HTC One mini 2 review: Hardware and performance

As is customary for a mini smartphone, the One mini 2 has a smaller screen than the flagship M8. It's 4.5in compared to 5in which matches that of the freshly announced Galaxy S5 mini. Whether 4.5in is 'mini' enough for you is another matter. The trend of bigger screens continues so we're now at a point where mini versions of flagships are the kind of size that flagship devices used to be. If you want a smaller screen then you better look elsewhere.

It's no surprise that the resolution is 720p HD rather than Full HD and although the screen looks good with a 326 ppi pixel density (matching the iPhone 5s), you can get this on budget phones like the Moto G now. Of course, the Motorola Moto G is inferior in many ways but hopefully you get the point.

Under the hood is a 1.2GHz dual-core processor – a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 – with 1GB of RAM. The HTC One mini 2 scored 1153 in GeekBench 3 which matches up with smartphones using the same components like the Sony Xperia M2.

It fell marginally behind in the GFXBench 3 T-Rex and Manhattan tests where it managed 11- and 4fps respectively. In the web browsing SunSpider test we recorded a fairly average time of 1504 ms.

However, it’s no slouch and in everyday use, Android is buttery smooth. Apps are quick to load as are web pages. Scrolling around web pages and maps isn’t a chore: it’s all nice and responsive. Only on one occasion did we see a hesitation when returning to the home screen.

There’s enough power for games, as long as you’re not expecting to play the latest and most demanding 3D games. Games and videos benefit from the great front-facing speakers, too.

There's only a 16GB model of the HTC One mini 2 so the only difference between models is the colour. It's a standard capacity now but we're pleased to report that the handset has a microSD card slot which wasn't on the first HTC One mini. You can add a whopping 128GB via the card slot so it's happy days here.

Remaining hardware includes dual-band Wi-Fi (not 11ac, though), Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, GPS and NFC. There's also support for 4G LTE networks but you don't get the IR blaster which the One M8 is blessed with.

As we mentioned earlier, the One mini 2 does have HTC's BoomSound front facing speakers with built-in amplifiers.

HTC One mini 2 review: Cameras

The One mini 2’s main camera has a 13Mp sensor and is capable of 1080p video recording. As with the One M8’s image quality, it’s all a bit underwhelming when you zoom in and look at the details (or lack thereof), but they’re fine for sharing snaps on Facebook.

Unlike the One M8, there’s no depth-sensing second camera, so you don’t get any of the wacky focus effects on the One mini 2.

In good light, photos are good enough, but they simply don’t exhibit the sort of sharp detail you’d expect at this high resolution.

Videos, as with the One M8, are disappointing. Again, there’s a noticeable lack of sharp detail. Heavy handed compression means textures tend to turn into smudgy messes – bricks, foliage etc.

There’s also no stabilisation, so footage is shaky even if you have steady hands.

The front-facing ‘selfie’ camera has a decent 5Mp resolution and a timer so you can get ready for the shot without having to press a button at the right moment. There are crazy effects for softening skin tones, brightening eyes and even changing the shape of your face.

Once again, photos look pretty good until you start zooming in to see the actual pixels. Do this, and you’ll see the same degrading effects of compression with an obvious lack of detail.

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