Notebookcheck

HTC One Mini 2 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 06/22/2014

Just like daddy?! HTC's One M8 is one of the most interesting premium smartphones on the market. Now, a model with a smaller screen has been launched, dubbed HTC One Mini 2. Read in our report why the mini does a better job than the more expensive bigger model in some test fields.

In review: HTC One Mini 2. Review sample courtesy of HTC Germany.

For the original German review, see here.

It has become a good tradition among premium smartphones. Sony does it, HTC does it, and Samsung has naturally been doing for quite a while: They all offer a more affordable, somewhat smaller and less powerful model of their 5-inch and more super-smartphones with prices in the upper mid-range. This lures customers who deem the premium devices as too big and too expensive, but who like the design and the high-quality feel.

HTC's One Mini was such a device last year, which was not really "mini" with a size of 4.3". Of course, there is also the Galaxy S4 Mini, and an S5 Mini will be released in the next few weeks. Sony counters these with its Xperia Z1 Compact, which features just as powerful equipment as the "big" Xperia Z1. Even LG offers a smaller version of its premium phone with the G2 Mini, although the successor of the bigger model is waiting in the wings. However, only its name was similar; not much of the LG G2's premium quality was left. Motorola's Moto X or the iPhone 5c might also be seen as contenders, even if the usual Apple surcharge has to be added to the latter.

Case

The casing features a premium build and is stiff, but hardly accessible for repairs.
The casing features a premium build and is stiff, but hardly accessible for repairs.

It is possible to talk enthusiastically about the casing of HTC's One M8: Milled from one piece of aluminum, absolutely rigid, and ergonomically shaped. HTC's One Mini speaks the same design language, and impresses with a very pressure resistant casing, a brushed aluminum back and round corners that make the smartphone very comfortable to hold.

There is one minor drawback compared to HTC's One M8 though. The aluminum tray in which the other components are put inside, so to speak, is slightly flatter; the remaining height is bridged by a plastic strap. However, that was considerably more prominent in HTC's former One Mini. It is very inconspicuous, and is connected to the aluminum without a palpable edge in our current review sample.

The front with two speakers and the metal-colored applications looks unique and elegant. Furthermore, HTC's One Mini 2 is very non-slip, and lies very compactly and securely in the hand.

iFixit has unfortunately not yet made a teardown for HTC's One Mini 2, and there is not much information about the device's maintainability. Fundamentally, the battery is not removable; the casing cannot be opened without softening the glue and special tools. Therefore, it is recommended to leave the maintenance up to experts.

Connectivity

It is pleasing that the internal storage can be expanded via a MicroSD card, like the bigger HTC One M8. That makes it possible to save considerably more data on the smartphone than on the tight, 16 GB memory, which is reduced to a bit over 13 GB by the operating system.

NFC is now also on-board, which the predecessor did not feature. Besides that, the maximum LTE download speed has been increased to 150 Mbit per second. Thus, HTC's One Mini 2 has developed very agreeably, and has also adopted many assets of HTC's One M8.

HTC Sense 6 looks modern, but is sometimes a bit crowded.
HTC Sense 6 looks modern, but is sometimes a bit crowded.

Software

The software has not really been modified compared with HTC's One M8HTC's Sense 6 operates on the One Mini 2. The user interface is based on Android 4.4, so the latest Android version. The interface sometimes does not seem quite as clearly arranged as the stock Android software, but it supplies more features in return. We never had the feeling that the system needed explanation. Users who have owned an Android phone will also be able to cope with HTC's Sense 6. More information about the software can be found in the review of HTC's One M8.

At the time, we reproached that the Zoe app was not finished, and thus an announced and heralded feature was not available at the smartphone's launch. That has not changed even almost two months later. The message "Coming Soon" still appeared after opening the Zoe app. It is about time, dear HTC team.

Communication & GPS 

The Wi-Fi module is a more basic model than the one in HTC's One M8. It does not support the high-speed 802.11 ac standard. It otherwise communicates with the Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n standards, and incorporates Bluetooth 4.0. The reception quality in Wi-Fi networks is nevertheless just as good as with HTC's One M8. The full signal was still available even at a distance of ten meters (~33 feet) and through three walls. The signal dropped to 3/4 strength when separated by another wall and additional three meters (~10 feet). The reception quality in the mobile network was also good. We almost always had a good signal in an urban area.

