HTC HD Mini review

HTC proves that Windows Mobile isn't dead yet

The definitive HTC HD Mini review

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HTC hd mini

The HTC HD Mini comes equipped with a 5MP camera that can shoot both stills and video. Unfortunately there's no integrated flash, which is a shame when you consider that the Desire benefits greatly from just such a feature.

Operating the camera isn't quite as easy as it could be, due mainly to the complete lack of physical buttons on the HD Mini - it's simply not as easy to hit the "touch button" on the screen, as it would be to press a real button mounted on the chassis.

The camera has auto-focus, which reacts quickly, making it easier to get those impromptu shots that make a good camera phone a worthwhile investment.

You can also manually select the AF point, so your subject doesn't have to be at the centre of the frame – ideal for a rule of thirds composition.

HTC hd mini

THE CAT SAT ON THE MAT: Here the colours of the cat and the rug he's sitting on are completely washed out

The results from the still camera are fair, but not wonderful. As is invariably the case, images taken with the integrated camera look far better on the phone's screen than they do when you transfer them to your computer and study them more closely.

Colours have a tendency to look slightly pale and washed out, which results in pictures losing a degree of impact.

HTC hd mini

PREPARE FOR TAKE-OFF: Again the grass looks pale and washed out, while the reds and blues on the helicopter also lack vibrancy

HTC hd mini

GREEN, GREEN GRASS: That's exactly the same lawn that the helicopter is sitting on, but this time it looks vivid and lush

In strong sunlight, detail can be lost in high intensity areas of the scene that become overexposed.

Subsequently, darker areas also lose most of their detail as the camera struggles to deal with an overly wide dynamic range. This can be seen in the picture of the two white cars, where creases in the bodywork on the left-hand car are lost in the oversaturated whiteness, while detail in the shadowed area of the car on the right is also conspicuous by its absence.

HTC hd mini

WHITEOUT: The camera struggles with scenes of high dynamic range. Detail is lost on the brightly lit panels on the car on the left, while the shadowed area of the car on the right also suffers

The issues above can be improved upon in some instances by experimenting with the various white balance settings, but in reality there isn't enough manual control to make a significant difference. But this is a phone after all, not a dedicated camera.

You can throw a few preset effects at your photos for fun, like making them greyscale, sepia or even negative.

Far more useful is a setting specifically for labelling your contacts, and the ability to GPS tag your pictures, so you know exactly where you were when you took them.

Video resolution is limited to 640 x 480 at 30fps. The results aren't bad at all, and the integrated microphone manages to pick up a surprising amount of sound with good directionality. A nice touch is the ability to shoot video specifically for an MMS, which will save you having to do any conversion in order to send it over the ether.