not like you’ll ever find someone in their right mind to say the 4.3-incher’s screen is mediocre. It may not be perfect, but it’s crazy crisp.
It boasts a 1,280 x 720 pixels resolution (aka HD) and 341 ppi pixel density, which is clearly not as impressive as the 1,920 x 1,080 pix res and 468 ppi of the One. What I dare you to do is take a 720p and 1,080p smartphone without knowing which one’s which and try to tell the difference. Trust me, you’ll never pull it off.
Processing speed and cameras
If you really want to find something “wrong” with the One Mini, here’s where you’ll want to look. The little guy’s dual-core 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU is no match for the quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 inside the One. Or for the 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 400 powering the GS4 Mini, for that matter.
Sadly, HTC has also decided to couple the 400 SoC with just 1 GB of RAM, so multitasking might be a little tricky… if you’ll want to run like 10 apps at once.
Meanwhile, the cameras of the One mini and One are almost identical, though there are a couple of very subtle differences. The rear snapper lacks OIS (optical image stabilization) on the 4.3-incher, whereas the front-facing cam packs a lower-res 1.6 MP sensor (vs. 2.1).
To keep it short and to the point, the One mini is essentially a clone of its bigger brother in software terms. Not that that’s a bad thing. On the contrary, in fact, since the soon to be released 4.3-inch phone is to run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Sense 5.0 UI on top and all of the “goodies” that make the 4.7-inch One special.
Battery life and others
It’s obviously way too early to try to rate One mini’s real-life autonomy, but with a measly 1,800 mAh ticker powering the thing I wouldn’t be very optimistic. Then again, the One has an edge of just 500 mAh in this department and, after putting the always power-hungry Full HD screen and superior processor in balance, chances are the gap between the two phones will be pretty small. Maybe like an hour or so in talk time.
As for other elements that could help you decide between the two, there are only a couple that come to mind. There’s the storage space (the bigger One comes with 32 or 64 GB, while the smaller device has just 16 gigs in tow), pricing and connectivity.
Most of the ports and connectivity options are the same between the two, but one important thing that the One mini lacks is NFC. Oops! Finally, we’re hearing £380 will be the off-contract starting price in the UK, which makes us presume America will get it for $400 tops in an unlocked flavor and $100 with two-year pacts.
Starting from the bottom, the One Mini should have a pricing ace up its sleeve of about 300 bucks in an off-contract flavor compared with the original One. Enough to warrant a buy? That depends. If you’re not fazed by its slightly too big body and not very impressive SoC/RAM duo, hell yeah!
But darn it to hell, HTC, you were so close to perfection with this thing that the 1 GB RAM just makes me boil with anger. Who’s with me?
Images via [Gizmag]