GPS indoors
GPS indoors
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors

It looks a bit different with the GPS module. While the larger model displayed a fairly accurate localization even indoors, HTC's One Mini 2 had difficulties here. It even took a long time before it connected to a satellite outdoors, and then localization was only satisfactory to an accuracy of not quite 10 meters (~33 feet). The test with our mountain bike also proved that the GPS is significantly less accurate than the Garmin Edge 500 navigation system. First, the measured distance clearly deviated by 400 meters (~1/4 mile), and second, the route recorded by HTC's One Mini 2 varied wildly when we crossed the bridge.

HTC One Mini 2: Total
HTC One Mini 2: Total
HTC One Mini 2: Bridge
HTC One Mini 2: Bridge
HTC One Mini 2: Woods
HTC One Mini 2: Woods
Garmin Edge 500: Total
Garmin Edge 500: Total
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Woods
Garmin Edge 500: Woods

Telephony and Speech Quality

The phone app of Sense 6 deviates from Google's Android app. The number buttons are somewhat smaller, but are still comfortable to hit. It is also possible to switch to the letter keyboard and input a contact's name, which we found agreeable. Besides that, the contact can be called via speech recognition.

The speech quality of HTC's One M8 already excited us because the integrated speaker was also used as the earpiece, and thus provided an excellent speech quality. This is hardly different in HTC's One Mini 2. The contact is very easy to understand, and the microphone obviously also does a good job. Our contact confirmed a good intelligibility even in louder surroundings.

Cameras and Multimedia

HTC's One Mini 2 is a step ahead of its big idol HTC One M8, as well as its direct contenders in terms of cameras. The rear-facing camera has a high resolution of 13 megapixels, and the front-facing camera supplies an impressive 5 megapixels. Thus, the ultra-pixel philosophy is reserved for HTC's One M8 in this generation: Here, a camera with a relatively low resolution of 4 megapixels is installed. In return, the pixels are bigger, which allegedly results in a better image quality. HTC's One Mini 2 no longer sports two rear-facing cameras, and thus the many, hardware supported effects of HTC's One M8 are not available.

The 13-megapixel camera shoots decent pictures in a somewhat unusual 16:9 format in default settings. However, this can be changed to 4:3 in the settings, which then also allows using the full resolution. The resolution is only approximately 10 megapixels in 16:9. An LED flash supports the rear-facing camera in poor light. The auto-focus responds quickly, and a series of pictures can be taken when the release is held down. Users can also redefine white balance, exposure, ISO value or select a predefined setting in the menu. The photo app's design is agreeably simple and clearly arranged when the settings are faded out.

The camera frequently detects the light incorrectly. The pictures sometimes look overexposed, and sometimes too dark. In return, the pictures are rich in detail, sharp and vivid. The user should have a steady hand because there is no image stabilizer like in HTC's One M8.

The front-facing camera's high resolution allows taking focused and high detail selfies. However, a steady hand is again needed, and frayed outlines are noticed when looking closely. That is still acceptable for a front-facing camera that is mostly used for video chats or shooting selfies.

HTC One Mini 2: Fruit
HTC One Mini 2: Fruit
HTC One Mini 2: Scene
HTC One Mini 2: Scene
HTC One Mini 2: Surroundings
HTC One Mini 2: Surroundings
Apple iPhone 5: Fruit
Apple iPhone 5: Fruit
Apple iPhone 5: Scene
Apple iPhone 5: Scene
Apple iPhone 5: Surroundings
Apple iPhone 5: Surroundings
Nokia Lumia 1020: Fruit
Nokia Lumia 1020: Fruit
Nokia Lumia 1020: Scene
Nokia Lumia 1020: Scene
Nokia Lumia 1020: Surroundings
Nokia Lumia 1020: Surroundings
Sony A57: Fruit
Sony A57: Fruit
Sony A57: Szene
Sony A57: Scene
Sony A57: Surroundings
Sony A57: Surroundings

Accessories

The box of HTC's One Mini 2 does not contain quite as many accessories as included for HTC's One M8: A charger, micro-USB cord, and a stylishly designed, wired headset with decent sound.

