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The little shining star – the HTC One mini2 review

Damage:

R7699 or R399/month on a 24 month Vodacom Smart S contract

What you need to know:

  • Runs on Android KitKat
  • 4.5″ display
  • 720p screen resolution
  • 2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 13MP back camera and 5MP front facing camera

What we think you should know:

Minis, compacts, the iPhone 5C…. The flagship smartphone is being “shrunk” to suit the pockets of the masses. I also think the mini version is always the first choice of those who want a phone that is the size of phone versus a phone that replicates a tablet in their pocket. The HTC One mini2 is the little sister to the HTC One m8. Those are rather big shoes to fill considering a lot of tech publications raged about the m8 in 2014, hailing it as one of the best Android phones of the year.

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From a design perspective the mini2 doesn’t disappoint. It has the same gorgeous brushed metallic finish of the m8 with a few plastic pieces added in. I love the curved back and really think the metal adds a certain touch of elegance to a usually plastic class of phones. The screen isn’t all that small at 5.2″ and the actual display is still rather vivid. In fact, it offers up the same pixel density as the iPhone 5s. It runs off Android and has a few HTC add ons including camera app Zoe, HTC Car mode, the HTC guide and Kid Mode.

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Kid Mode is ideal for parents. They can entertain themselves for ages with Zoodles Kid Mode playing games and enjoying apps suited to their age while not accidentally ringing your boss.

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The battery life on the HTC One mini2 is rather good too. It held up to a full day of my social media usage though I did have HTC’s Battery Power Saver on (really useful to make your HTC battery last a bit longer). One thing I loved about the m8 was HTC BoomSound. It makes the phone ideal for playing music or talking to people on speaker phone. It has (in my opinion) the best audio of any smartphone I reviewed in 2014. That’s because of the built-in amp and dual front-facing speakers – these are also included with the mini2 so expect some great sound.

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For the most part you won’t feel the difference between the mini2 and m8. Granted it is a little bit slower but for the most part they’re much of the muchness…. until you flick the camera on. For me, the m8 would have been the perfect Android phone IF the camera was just a little better. The mini2 has a stripped down camera version. The 13Mp camera has no depth-sensing second camera like the m8 and if you zoom in to pictures they’re not as sharp as I’d like. I understand it is the “cheaper” version of the m8 but I still think at that price point it needed a better camera.

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Overall, this is the phone for the image conscious on a budget. It’s gloriously sexy and I got great joy in whipping it out while at cocktails with the girl because it just looks the part on a table. I’d guess purchasing the mini2 is a bit like dating a really gorgeous male model who isn’t that bright. You’ll be the envy of all your friends and, for the most part, you’ll be happy, but occasionally you might be left wanting.

So rad:

  • It just looks so damn good
  • great performance overall

Makes us sad:

  • It is still a pretty steep price
  • The camera left us wanting

Disclaimer: The HTC One Mini2 provided to us was a review unit, meaning it goes back to the brand now that this is published. 

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