Small, speedy, and strong: HTC's One Mini reviewed
4.3Overall Score

Price (RRP): $480 outright; Available from Telstra and Vodafone on plans;
Manufacturer: HTC

The flavour of the moment seems to be big phones, with devices starting at the 4.7 inch screen size mark, and pushing all the way past six inches into phablet territory. Not everyone wants a massive phone, though, and with that in mind, HTC is shrinking its One handset to suit.

Features

Marketed as a miniature version of a handset released by HTC earlier in the year, the One Mini aims to bring the excellent performance of HTC’s current flagship to a smaller size, for hands that don’t particularly want the size of a big phone and prefer something more readily pocketable.

To do this, the screen has had a drop in size, shifting from 4.7 inches to 4.3. This change in size has affected the resolution, because while the 4.7 inch HTC One came with a Full HD 1920×1080 screen boasting a pixel density of 468ppi, the One Mini pulls it back to regular ‘ol high-definition’s 1280×720 with 341ppi.

Under the hood, the HTC has equipped a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.4GHz, partnering it with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. No microSD slot is included on this body, and the back can’t be removed.

Google’s Android is the operating system of choice, with the recent 4.2.2 version included, also known as “Jelly Bean.”

Connectivity in the handset includes Bluetooth 4.0 with support for AptX, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n, DLNA, GPS, and 4G connection speeds running over Cat 3 LTE.

Two cameras are present in this handset, with the front-facing camera using a 1.6 megapixel module with back-side illumination on the sensor, while the rear camera is the same one out of the HTC One, the UltraPixel back-side illuminated camera with a dedicated image processing chip working alongside it.

HTC is relying on Beats Audio for the multimedia in this handset, and has included the Beats headphone enhancing technology on the phone, which also helps the BoomSound dual-speakers sitting on the front of the phone.

Few buttons and ports exist on the handset, with a microUSB below and a 3.5mm headphone jack up top representing the ports, while the buttons are taken care of through a power button on the top, separated volume buttons on the right edge, and soft buttons for “back” and “home” on the front under the screen.

The battery is rated for 1800mAh.

Performance

Even if the 4.7 inch screen size doesn’t quite match the 5 to 5.5 inch size smartphones being released by other manufacturers, the HTC One is still a relatively big handset, and that’s not what everyone wants, which is probably why HTC has put the handset on a diet with the One Mini.

In this handset, the screen drops to 4.3 inches, and effectively provides a quicker way for people familiar with the 3.5 to 4 inch iPhone size to jump over to a similar size.