Regrettably, the One Mini 2 does not come with the DotView Cover like the bigger model. In return, HTC Fetch is coupled with the phone and triggers the ringtone when the user has misplaced the device. It can also warn the user that the phone has been forgotten, and transmits the last known location when the phone and Fetch have been lost. This little helper costs 15 Euros (~$20).

HTC Mini+ is a remote control that, for example, accepts calls while the user continues to browse on the One Mini 2. It can receive text messages besides many more things. However, this feature is a bit pricey at 113.99 Euros (~$155).

A portable speaker with integrated smartphone stand, a wireless speaker, and HTC's Media Link HD for transmitting data from portable devices to the TV, like Google's Chromecast, are also available.

Warranty

HTC includes a 24-month standard warranty. The manufacturer itself does not offer any upgrades.

Input Devices and Controls

The capacitive touchscreen is again a very high-quality input device. It responds reliably up to the edges, and features a very sleek surface. The volume rocker and power button provide well palpable and audible feedback because they are reliable and easy to find.

HTC modified the keyboard and renamed it "HTC Sense Input", and it now has a few features that need getting used to. First, the keyboard is stuffed with characters and alternative symbols that can be selected by pressing longer. That was a bit annoying in HTC's One M8, but is now even more annoying due to the lower resolution and smaller screen because it affects the overview.

Additionally, the keyboard's language and layout have to be switched separately. While the German umlauts are accessible via the language settings, the German "QWERTZ" keyboard layout has to be set separately. However, there are many setting options. Speech input and inputs via swiping over the keyboard are also possible. That is not a major problem: Users who dislike the keyboard can find many alternatives in the Play Store.

Keyboard: Portrait mode
Keyboard: Portrait mode
Keyboard: Landscape mode
Keyboard: Landscape mode

Display

HTC traditionally does not use IPS screens or the AMOLED technology, like for example Samsung, but relies on SLCD screens. This worked well in HTC's One M8. Will that also apply to HTC's One Mini 2?

First, the screen has a lower resolution. It still displays 1280x720 pixelsHTC's One M8 provided a Full HD resolution. That is not as tragic on relatively small smartphone screens as on a 50-inch TV. Nevertheless, the image reproduction of HTC's One Mini 2 does not look as sharp and brilliant as it did in the bigger predecessor.

The brightness of HTC's One Mini 2 is on average about 10% lower than HTC's One M8, and a bit lower than that of the former HTC One Mini. However, an average of 438.7 cd/m² is not a bad rate. All three HTC One model that we are looking at have the homogeneous illumination in common. With 94%, HTC's One Mini 2 has an even slightly better homogeneity than both other phones. In fact, both dark and bright areas look evenly illuminated.

444
cd/m²
433
cd/m²
432
cd/m²
444
cd/m²
444
cd/m²
426
cd/m²
451
cd/m²
445
cd/m²
429
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 451 cd/m²
Average: 438.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 444 cd/m²
Black: 0.57 cd/m²
Contrast: 779:1

The black level of HTC's One Mini 2 is satisfactory at 0.57 cd/m², but also a bit higher than HTC's One M8. Both the Xperia Z1 Compact and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini achieve a significantly better rate owing to an absolute black. The screen's contrast in HTC's One Mini 2 suffers under that and the somewhat lower brightness. Though 779:1 is not a bad rate, both compact phones from Sony and Samsung are clearly in the lead.

Like in HTC's One M8, the color reproduction looks a bit pale in total. Thus, users who prefer warm colors will not really be satisfied with HTC's One Mini 2. Unfortunately, there are no settings for adjusting the reproduction to the user's preferences. On the other hand, users who like subdued colors and cool color temperatures will cope well with this configuration.

