HTC’s HD2 is one of our favourite smartphones, but its glorious 4.3in screen does make it something of a pocket-hogger. Welcome, then, the HD Mini, which shares much of the HD2’s goodness but shoehorns it into a much diddier case.
Its screen is just over an inch smaller but, at 3.2in, still a decent size. It also fits comfortably in the hand, and at the forefront of the phone’s interface is HTC’s excellent Sense UI.
Stylish user interface
The cool-looking front screen has a carousel of scrolling icon shortcuts at the base of the display. There are lots of programs here - so many, in fact, that there’s a chance you may never be plunged into the murky depths of Windows Mobile at all.
If you must, just tap the Windows virtual button at the bottom of the display and you’re presented with the Windows Mobile home screen with its icons for Messaging, Email and handy extras like Windows My Phone to keep your calendar, contacts and more in sync.
Back in the realms of Sense, there’s a good Twitter client (called Peep) and HTC’s snazzy localised weather app which sits with the clock on the main display, mist crossing the entire screen if the weather’s inclement, or windscreen wipers in view when it’s raining cats and dogs.
Above average camera
Despite its chic but demure looks, the HD Mini is more than a business phone. Of course, it has Shares as one of the Sense shortcuts, but it also has a 5 megapixel camera – much better than on many smartphones.
It’s a decent snapper, let down only by the shutter lag that routinely dogs cameraphones and the lack of a flash. This is a shame as this quality of camera is otherwise so much better than expected.
Still, there are other positive multimedia features, like the 3.5mm headphone jack so you can use your best earphones. The GPS program supplied is the highly capable CoPilot Live, which works well and quickly.
Review continues after the break…
Speedy and responsive
In fact, the phone does everything at speed, with a slickly responsive touchscreen launching programs instantly, building webpages fast. It even has multi-touch so you can pinch to zoom in and out of the screen.
If you’ve been hesitant about WinMo before because of the tiny menus or the need for a stylus or the, the HD Mini is a great antidote. We’d still recommend the HD2 and its fantastic 4.3in screen if you’re likely to delve deeper into WinMo, but its little brother is a great alternative.