HTC One Mini review

A little slice of the world's best mobile phone.

TODO alt text

HTC has happily decided to make sure the One Mini is coming with the latest version of its software, with Sense 5.0 plus and Android 4.2.2 on the phone from the outset.

This means a cutting edge version of Google (although sadly not Android 4.3, as you'd expect given that was announced after the phone went on sale) and gives a new level of technology to the handset.

For the uninitiated, the HTC One Mini offers a very simple and intuitive way of getting the information you want in front of your eyeballs - a methodology that has pervaded throughout the company's phone history. BlinkFeed is the main thing most will see when turning the phone on, and this is a portal to get access to all of your news, social networking updates and calendar entries in a fun, tile-based interface.

Unlike other apps, Blinkfeed does require a bit of setting up, but we'd urge you to do such a thing as it gives loads of really nice information sources and does so in an original and offline way. At the start you're asked to choose your preferences, and once achieved the Windows Phone-esque interface will give a load of tiles with the right content in there.

HTC One Mini review

Smattered into the mix are some well-curated updates from your Facebook feed, tweets and retweets from your Twitter account and even calendar entries to let you know when important meetings are scheduled.

It's a neat system, and one that has a pleasant 'snick' sound effect when you pull down to update it - plus it automatically will load in a mobile reader mode, instead of showing the full web page and giving loads of unnecessary information.

If you want to read a more in-depth look at Blinkfeed, check out our dedicated page

Beyond Blinkfeed, there's a lot that the novice and active Android user will enjoy, be it the design of HTC's Sense overlay on top of Android, or the pared down method of navigating through the phone.

For instance, you can choose to have a grid of icons in a 4x3 or 5x4 layout, in case you're worried about icon overload. The former seems a bit too boring for our eyes, but on the smaller 4.3-inch screen we can see that this has a lot more purpose, and a number of people we spoke to liked the smaller layout.

One thing many of you will love is the weather and clock widget, as it's pervasive whether you're in Blinkfeed, the app menu or just the homescreen (as a widget). It may sound confusing and annoyingly cluttered, but a) the weather widget is the best out there bar none in terms of a stock offering and b) it actually looks quite nice.

One big change with Android 4.2.2 is the addition of a settings tile icon in the notification area. This area can be accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen, and will give you updates on all manner of things, from messages to emails to app updates and more.

Android 4.2.2 allows you to manage this area more effectively than before, as you can now swipe down on many notifications and see more info; for instance, Gmail messages can now be viewed and instantly replied to, or dismissed by swiping left or right. It's a nice system which makes it easier to see the things you need better than anything else on the market. and destroys Apple's iOS for this functionality.

But back to the settings tile. It's a really nice implementation of an idea from Google, adding a lot of functionality into the mix. You can set the brightness level, turn Wi-Fi on and off, hit up power saver and loads more. On top of that you can choose to go deeper into the settings of each, which means it's a cinch to set up Bluetooth headphones without having to scrabble around the main settings menu.

HTC One Mini review

It might sound like a lot of effort, but in actual practice this is a really neat way of changing things on your phone without having to have a really messy notifications bar, like you'll see on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini.

The rest of the interface on the HTC One Mini is the kind of fare we're also used to from HTC - meaning all the things you'd be looking for are in logical places. Well, that's not strictly true, as there are some areas that get a little confusing.

For instance, the desire to get rid of as many buttons on the bottom of the phone mean that it's a little sparse on the old hardware front - so you've now only got a Home and Back button to play with, and these are both soft options.

HTC seemed to think this would be OK in the original One, and has sadly carried on the trick with the One Mini. On-screen menus are irritatingly hard to find (look for a group of three dots) and HTC seems to have worked this out, allowing you the option to long press the home button to call up any menu.

It's not ideal, and the Samsung Galaxy range does a much better job of just having the button on the phone. The long press option is a little fiddly, and still results in you scrabbling around, looking for the on-screen option.

But beyond that we're happy with the way HTC has done things. The lockscreen is a great place to control things like Spotify (not supported by all phones) or you can have a selection of widgets or photos scrolling past if you'd rather.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOne mini
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 1800, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution4 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time20.72 Hour
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)122 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density341 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.6 Megapixel
Height132 mm
Width63.2 mm
Depth9.3 mm
Battery Standby Time692 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameOne mini Smartphone
Processor Speed1.40 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 400
Product LineOne mini
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number99HVR006-00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationGood things come in small packages. Boasting the award-winning features and design of its larger counterpart, the HTC One mini has a compact 4.3" (10.9cm) display screen and a slimmer build. Its dual frontal stereo speakers, automatically updating home screen and low-light camera come in a premium metal design that's more compact than ever.
  • One-hand usage. 4.3" display screen and narrow build for convenient single-hand operation.
  • Small size. Massive volume. Built-in amps and dual frontal stereo speakers provide surprising volume and richness.
  • Up-to-the-minute in a blink. Home screen refreshes when you wake up your phone. Stay informed with your favourite content at a glance.
Premium Metal Body: Innovated Design
Constructed from polished metal alloy, the HTC One mini features a compact profile that's designed for easy, one-hand use. Its durable construction is shaped to seamlessly conform to your grip and provide on-the-go convenience for your busy life.

HTC BoomSound™: Amplify Everything
Dual frontal stereo speakers project sound at you, not away, for unrivalled sound from a smartphone. Built-in amps enhance everything so you'll experience louder, fuller, richer sound for a more immersive experience. The only thing small about the HTC One mini is its size.

HTC BlinkFeed™: Updates in a Blink
Enjoy a home screen that updates automatically with over 1,400 content partners.* News, sport, blogs, posts and more display on your home screen constantly. Customise your very own HTC BlinkFeed™ and start connecting to the content that matters most.

HTC Zoe™: Your Gallery Brought to Life
Create a living, breathing photo gallery and show off your memories like never before. Your HTC One mini selects the highlights of an event and crafts a stunning 30-second show. No additional software or editing skills needed. Choose your music theme for additional effect, and release your life movie for everyone to enjoy.
Limited Warranty1 Year