The assessments using the colorimeter and CalMAN software quickly reveal that this impression is true. Bright colors have an intense bluish cast; the saturation of red hues is extremely restrained. Consequently, light colors deviate strongly from the ideal rate of the reference color space.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Color Management
Color Management
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
ColorChecker
ColorChecker

HTC's One Mini 2 can be used outdoors, but struggles with the screen's reflective surface like all smartphones. Distracting reflections appear in bright surroundings, and they often lead to illegibility in sunlight. The user will have to either look for a place in the shade or go indoors in that case. Then everything can be recognized well again.

Very minor brightness losses were noticed from extremely flat angles in HTC's One Mini M8. HTC's One Mini 2 can also be viewed from virtually every position without visible brightness and contrast deterioration. We quite like that.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Everyone has to differ from their family members somehow. Naturally, HTC's One Mini 2 is not quite as strong as HTC's One M8, but it is less expensive in return. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226 with a clock of 1.2 GHz and four cores powers the smartphone. Additionally, a working memory of 1024 MB and the Qualcomm Adreno 305 are installed, like in HTC's One Mini.

The CPU's clock rate is only a bit over 50% of that of HTC's One M8. Thus, HTC's One Mini 2 could lag behind. The SoCs in both the Xperia Z1 Compact and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini clock considerably faster. HTC's One Mini still clocked at 1.4 GHz, but was also only powered by a dual-core SoC. In fact, our review sample clearly falls behind its contenders in many benchmarks. Particularly the Xperia Z1 Compact takes a clear lead with a higher performance of 80 to 179%. Fortunately, we did not ascertain cheating in the benchmarks this time. We noticed that system parameters (maximum temperature, etc.) were modified as soon as a benchmark was recognized in HTC's One M8. This is no longer the case here. The smartphone achieved similar results after installing the apps from renamed installation packages.

Smartbench 2012
Productivity Index (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
4945 points ∼48%
HTC One Mini
3156 points ∼30% -36%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
4878 points ∼47% -1%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
9039 points ∼87% +83%
Motorola Moto X
4727 points ∼46% -4%
LG G2 Mini
5137 points ∼50% +4%
Gaming Index (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
3195 points ∼70%
HTC One Mini
2701 points ∼59% -15%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
4046 points ∼89% +27%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
4399 points ∼97% +38%
Motorola Moto X
4213 points ∼93% +32%
LG G2 Mini
3780 points ∼83% +18%
Linpack for Android
Single Thread (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
82 MFLOPS ∼11%
HTC One Mini
153.823 MFLOPS ∼20% +88%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
193.164 MFLOPS ∼25% +136%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
386.329 MFLOPS ∼50% +371%
Motorola Moto X
145.292 MFLOPS ∼19% +77%
LG G2 Mini
86.426 MFLOPS ∼11% +5%
Apple iPhone 5c
309.38 MFLOPS ∼40% +277%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
232 MFLOPS ∼16%
HTC One Mini
241.643 MFLOPS ∼17% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
347.766 MFLOPS ∼24% +50%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
839.432 MFLOPS ∼58% +262%
Motorola Moto X
332.676 MFLOPS ∼23% +43%
LG G2 Mini
226.703 MFLOPS ∼16% -2%
Apple iPhone 5c
484.05 MFLOPS ∼34% +109%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
331 Points ∼9%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
924 Points ∼26% +179%
Motorola Moto X
682 Points ∼19% +106%
LG G2 Mini
343 Points ∼10% +4%
Apple iPhone 5c
710 Points ∼20% +115%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
1027 Points ∼8%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
2869 Points ∼22% +179%
Motorola Moto X
1263 Points ∼10% +23%
LG G2 Mini
1141 Points ∼9% +11%
Apple iPhone 5c
1273 Points ∼10% +24%

Legend

 
HTC One Mini 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
HTC One Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 8930AB, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 8930AB, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto X Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960DT, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
LG G2 Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
Apple iPhone 5c Apple A6, PowerVR SGX543MP3, 16 GB iNAND Flash

It does not look much better when it comes to games. Except for HTC's One Mini predecessor, all compared phones are either on par or considerably faster. Again, the Xperia Z1 Compact proves to be the swiftest smartphone.

