HTC One Mini review

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

HTC One MIni review
Hands on with the cut-down One

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Battery life on the HTC range has always been something of an issue, as the company sought to find a decent balance between the power-hungry skin it placed on top of the native Android OS, and the ability to make its phones do things that make it stand out of the crowd.

The HTC One Mini has been downgraded in terms of battery size to 1800mAh, which is a far cry from the 2300mAh option lobbed into the HTC One. You'd think that with the slower processor, fewer pixels to power and the updated software would give rise to an improvement in the battery.

You'd be wrong.

HTC One Mini review

In the first few days of use, the HTC One Mini performed dreadfully as the Android services (mostly Google apps) seemed stuck on updating, with a double charge needed on the second day. That won't happen in normal use, as every phone needs a couple of battery cycles to get up to full power, but we mention it to allay fear for any new users.

But even in real world use we noted that the battery life wasn't anywhere near stellar. We know HTC has always had a problem with juice seeping out, but the One Mini was an even poorer performer than its bigger brother.

To put that into some real world context: we ran a 90 minute no-HD video from full power, with the One Mini on flight mode and the brightness at around 67% (to mimic the maximum brightness of the Super AMOLED screens on the Samsung phones).

After the video was done, the HTC One Mini was left with 78% battery life. Compare that to the 81% of the HTC One, the 79% of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the 82% of the Galaxy S3, and you can see why the results are disappointing.

We know we're only talking single percentage marks here, but with the connectivity turned on the Mini managed the same test at 73% and with the brightness up full 67%, showing that the screen is quite power hungry, which irks as it's the only way to get a truly impressive video experience.

HTC One Mini review

There is a Power Saving mode on offer that does improve things – flick this on at lunchtime and you'll almost definitely get to the end of the day, but without things like haptic feedback and a fully bright screen.

Sleep mode is also decent, with a drop of only 1-2% overnight with the phone still syncing social networks and emails. So basically if you're frugal with your usage you can easily get away with two days' use on the HTC One Mini – just don't turn the screen on very much.

So to summarise: the camera and watching any video (along with gaming, although this phone isn't set up for such) will harm your battery life the most – and the phone will also get insanely hot during this time as well, so be careful not to overdo things too much when getting excited with your smartphone.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.