HTC One Mini review
A great-looking phone with a fantastic screen and smooth operating system. An Android handset with few compromises
Review Date: 31 Jul 2013
Price when reviewed: £380
Reviewed By: Chris Finnamore
The smartphone market is a confusing place. On one hand you have the ever-increasing screen sizes of top-of-the-range models, such as the huge 5-inch Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4, as well as monstrous phone/tablet hybrids such as the Asus FonePad and Samsung Galaxy Mega.
On the other, you have some brave 4-inch holdouts, such as the iPhone 5, and the trend started by Samsung with the Galaxy S3 Mini: compact versions of larger handsets. Now HTC has launched its own diminutive version of the range-topping HTC One, the One Mini, which goes head to head with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.
While we appreciate smartphones with huge, high-resolution screens, we're also fans of smaller displays. Smaller screens mean smaller handsets which are easier to slip into your pocket, are more comfortable to hold when talking and are much easier to use one-handed.
However, we were worried that mini phones would also have mini specifications, leading to handsets that are pale shadows of their award-winning bigger brothers. Fortunately, while the cheaper HTC One Mini has some corners cut compared to the Ultimate award-winning One, it's still a seriously impressive phone in its own right.
The One Mini is a good-looking phone. We like the silver chassis and white sides, and even the plus-sized speaker grilles at the top and bottom of the phone work with the design, making it look pleasingly skinny. It also has a metal rear, which we prefer to the plastic of Samsung's S4 Mini.
A metal chassis is always a winner
The screen has 1,280x720 pixels, which is plenty for its 4.3in size. The display has a pixel density of 341ppi, which is significantly higher than the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini's 275ppi and is even slightly sharper than the iPhone 5's 325ppi.
The screen's high pixel density makes text sharp and clear, and means the One Mini is fantastic for web browsing. It's possible to read text on web pages when fully zoomed out, which is not really possible on the S4 Mini without squinting. We were also impressed with the image quality from the LCD screen. Whites are pure and blacks are deep, and there's little sign of graininess. This is in contrast to the Galaxy S4 Mini's screen, which has a blue tinge and visible grain.
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