3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
5628 Points ∼1%
HTC One Mini
4910 Points ∼0% -13%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
5771 Points ∼1% +3%
LG G2 Mini
5764 Points ∼1% +2%
Apple iPhone 5c
5980 Points ∼1% +6%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
2854 Points ∼2%
HTC One Mini
2617 Points ∼2% -8%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
3018 Points ∼2% +6%
Motorola Moto X
7297 Points ∼6% +156%
LG G2 Mini
2859 Points ∼2% 0%
Apple iPhone 5c
3291 Points ∼3% +15%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
4658 Points ∼3%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
19340 Points ∼14% +315%
LG G2 Mini
4856 Points ∼3% +4%
Epic Citadel
High Performance (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
58 fps ∼95%
HTC One Mini
52.2 fps ∼86% -10%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
55.2 fps ∼91% -5%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
57.5 fps ∼95% -1%
Motorola Moto X
59.9 fps ∼99% +3%
LG G2 Mini
58.4 fps ∼96% +1%
High Quality (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
56.6 fps ∼93%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
57 fps ∼94% +1%
Motorola Moto X
59.5 fps ∼98% +5%
LG G2 Mini
57.5 fps ∼94% +2%
Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
34.2 fps ∼57%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
56.6 fps ∼95% +65%
Motorola Moto X
58.5 fps ∼98% +71%
LG G2 Mini
48.4 fps ∼81% +42%
GFXBench 3.0
on screen Manhattan Onscreen (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
3.9 fps ∼0%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
17 fps ∼1% +336%
LG G2 Mini
6.4 fps ∼0% +64%
off screen Manhattan Offscreen (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
1.7 fps ∼0%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
9 fps ∼0% +429%
LG G2 Mini
1.6 fps ∼0% -6%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
5.8 fps ∼1%
HTC One Mini
5.5 fps ∼1% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
6.2 fps ∼1% +7%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
23 fps ∼4% +297%
Motorola Moto X
16.5 fps ∼3% +184%
LG G2 Mini
5.7 fps ∼1% -2%
Apple iPhone 5c
6.8 fps ∼1% +17%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
11 fps ∼18%
HTC One Mini
9.1 fps ∼15% -17%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
14 fps ∼23% +27%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
35 fps ∼58% +218%
Motorola Moto X
26.6 fps ∼44% +142%
LG G2 Mini
15.1 fps ∼25% +37%
Apple iPhone 5c
13 fps ∼22% +18%

Internet browsing is speedy; the benchmarks show a slightly above average performance for HTC's One Mini 2 here.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
700 Points ∼11%
HTC One Mini
670 Points ∼11% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
530 Points ∼9% -24%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
809 Points ∼13% +16%
Motorola Moto X
643 Points ∼10% -8%
LG G2 Mini
686 Points ∼11% -2%
Apple iPhone 5c
902 Points ∼15% +29%
Sunspider - --- (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
1191.4 ms * ∼30%
HTC One Mini
1252.2 ms * ∼31% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
1145 ms * ∼28% +4%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
893.7 ms * ∼22% +25%
Motorola Moto X
621.9 ms * ∼15% +48%
LG G2 Mini
1085.6 ms * ∼27% +9%
Apple iPhone 5c
730.1 ms * ∼18% +39%

* ... smaller is better

The storage makes a mixed impression. Sequential access is very swift, while accessing sectors randomly needs longer than the compared devices. However, our review sample is faster than the Galaxy S4 Mini in all storage tests, and delivers an above average performance.

