Channel 5

HTC One mini 2

Thursday 05 June 2014

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

Last year's HTC One spawned a compact version, known as the HTC One mini. This had the same good looks and construction as its bigger brother, but lesser specs. Now HTC has released a shrunken version of the HTC One (M8) – one of the best Android phones of the year – known as the HTC One mini 2. Again, this boasts the same aluminium chassis and many of the same features as its larger sibling. But are there too many compromises? We grabbed HTC's latest tiny titan to find out.

Read our review of the HTC One (M8)

Read our review of the Sony Xperia Z2!

The good

The mini 2 isn't exactly small. At 4.5 inches, it's bigger than last year's mini model, and it's not far off the original HTC One. Like its bigger brother, it's made of aluminium, and feels really premium. But unlike the One M8, it has some polycarbonate down the sides.

Just like the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the HTC One mini before it, it has a 720p display instead of a full HD one. It still looks crisp and clear with superb viewing angles, and it's really responsive. Gone are the capacitive touch keys on the bottom of the display – they're now found on-screen when the phone is in use, which means the phone's bezels have been reduced. BoomSound speakers sit above and below the screen, while the top edge is home to the front-facing camera and a pair of sensors.

The front-facing snapper is the same five-megapixel shooter that's on the full-fat M8, and it performs equally well. On the back, you'll find the UltraPixel camera and Duo depth sensor have both been ditched in favour of a 13-megapixel sensor instead. That means you don't get any of the special after effects that come with the full-sized M8. But it takes top-notch images, and there are plenty of settings to tweak. Its auto-focus is also pretty rapid, which is great when you need a quick shot. Add in full 1080p videos, and the camera isn't a huge trade-off from the UltraPixel shooter on the M8. Onboard you'll find the latest and greatest Android 4.4.2 KitKat which has been overlaid with HTC's own Sense 6 UI – this comes with plenty of handy features like BlinkFeed, and its own distinctive design.

The bad

Just like last year's model, it's a little lacking under the hood. The 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor (the same as Motorola's Moto G) is only slightly improved from last year's offering, and it's paired up with a paltry 1GB of RAM. Make no mistake, this is no replacement for the full-sized One M8. And future-proofed it ain't. The mini 2 doesn't feel sluggish, but HTC could've compromised less. Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact, for example, managed to pack in almost the same specs as its larger inspiration. Take heed, HTC.

The mini 2's 16GB of storage might sound plenty, but you can only use 10GB of that, as Sense 6 takes up the rest. At least you can add some space with a microSD card.

Sony Xperia A2 could be the Z2 Compact we’ve been waiting for

Read our review of the original HTC One mini!

The bottom line

HTC has crafted another beautiful handset in the One mini 2, but we can't help but wonder if it's speedy enough. It's armed with the same processor as Motorola's budget Moto G, but with a much heftier £360 price tag. You do get the solid M8 build though, as well as Boomsound speakers and a camera than sometimes outdoes the original M8's. There are compromises, but its solid chassis makes for an alluring handset that's hard to pass up.

Currys Top Products

HTC One mini 2 is tagged with HTC, HTC One Mini 2, Android and Smartphone. Select a tag (HTC, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

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