We knew it was coming, and after a long wait and endless leaks the HTC One mini is upon us. Smaller phones seem to be something everyone wants more of to augment the ever-growing size of the flagships, and with the HTC One mini we get some of that, although the miniaturized HTC One isn't quite as powerful as its full fledged brethren. The One mini isn't exactly that miniaturized flagship that everyone was looking for, rather a more midrange, cost-reduced version of the One with a number of concessions made to get there. 

Starting off, the HTC One mini continues the same predominantly aluminum construction and virtually the same exact design language, although there is visibly more polycarbonate around the edges. I'm told that the One mini doesn't use exactly the same construction methods as the One, you can see this bear itself out in the photos with the plastic wrapping around the edges a bit more on the front and back. The backside is still curved and segmented into three pieces, with the bottom and top strips serving as the primary and secondary cellular antennas from what I can tell. In that plastic band for the top antenna separation is also still a secondary microphone, for stereo audio on video and ambient noise suppression on calls. You'll notice the vertical strip running along the middle to the camera module is gone, and with it, the NFC functionality which necessitated it. The power button is also now silver since there's no IR Tx/Rx port behind it, and the volume rocker is now two discrete buttons instead of one. 

Flash moves to a centered 12-o-clock position above the rear-facing camera aperture, which is still 4.0 MP with 2.0 µm "ultrapixels," although there's no OIS this time around for cost reasons, which is a bit unfortunate since that was half of what made the HTC One's camera exciting. 

HTC One mini Specifications
  HTC One mini
SoC 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400
(MSM8930 - 2 x Krait 200 CPU, Adreno 305 GPU)
RAM/NAND/Expansion 1GB LPDDR2, 16 GB NAND
Display 4.3-inch LCD 720p, 341 ppi
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (MSM8930 MDM9x15 IP block)
Dimensions 132 x 63.2 x 9.25 mm, 122 grams
Camera 4.0 MP (2688 × 1520) Rear Facing with 2.0 µm pixels, 1/3" CMOS size, F/2.0, 28mm (35mm effective) no OIS
1.6 MP front facing
Battery 1800 mAh (6.84 Whr)
OS Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, DLNA
Misc Dual front facing speakers, HDR dual microphones, 2.55V headphone amplifier
Bands GSM/EDGE: Quad Band
WCDMA/HSPA+ 42 Mbps:
EMEA: 900/1900/2100 MHz
Asia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE Cat. 3:
EMEA: 800/1800/2600 MHz
Asia: 900/1800/2100/2600

On the front the One mini retains the stereo boomsound speakers, front facing camera module (1.6 MP), and capacitive button placement. The display is 4.3-inch 720p LCD – as an aside it's amazing that 4.3-inch and 720p is now a midrange feature just a year after 720p's introduction. The HTC One mini runs Android 4.2.2 with the updates to Sense 5 we already talked about in that update to the HTC One. 

Hardware Comparison
  HTC One mini HTC One HTC One S iPhone 5
Height 132.0 mm 137.4 mm 130.9 mm 123.8 mm
Width 63.2 mm 68.2 mm 65 mm 58.6 mm
Thickness 9.25 mm 9.3 mm 7.8 mm 7.6 mm
Mass 122 grams 143 grams 119.5g 112 g

So how mini is the One mini, and how much of a spiritual successor to the HTC One S is it? Turns out it's somewhere inbetween the One S and One in size and mass, and still somewhat tall of a phone if you're comapring dimensions in the table I've made above. I don't have any hands-on impressions with the device to share for various spatial reasons, but I'm hoping it maintains the same kind of quality that the One does without making sacrifices. 

Update: A number of people have asked how the One mini compares in size and mass to the iPhone 5, I've tossed that in the table as well.


