While it’s HTC’s One (M8) handset that’s been grabbing the headlines over the last couple of months, its not the only smartphone on the company’s roster. Announced today, the awkwardly named HTC One mini 2 takes some significant cues from the larger device, but comes in a more compact package. Read on as Gizmag compares HTC’s top two Android handsets for 2014.
Despite the larger footprint of the M8, it actually comes in a little thinner than the One mini 2. That said, the 1.25mm difference is likely to be near imperceptible, and neither handset is exactly chunky.
As you might expect, the HTC One mini 2 is a little lighter than the HTC One (M8). The metal build of the two devices mean they tend to be a little heavier than competing handsets in the same size category. The Samsung Galaxy S5, for example, weighs in at 145g (0.32 lbs).
The full-size One features an aluminium unibody design that feels great in the hand. The One mini 2’s looks are nearly identical to its big brother, with a similar metal construction.
The HTC One mini 2's display is 19 percent smaller than its big brother's.
While the larger device packs a full 1920 x 1080 display, the One mini 2 lowers the resolution to a slightly less impressive 1280 x 720. The lower pixel density of the smaller device is nothing to be sniffed at (it’s identical to the iPhone 5s’ offering), but it can’t quite match the flagship handset’s ultra-sharp screen.
Both devices start with 16 GB of internal storage, but the full-sized One also adds a 32 GB option – at least on some carriers. They both have microSD card slots for expandability.
Both devices offer LTE connectivity.
While both phones pack quad-core chips, they’re not quite created equally. Not only does the M8’s Snapdragon 801 deliver a higher clock speed, but it also has excellent power sipping credentials, contributing to the device’s excellent battery life.
At 2GB, the fully-fledged One doubles its little brother’s 1GB RAM.
The One mini 2 is fitted with a smaller capacity battery than the larger phone, and it’s something that’s reflected in battery life. HTC claims that you’ll get around 20 hours talk time out of the One (M8), and it performed very well in our review. The company is a little less ambitious about how long the One mini 2 will run for, rating it at 16 hours talk time.
Beyond raw specs, the camera offerings of the two devices are one of their key differentiators. While the One mini 2 packs a fairly standard 13MP shooter, the M8 mixes things up with a 4MP ‘UltraPixel’ camera. The One’s camera is great in low light conditions and due to its dual lenses, offers some interesting after effects including the ability to shift the focus of a picture. It’s worth taking a look at our full review for a detailed look at the camera’s strengths and weaknesses.
Both handsets feature an impressive 5MP front-facing camera and include a range of touch up tools for that perfect selfie.
Both smartphones feature the company’s BoomSound audio tech. The speakers on the HTC One are some of the best we’ve ever heard on a smartphone. Without hands-on time with the mini 2, it’s impossible to say how well they match up.
Another tie here, with both handsets running on the latest version of Android overlaid with HTC’s Sense 6 skin. Sense is easily the prettiest Android skin out there and unlike some of its previous iterations, version 6 actually improves the look of the UI without impacting the device’s performance.
Starting price (off-contract)
The HTC One (M8) comes in at a fairly hefty US$650, making it one of the most expensive smartphones out there. HTC has yet to provide pricing for the One mini 2, but it’s clear that the lower-spec’d device won’t be as expensive as its big brother.
Though the HTC One mini 2 is clearly the lesser of the two handsets, it’s a capable device, on the spec sheet at least. We’ll have a full verdict on the new handset when we get our hands on a review unit.
If you’d like to see how the HTC One (M8) stacks up against some other popular high-end flagships, then you can check out our 2014 Smartphone Comparison Guide.