Overall, HTC's One Mini 2 exhibits an acceptable mid-range performance. It is usually possible to work with the smartphone without lags in practical use. Nevertheless, there are considerably faster phones for a similar price.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
90.48 MB/s ∼54%
HTC One Mini
53.1 MB/s ∼32% -41%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
50.88 MB/s ∼30% -44%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
66.47 MB/s ∼40% -27%
Motorola Moto X
62.7 MB/s ∼37% -31%
LG G2 Mini
110.05 MB/s ∼66% +22%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
15.95 MB/s ∼28%
HTC One Mini
15.71 MB/s ∼27% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
6.33 MB/s ∼11% -60%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
20.02 MB/s ∼35% +26%
Motorola Moto X
12.04 MB/s ∼21% -25%
LG G2 Mini
11.81 MB/s ∼20% -26%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
9.99 MB/s ∼48%
HTC One Mini
10.53 MB/s ∼50% +5%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
9.37 MB/s ∼45% -6%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
13.85 MB/s ∼66% +39%
Motorola Moto X
12.39 MB/s ∼59% +24%
LG G2 Mini
14.18 MB/s ∼68% +42%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
HTC One Mini 2
0.88 MB/s ∼30%
HTC One Mini
1.18 MB/s ∼40% +34%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
0.32 MB/s ∼11% -64%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
1.68 MB/s ∼58% +91%
Motorola Moto X
2.44 MB/s ∼84% +177%
LG G2 Mini
1.18 MB/s ∼40% +34%

Games

Thus, users who want to be absolutely fit for the future when it comes to gaming should instead look around for a premium smartphone, or would still be well served with Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact at best. HTC's One Mini 2 will satisfy users who are content with playing most current Google's Play Store games smoothly. In particular, since input devices, such as the touchscreen and position sensor, function accurately.

We tested both 2D games like Angry Birds: Star Wars and 3D games such as Real Racing 3. HTC's One Mini 2 displayed all these games smoothly, and did not have problems even with larger masses of troops or the innumerable effects in Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles.

Even more sophisticated games, such as "Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles" are barely a problem.
Even more sophisticated games, such as "Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles" are barely a problem.
No more than "Real Racing 3".
No more than "Real Racing 3".

Emissions

Temperature

Users need not fear that the compact casing and the consequently smaller space for cooling will also increase heat dissipation. HTC's One Mini 2 is not much cooler or warmer than its contenders in use, and never gets excessively hot. It even remains overall a bit cooler than its predecessor during load with an average of 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 Fahrenheit) on the front. The absolute maximum is 41.8 degrees Celsius (107.24 Fahrenheit) at the earpiece. The larger HTC One M8 did not heat up much despite its significantly higher performance either.

In return, HTC's One Mini was a bit cooler in idle mode, but the successor does a good job here and reaches a maximum of 35.5 degrees Celsius (95.9 Fahrenheit), again in the area of the earpiece. Overall, the idle temperatures are barely noticed except for in the front's upper area.

Max. Load
 36 °C38.9 °C40 °C 
 36.7 °C40.2 °C41.8 °C 
 37 °C39.9 °C40.5 °C 
Maximum: 41.8 °C
Average: 39 °C
37.2 °C38.7 °C36.6 °C
37 °C39.7 °C36.2 °C
39.2 °C40 °C36.1 °C
Maximum: 40 °C
Average: 37.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40.8 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

HTC's One line has become famous for the rich sound and great speakers. The speakers in HTC's One Mini 2 are also compelling. Louder than some laptops, the sound is very well balanced and dominant. Even subdued bass is heard and felt. However, it is noticed that single instruments are not quite as well differentiated in maximum volume, and that a very light boom sneaks in. The bigger HTC One M8 does a somewhat better job, but other contenders like Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact lag very far behind here.

The sound is no longer supported by Beats Audio, but from HTC's own "BoomSound" technology. However, the user does not have very many setting options. "BoomSound" can only be disabled by connecting a headphone, and there is no equalizer ex-factory.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

HTC's One Mini 2 is in good company with its SoC from Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 line. Many contenders also use an SoC from this range. Only Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact relies on the 800 line. Nevertheless, the power consumption rates deviate greatly. Even if HTC's One Mini 2 is exactly within the category's standard, it is quite hungry with a load maximum of 4.5 Watts.

The consumption rates of HTC's One Mini 2 are approximately 20% lower compared with the larger and significantly more powerful HTC One M8. The idle consumption is roughly the same as HTC's One Mini predecessor, and only the load consumption has increased by approximately 15 to 20%.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 0.5 / 1 / 1.3 Watt
Load 3.3 / 4.5 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The lithium-polymer battery is bigger than the one in the predecessor. 7.77 Watt hours of HTC's One Mini 2 now oppose the 6.66 Watt hours of HTC's One Mini.

