HTC One Mini hands-on review

We wrap our mitts around HTC's shrunken-down One, and it feels good. Real good.

The HTC One Mini has revealed itself at last, and we've had the pleasure of poking around its dinkier display.

Can it offer the same premium experience as the HTC One in a more affordable package? Let's see…

Design and build: almost as sexy as the One

At first glance you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the One Mini and its big brother, at least from a distance. It's not that much smaller, despite its 4.3in display – and it feels just as solid and premium in the hand, thanks to its lustrous unibody aluminium build. It even retains the One's dual front-facing 'Boomsound' speakers.

The outside band of the One Mini is plastic however, a clue to its more affordable status. Still, a premium-feeling product at less cost? We're definitely not complaining.

Screen: a tick for HD kicks

The 4.3in screen of the HTC One Mini is better suited to one-handed use than the 5in version found on the full-fat One, which should make bashing out texts a little easier.While it's not full HD, its 720p, 341 ppi display is more than sharp enough for our eyes, offering bright vivid colours and clear text. It beats the sub-HD screens of competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, earning it major brownie points in our book.

Camera: UltraPixel snaps again

The HTC One Mini features the same 4MP Ultrapixel camera found in the HTC One, and while we didn't have time to take it for a proper spin and compare the photos on a big screen, we're confident it'll offer similar performance, excelling in low-light environments.

More after the break...

Android OS: bang up to date

The HTC One Mini actually ships with Android 4.2.2 which is a slightly more recent version of Android than the One's. Sense 5.0 also makes a return, with HTC's BlinkFeed widget which serves up social updates and news at your fingertips. Including from Stuff.tv, which is obviously extremely good news for anyone who buys it.

Power: not too much, but enough

The HTC One Mini's 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor ran the menu transitions and apps we tried smoothly. The real test will come during out in-depth review once we've taken plenty of apps and games for a spin, although we don't expect many issues: it may be a step or two down from Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 800, and the Snapdragon 600 that powers the HTC One, but then it only has a mid-tier screen to populate with pixels.

Connectivity: yes to 4G, no to NFC

The HTC One Mini has neither the One's NFC capability nor integrated IR blaster, and like the One lacks a removable battery or expandable memory to bolster its 16GB of built-in storage. The first two omissions are to keep the price of the handset down, while the latter two appear to be standard for all HTC devices.On the up side, the One Mini's Snapdragon 400 has built-in 4G LTE – and EE has already announced that it'll be carrying the HTC One Mini at launch.

Initial verdict

The HTC One Mini offers almost the same level of premium build quality found in the HTC One, despite the plastic banding. While it lacks a few features like NFC and the IR blaster, it keeps the core One experience thanks to Sense 5, the same Ultrapixel camera and front-facing speakers. Given that the One is the best smartphone money can buy right now, that's good news.

HTC is pricing the One Mini "two price tiers below" the One on operator tariffs. If they hit the right price point come its release in August, the One will be flying off the shelves – and deservedly so, if our first impressions are anything to go by.