In our favorite industry, we're watching as the consumer chooses big phones over little phones. In the last few years, we've watched as the "huge devices" have become the normal handsets, and anything smaller than 5-inches is "too small" for a lot of people out there. In 2010, we were calling Dell's 5-inch Streak a tablet. Now? Now we're watching "phones" launch with 6-inch displays, and people keep buying them. The line between a tablet and a smartphone has been blurred more times than I can count, and we even coined "phablet" just because.
The merging of tablets and smartphones isn't the only byproduct of all these larger phones, though. What was once the standard for screen sizes in the smartphone industry is now emphatically titled "mini" from manufacturers, and quite a few sacrifices are made in the process of creating these "tiny" devices.
The truth is, the only "small" phone I see these days is the iPhone. Everything else is a screen that's definitely around 5 inches, and sometimes even bigger. Apple's been a stalwart so far, but even they're supposed to go the route of the bigger phone this year. It's the thing to do. Maybe it was inevitable. Whatever the reason, we're now forced to watch as the smaller versions of some of the most popular handsets in the world get whittled down to barely desirable pieces of technology.
Samsung, HTC, and Sony are some of the manufacturers that take part in the newest trend, and there are others out there. None of the smaller variants of the flagship device may get the same media coverage as their bigger siblings, but they certainly exist. There are people out there that want the "flagship phone" inside a device without such a big display, but we keep getting something else entirely. Something close, but not quite the same thing.
Just look at the HTC One M7 last year and the One mini.
The drop from a 4.7-inch display in the OG One down to 4.3 inches in the One mini was probably worthwhile to several people, but the trade-off in every other department of the device's design ruined the whole idea. A slower processor, some would say a weaker camera, less built-in memory and RAM, and the list just goes on. HTC isn't the only one to commit this design decision, though. In most of the cases where a smaller variant exists, it's usually a lesser device in every respect.
Word has it that the One mini 2, a device that's just a rumor right now, is going to follow the same trajectory as its predecessor. While the One M8 is a powerhouse, the One mini 2 is just a minor upgrade from the original One mini. Rumor has it that the One mini 2 will "boast" a 4.5-inch display, a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.4GHz, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. So, nothing to really write home about.
I'm sure it'll be pretty cheap, and hopefully it keeps a low price tag for those who don't want to wrangle themselves into a new, lengthy contract. But I want this whole "minis have to be less" than the larger physical brethren to stop. I want a truly high-end device, like the One M8, in a device that's got a 4.5- or 4.7-inch handset.
As it stands, based on the rumors now, I wouldn't consider picking up the One mini 2. However, if HTC could figure out how to get more storage, more RAM, even a faster processor under the hood, then I'd definitely pick it up. That would be pretty great. Will it ever happen? Probably in a few years -- but it doesn't look like it'll happen anytime soon.