HTC's One M8 was only convincing to an extent in battery runtime. Though it was suitable for practical use, 7:33 hours in the Wi-Fi test did not break any records. HTC's One Mini 2 has a smaller battery, but also a lower power requirement and thus achieves better times; a good 1 1/2 hours more in Wi-Fi browsing and over 2 hours more movie entertainment are clear-cut. However, the battery runtimes have not changed greatly compared with HTC's One Mini.

When considering the other compared phones, we have to say that HTC's One Mini 2 does not score very well in battery runtime. For example, the iPhone 5c lasts 5 hours longer in Wi-Fi browsing; Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact even manages 10 hours more. Seen in whole, HTC's One Mini 2 provides decent battery runtimes, but more would have been possible.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
20h 48min
WiFi Surfing
9h 06min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 32min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 03min

Verdict

We all know that children sometimes have minds of their own. It can even happen that they are better than their parents in some things. We saw that the little ones even occasionally manage to surpass their big idols in Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact. Now HTC's One Mini 2 wants to show the bigger HTC One M8 how to do things better with longer battery runtimes and a high-resolution, rear-facing camera (for everyone who is not interested in HTC's ultra-pixel philosophy).

The performance of HTC's One Mini 2 is not competitive. Users who expect absolute top performance from their smartphone and want to play every Play Store game smoothly, no matter how sophisticated, will be on the safe side with HTC's One M8. The street price between the One M8 and One Mini 2 is currently not very different either.

The screen has a lower resolution, it does not sport quite as many sensors, and Wi-Fi is not as fast. If all that is no problem, the One Mini 2 is a serious alternative for the big predecessor. In return, the crowded software interface of HTC Sense 6 can occasionally get a bit unmanageable on the smaller and lower resolution screen.

Compared with the predecessor, the superior casing, even better speakers, and higher performance dominate positively. HTC's One Mini 2 can compete with the other contenders although the extremely low price of Motorola's Moto X or the great battery runtimes and high performance of the Xperia Z1 Compact speak for themselves.

Buyers who liked the very high-quality casing of HTC's One M8, want speakers with a similar quality for a somewhat lower price, and can live with the lower performance can take HTC's One Mini 2 without hesitation.

In review: HTC One Mini 2. Review sample courtesy of HTC Germany.
In review: HTC One Mini 2. Review sample courtesy of HTC Germany.
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In Review: HTC One Mini 2. Review sample courtesy of HTC Germany.
In Review: HTC One Mini 2. Review sample courtesy of HTC Germany.

