HTC One Mini 2: Like a Small M8, but Not a Small M8
As if you were ever in any doubt of its existence,
Though the HTC One Mini 2 looks like a shrunken-down version of this year's One M8, a phone that wowed us back in March , it's missing a number of of the M8's headline features. Gone is the dual-lens rear Duo Camera, the Motion Launch gestures are missing too and you won't be able to get the attractive Dot View case for it either, due to its reliance on the aforementioned Motion Launch features. Its core specs, while notably improved from last year's One Mini, aren't as impressive as those of the M8. Its design language has evolved to keep pace with this year's device, but compromises have been made to fit into this smaller frame. While it's less exciting than a fully miniaturised One M8, at least HTC is being honest by aligning the handset's naming with last year's spin off.
That's not to say what's present here isn't worthy, particularly if oversized phones like the 5-inch M8 don't float your boat, and especially if the industrial design of the M8 has piqued your interest. It may not have a full aluminium unibody (there's a notable plastic edging to the device, especially around the top edge where the M8's IR blaster is no-longer present), but the tidy, comfortable curve of the M8's casing does remain. Measuring 4.5-inches in size (up from the One Mini's 4.3-inches but down from the M8's 5-inches), there's a nicely-sized 720p screen present, comfortable to use in one hand if not as sharp as its full-fat inspiration. Just like with the M8, grey, silver and gold colour options will be available. Note too that the silver volume rocker seen in my images will be replaced by a grey shade the same as the rest of the phone when the devices eventually hit stores.
HTC's Sense 6 reskinning of Android 4.4.2 carries over to the One Mini 2 and, aside from omissions relating to the Duo Camera, Motion Launch and TV-controlling features, all other software features from the M8 are present. You've got the Blinkfeed social and news aggregator as one of your homescreens for instance, as well as the optional Kid-friendly mode and Zoe moving image picture gallery. Powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor backed by 1GB of RAM, the handset smoothly glided through applications during my brief time with it. It's not the powerhouse that the M8's Snapdragon 801 processor is, but I believe few but the keenest tech-heads would notice outside of a side-by-side face-off. It also felt noticeably snappier than the One Mini's 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400.
Not the phone then perhaps that many had hoped for given how impressive the HTC One M8 is, but a solid enough handset that looks set to land at a notably cheaper price point. We're still waiting on confirmed pricing and stockist details (HTC says to expect similar support as the original HTC One Mini received), but expect to see it in stores by June. We'll also have a full review following shortly, so head back here soon for that too.