The HTC One Mini might be small, but it holds a big spot in my heart

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| December 4, 2013

A few months ago I had the opportunity to use and review the mini version of the HTC One, the flagship phone that turned the way people view HTC around. Appropriately named the HTC One Mini, the device looked nearly identical to its older brother on the outside with a few minor aesthetic changes, the main one being that the device is (of course) smaller. Measuring in with a 4.3-inch screen, compared to its progenitor's 4.7-inch screen it wouldn't seem like the HTC One Mini is all that "mini" at all. However, when actually holding the device in your hand the device is noticeably smaller than the original One. 

But how has the miniature One held up over these past few months? In my initial review I was rather pleased with how the device turned out. Not exactly a fan of the smaller flagship variants, the HTC One Mini was the first to make me rethink that statement from my experience. But sometimes after an extended amount of use with a device, the "honeymoon" phase ends and you start to notice the little things that aren't so great about a device. 

Fortunately, the only little thing I notice about the HTC One Mini is the size. Over the past few months, the days that I spend using the HTC One Mini are just as good as I would have expected them to be. Although there are a few things about the device that I would like to change, overall the device is great, and is more than enough for casual day-to-day use. Let's see how things have played out.

One major difference between the HTC One and the HTC One Mini is the amount of memory available to each device. Both devices rely on internal storage. The original HTC One was praised for the fact that instead of the 16/32GB allotment we had grown accustomed to, they instead opted for 32/64GB allotments. The HTC One Mini, on the other hand, is only available with 16GB of internal memory. My HTC One is currently using 24GB of my 32GB allotment, which worried me into thinking that it wouldn't be long before I run out of memory on the One Mini. However, given that the One Mini isn't exactly my daily driver, the amount of memory usage isn't as high as I thought it would be at this point. It is cutting it close, though, and this is where I think users might have the most trouble. The issue is easy to remedy with cloud storage, but for those who don't trust or prefer not to use cloud storage and need more than 16GB of memory, there is unfortunately no SD card slot to expand on that. However, I will say that despite more than half the memory being used at this point, the device hasn't slowed down enough for me to notice. 

Graphics wise, the phone can handle just about anything I've thrown at it. I'm a pretty active gamer, so I like to try out different games from the Play Store every now and then. Some of my favorites are Order and Chaos, a mobile MMO, and Asphalt 7, which allows me to be the reckless driver I always knew I was without risking anybody's life. Even with the dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, games run smoothly and without lag. Loading times can take a little long sometimes, but the performance of actual gameplay doesn't seem to be hindered by the components of the device.

The camera on the HTC One Mini doesn't seem to have the same issue as the camera on the original HTC One, which was the low-light purple tint issue that many (myself included) are having issues with. The Mini's UltraPixel camera takes great pictures, but as I mentioned in my article yesterday discussing what changes I would like to see in the next generation HTC One (HTC Two?) more megapixels would help with the zoom issue. Just like with the HTC One, when you zoom in on an object with the HTC One Mini, the 4-megapixel "UltraPixel" camera shows its weakness by making close-up pictures very pixelated. Other than that, though, the camera is very nice and is holding up well. 

The BoomSound speakers are also a joy to listen to, but I didn't expect the smaller size of the device to really hinder that fact. Mostly I'm just pleased that HTC was able to incorporate both Beats Audio and BoomSound into the Mini. 

Overall, I'm happy to say that I'm still overall pleased with the One Mini and its performance. I use the original HTC One every day, and the differences between the two devices are fairly minor in comparison. The only change I wish I could make to the One Mini is an increase in internal storage, or a microSD card slot, but other than that the device itself is actually very nice. The only other downside I can think of is that this device isn't available on more than one carrier, which is unfortunate for those who don't use AT&T and were looking for a smaller variant of the One. 

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