HTC One (left), HTC One mini (right)

What made the HTC One S awesome was that it was every bit as powerful as the One XL but in a smaller, sleeker, metal chassis. With the HTC One mini it's obvious that this isn't a flagship device squeezed into a smaller, more pocketable device like the One S was, but rather a phone catered to a different lower-end market entirely. Among enthusiasts that's not at all what everyone has been clamoring (sometimes quite loudly) for, but it will bring HTC a much needed update into a different price point not commonly home to such material or build quality. I'm going to wait until I finally get the chance to hold and review a One mini before passing judgement. 

The HTC One mini will launch in some markets (Europe, others) in August and globally in September this year. HTC isn't naming a price for the One mini, but with the specs above it has to be competitive given the relatively midrange spec list and targeting. There's no official word on availability, operator partners, or pricing for the USA market, but it is inevitably coming here in some shape or form.

Gallery: HTC One mini

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  • IPlayNaked - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Front facing, superior speakers, aluminum body, lighter.

    Some people have 0 need for an SD card and some people prefer off screen buttons.

    Work on thinking outside yourself and try to think of what people could want from it, instead of just thinking "I wouldn't want that, no one else would either"
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, July 19, 2013 - link

    Yeah, but it has 2 off screen buttons, as opposed to the dynamic buttons that Jelly Bean is designed for. You also then get more screen space when watching video.
    The SP has an aluminium frame, I doubt this is going to be light years ahead.
    It has a slower SoC. It has a much smaller battery.
    I want HTC to succeed, but they won't do it like this.
    Reply
  • thesavvymage - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Too bad they couldnt shrink down the dimensions any more than that. Reply
  • dishayu - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    This will be a very hard sell when compared to a GS4 mini and the Xperia SP. Really wish they could have waited a while and released a dual core Krait 400, Adreno 330 based mini. That would just be the perfect phone. Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    There's a lot I'm willing to let slide in exchange for a smaller phone:

    1. 720p screen? OK, the screen is smaller
    2. Dual-Core vs Quad-Core SoC? I hardly use two cores on my XZ, let alone 4. I'd be unhappy on principle, but it does have a smaller battery, so again, forgiven.
    3. Weaker GPU? No. Especially when you can get the older MSM8960 with the Adreno 320... Sure, its not the latest tech, but is IS a dual-core, lower-clocked version of the Snapdragon 600 which brings performance much, MUCH closer
    4. Half the RAM? WTF are they smoking? Android NEEDs a LOT of memory if you do heavy multitasking of lots of light-workload programs. This is especially damning when you consider the price of RAM, especially if you go wholesale and consider all the other savings made!
    5. Losing the awesome construction of the One? I could accept that, but at the same time, they could've just shrunk the One's construction and done it right..

    @Brian Klug: if you're in contact with any of the ODMs, PLEASE let them know that there are people out there who want a genuine flagship at the 4.0-4.3" mark who are willing to pay for it. As much as the top flagship in fact. Personally I wouldn't even mind losing some battery life and/or having a thicker phone in order for that to happen.

    Oh and docks. Can we have dock bundles? Please?
    Reply
  • miria_osa - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    GS4 is much better.. longer lasting battery and better camera and memory.. it will be tough for htc to beat that..http://versus.com/en/htc-one-mini-vs-samsung-galax... Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    The One Mini sin't going up against the S4, rather the S4 mini, and apart from the screen and camera (where the One is miles ahead), they're essentially identical: http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=5505... Reply
  • MatthiasP - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    For me HTC did almost everything right with this "mini", 720p Screen, 1/3" camera sensor and thin&light. But why no OIS for the camera HTC? I hope it doesn't degrade image quality too much at low light. Reply
  • Ortanon - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Button/bezel problem persists. Saddening. Maddening. Come on, HTC.

    I couldn't stand the giant button band making the phone way bigger than it had to be when I first saw the HTC One. When someone told me the "HTC" symbol wasn't even a button, I burst into incredulous laughter.
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    My first thought was: "Damn just bought a new phone, I really liked the look of HTC One but it is just to big so a mini sounds great" My second thought was: "Still to big especially for that screen size". Reply

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