Specifications

HTC One Mini 2

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
4.5 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, SLCD, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB iNAND Flash, 16 GB , 13.2 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD- slot max. 128 GB, Sensors: GPS, Glonass, digitaler compass, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, NFC
:: Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, GPRS: quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) 3G: quad-band (850/900/1900/2100 MHz w/ HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps ) 4G – LTE: quad-band (3, 7, 8, 20)
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10.5 x 137 x 65
:: Weight
0.137 kg Power Supply: 0.047 kg
:: Battery
7.77 Wh Lithium-Polymer, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 16.2 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 556 h
:: Price
499 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
:: Additional features
Webcam: primary camera: 13 MP, BSI sensor, f/2,2, 1080p video recordings; front-facing camera: 5 MP, BSI sensor, 1080p video recording, Speakers: two front-facing speakers with integrated amplifier, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, headset, HTC Sense 6, BlinkFeed, HTC Backup, Zoe, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
HTC takes a shot with a smaller version of its One M8, which involved a few modifications.
HTC takes a shot with a smaller version of its One M8, which involved a few modifications.
The front-facing camera still has a resolution of 5 megapixels and shoots great selfies.
The front-facing camera still has a resolution of 5 megapixels and shoots great selfies.
The front-sided speakers with the great sound are also still present.
The front-sided speakers with the great sound are also still present.
This time there is only one camera on the back, but with a fairly high resolution of 13 megapixels.
This time there is only one camera on the back, but with a fairly high resolution of 13 megapixels.
The picture quality is good, but the brightness is not always set correctly.
The picture quality is good, but the brightness is not always set correctly.
The quality of both material and build are still first rate.
The quality of both material and build are still first rate.
HTC's One Mini 2 is nice to hold owing to its 4.3-inch size and curved back.
HTC's One Mini 2 is nice to hold owing to its 4.3-inch size and curved back.
The screen displays slightly cold colors, which is due to the intense bluish cast.
The screen displays slightly cold colors, which is due to the intense bluish cast.
We would not have minded if HTC had a bit more power; the contenders are a step ahead here.
We would not have minded if HTC had a bit more power; the contenders are a step ahead here.
The One Mini 2 is a very good alternative for anyone who was not happy with the camera in HTC's One M8 and appreciate the smaller size.
The One Mini 2 is a very good alternative for anyone who was not happy with the camera in HTC's One M8 and appreciate the smaller size.
Especially since the waste heat stays within limits.
Especially since the waste heat stays within limits.
The design is also attractive.
The design is also attractive.
The aluminum back has a great feel.
The aluminum back has a great feel.
HTC has hit a downright home run.
HTC has hit a downright home run.
HTC includes a few apps that are appealing and useful.
HTC includes a few apps that are appealing and useful.
BlinkFeed also pleases with its design, and how it displays news from the Internet and social media.
BlinkFeed also pleases with its design, and how it displays news from the Internet and social media.
The Extreme Power Saver mode significantly extends the battery runtime even when the battery capacity is low. That is very handy when the charger has been forgotten and an important call is expected.
The Extreme Power Saver mode significantly extends the battery runtime even when the battery capacity is low. That is very handy when the charger has been forgotten and an important call is expected.
Contacts can be found via the letter keyboard in the phone app.
Contacts can be found via the letter keyboard in the phone app.
Games like "Real Racing 3" run smoothly, but the smartphone is not very fit for the future due to its at most middling performance.
Games like "Real Racing 3" run smoothly, but the smartphone is not very fit for the future due to its at most middling performance.
HTC Sense 6 looks modern and clearly arranged, but sometimes also crowded on the small screen with its low resolution.
HTC Sense 6 looks modern and clearly arranged, but sometimes also crowded on the small screen with its low resolution.
Things can be managed quickly in the quick settings.
Things can be managed quickly in the quick settings.
Apps can be arranged by various criteria.
Apps can be arranged by various criteria.
The keyboard also looks a bit crowded.
The keyboard also looks a bit crowded.

Similar Devices

Similar devices from a different Manufacturer

Devices from a different Manufacturer and/or with a different CPU

Devices with the same GPU

» Sony Xperia T3 Smartphone Review
Snapdragon 400 MSM8928, 5.3", 0.148 kg
» Sony Xperia M2 Smartphone Review
Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, 4.8", 0.149 kg
» HTC Desire 816 Smartphone Review
Snapdragon 400 MSM8928, 5.5", 0.165 kg

Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Amazon.com

$459.79 HTC ONE MINI 2 GREY

Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Very well-built chassis
+Metal casing
+Elegant design
+Decent cameras
+Great speakers
+Good speech quality
 

Cons

-Difficult maintenance
-Screen's bluish cast
-Only adequate performance
-Tool indispensable for removing micro-SD

Shortcut

What we like

The great casing and the superb speakers.

What we'd like to see

A bit more power - please!

What surprises us

Just how high-quality even a mid-range smartphone can feel.

The competition

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, LG G2 Mini, Motorola Moto X, Apple iPhone 5c

Rating

HTC One Mini 2
06/18/2014 v4
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
92%
Keyboard
63 / 75 → 84%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 77%
Weight
93%
Battery
90%
Display
84%
Games Performance
53 / 75 → 71%
Application Performance
24 / 65 → 37%
Temperature
80%
Noise
100%
Audio
82 / 91 → 90%
Camera
83%
Average
76%
85%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HTC One Mini 2 Smartphone Review
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2014-06-22 (Update: 2014-06-25)