Last year around this time, HTC had yet to release a mini version of its flagship phones. As OEMs continued to push bigger and bigger displays into bigger phones, there was a distinct push for a phone that had flagship specifications, but without the size that normally entailed such flagship specifications in the Android space. HTC then proceeded to launch the One mini, a phone that was the size that everyone had been asking for, but just wasn’t the same as its larger cousin. While there are now phones around the size of the One S that have flagship specs, the One mini was a distinctly midrange device, with a number of concessions made to reach a midrange price.

Of course, that was the past. Today we’re looking at the successor to the One mini. Unfortunately, for those that want everything in a One (M8) repackaged to fit into a phone the size of a One S, this is not that phone. However, the bigger question is how well this phone fits into the mid-range spectrum, and how well it compares to the competition. To this end, HTC seems to hope that better design and the halo effect from the One (M8) will differentiate the One mini 2 from the rest of the competition.

As always, the most immediate impression that one gets is from holding the phone, even before it’s turned on. In this respect, the One mini 2 is easily one of the best in its class. While it isn’t the nearly all-metal design of the M8 (50% vs 90% metal, excluding display), there’s very little plastic on the back cover, only a bit of the edge where the back cover interfaces with the rest of the phone. It’s somewhat similar to the One (M7) in this regard, although the One mini 2 has more aluminum on the side walls. The button layout is also the exact same setup as the One (M7), with a power button on the top left, 3.5mm jack on the top right, volume rocker on the right side of the phone, and the microUSB 2.0 port on the bottom right. The speaker grilles share their lineage with the One mini and One (M7), as does the layout of the speaker grilles, front facing camera, and the proximity/light sensor.

Overall, the material design and industrial design of the One mini 2 far exceeds almost anything else on the market. It’s undeniable that while some concessions have been made compared to the One (M8), in some ways the industrial design is better on the One mini 2. HTC has done a great job designing this phone.

In the hand, the size of the phone is close to the One (M7). It’s definitely a big larger in the hand when compared to the original One mini, although I’m not too sure if this is a significant difference. For those that see the iPhone 5 and 5s as the absolute largest phone that they’re willing to tolerate, this may be too much, although those that have no trouble with the Moto X and other similarly sized devices will be right at home here.

Moving past basic hardware impressions, the One mini 2 is in many ways a side-grade from the One mini. The SoC is still under the Snapdragon 400 branding, but is now a quad core Cortex A7 rather than a dual core Krait. The amount of RAM stays the same, as does display resolution. The camera is now a standard 13MP sensor with F/2.2 optics, although the front facing camera is borrowed from the One (M8) and is a good jump up from the 1.6MP camera from the One mini. A table of the hardware specifications can be seen below, along with a comparison to the One (M8) and One mini.

  HTC One mini 2 HTC One (M8) HTC One mini
SoC MSM8926 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 MSM8974ABv3 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801 MSM8930 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400
RAM/NAND 1 GB, 16GB NAND + microSD 2GB LPDDR3, 16/32GB NAND + microSD 1 GB LPDDR2, 16GB NAND
Display 4.5” 720p LCD 5” 1080p LCD 4.3" 720p LCD
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x15 UE Category 3 LTE)
Dimensions 137.43 x 65.04 x 10.6mm, 137 grams 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35mm max, 160 grams 132 x 63.2 x 9.25 mm, 122 grams
Camera 13MP rear camera, 1.12 µm pixels, 1/3.06" CMOS size, F/2.2. 5MP f/2.0 FFC 4.0 MP (2688 × 1520) Rear Facing with 2.0 µm pixels, 1/3" CMOS size, F/2.0, 28mm (35mm effective) and rear depth camera, 5MP f/2.0 FFC 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 2100 mAh (7.98 Whr) 2600 mAh (9.88 Whr) 1800 mAh (6.84 Whr)
OS Android 4.4.2 with Sense 6 Android 4.4.2 with Sense 6 Android 4.4.2 with Sense 5.5
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA, NFC 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA, NFC 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA
SIM Size NanoSIM NanoSIM MicroSIM

The One mini 2 should be priced similarly to the original One mini at launch. HTC tells us to expect the One mini 2 to retail at £360 - £370.

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  • Laxaa - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    It baffles me that this "mini" is the same size as the M7. What does this offer that the M7 don't have on a lower price point?
  • fokka - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    slightly better battery life, slightly better camera in daylight, sd slot.
  • Morawka - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    i like last year's metal unibody much better than this. Satin aluminum feels much better in the hand, (and looks better) than this brushed aluminum look.
  • krazyfrog - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    The brushed aluminum finish is only on the grey model. The silver and gold look like the M7.
  • fokka - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    i also like the m7 design better, but not because of the brushed finish - i love brushed metal! - but the corners look better imho. it doesn't look all that rounded, more simple and also the top speaker grille is more centered. also the speaker grilles were real metal on the m7 and if you look closely at the m8 you can see that theres a rather thick clear coat on the grilles, plus not all holes are drilled all the way through. "nitpicking", yes, but on a phone that lives for its design i think those are still valid points.

    also the second (duo-) camera looks goofy and the black m7 is just absolutely gorgeous, compared to the black m8 with its appalling gold speaker grilles (sprint version).

    also (sorry for saying "also" so much!), i don't get how they get their numbers like "90% metal", or "50% metal". shure, the surface of the m8 features a couple percent more metal than the m7, but not to the extent of 90% vs. 70%. and the mini 2 sure as hell isn't down to only 50%. i'm really wondering how they calculate this to get those numbers.
  • SetiroN - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    You are being WAY too kind.
    These "mini" marketing devices deserve to be bashed and put to shame. People buy them thinking they're getting a mini flagship and end up hating android.
    This is a terrible device at that price point.
  • Laxaa - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    It is. The M7 is a much better buy. It might be a year old, but it's still a great smartphone. It looks better as well.
  • hangfirew8 - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    Exactly what I was thinking! If they had put an 8MP camera on the M7 it would have been a better phone than this.
  • fokka - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    the m7 with a larger 8mp sensor with OIS and an sd slot would have been perfect!! plus the sd801 from the m8 to seal the deal and they would have one customer more.
  • r3loaded - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    4.5 inches is "mini" now?

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