HTC gives a huge smartphone its own Mini feature phone
January 26, 2013
Huge smartphones and phablets are great for some customers. They provide more screen real estate, and can double as miniature tablets. But the bigger these devices get, the more awkward they become for phone calls. If your 5-inch smartphone has you feeling like Zach Morris, then HTC has a solution: give it its own personal dumbphone.
A phone's phone
Meet the HTC Mini. Though you might mistake it for the phone you had in 2006, it's an accessory for the HTC Butterfly (known as the Droid DNA in the U.S.). Chinese Butterfly owners can use the Mini to make and take calls without removing their super-sized phones from their pockets.
The device connects to the Butterfly via Near Field Communication (NFC). It's small, light, and could be dropped in a shirt pocket while the much larger Butterfly sits in a deeper pocket or purse. In addition to making calls, it can show messages, calendar appointments, and call history on its monochrome display.
The HTC Mini has a few other tricks. With the Butterfly tethered to a TV set, the Mini can also serve as a remote control for menu navigation. And if you misplace your smartphone, the Mini will ring it to help you to quickly find it.
Joke or genius?Is the Mini an innovative stroke of genius, or an illustration of how ridiculously oversized our phones have become? Though we still call them phones, smartphones are really pocketable computers. Perhaps if you see the Mini as an ultra-portable phone accessory for your primary computer, it sounds a bit less absurd.
The HTC Mini is only available for the Chinese market, and only compatible with the Butterfly. We inquired with HTC about any future availability outside of China, but the company has nothing to announce at this time.