As soon as the flagship HTC One M8 was revealed back in March it seemed inevitable that HTC would follow it up with a smaller, more affordable miniature version. With the HTC One Mini 2 now revealed, that's turned out to be only half true — it may look like the M8 but, as its name suggests, this handset has just as much in common with last year's initial HTC One Mini.
A brushed aluminium finish (available in gold, silver and grey shades) gives the curved-back of the HTC One Mini 2 a really lovely feel and aligns it with the premium look of the M8, right down to the piping running horizontally around the rear. But unlike the M8's full-aluminium unibody, the One Mini 2 uses plastics in the edging of its construction — thin on the sides and expanding towards the top and bottom ends. It's subtle (a complementary "very dark grey" to the aluminum back of my review unit's "gunmetal grey"), but it's a point of compromise over the flagship edition. A sturdy silver volume rocker (which I'm informed will match the same grey shade as the rest of the handset in subsequent production runs) sits on the right next to a microSD card slot, with a nanoSIM tray sitting on the left hand side. The HTC One Mini 2 only comes in one storage size — 16GB — but can take microSD cards up to a capacity of 128GB.While the top edge of the M8 housed an IR zapper for controlling your home cinema products, this has been dropped in the One Mini 2. Up top instead sits a plastic power button and headphone jack. The loss of the TV-controlling feature won't be the cause of many tears I'd imagine, being something of a novelty, but it is a shame considering how comprehensively integrated it and its accompanying app were in the M8. A single 13MP camera sensor sits flush with the rear casing (no Duo Camera here), while around the front there's a 5MP camera for your selfie shots.Flip the phone over and HTC's BoomSound speakers once again make an appearance, sitting at the top and bottom ends of the phone, facing forwards. And again, just as it was with the M8, there's a black strip along the bottom edge of the display that serves no obvious purpose other than to house the HTC logo. It's likely present here to give the engineers a little more room underneath within which to fit all the internal components.After wowing us with its Duo Camera on the HTC One M8, it's disappointing to see HTC revert back to a single rear sensor for the Mini One 2. That's hardly unexpected, considering the premium such a feature would add to what's designed as a more budget-friendly phone, but a shame nonetheless. Perhaps more interesting however is the decision to ditch HTC's UltraPixel system, in favour of a standard 13MP sensor. Depending on your stance on the UltraPixel system, that may or may not be a good thing (you can read all about the tech ), but it does leave the phone with a very different imaging system to its predecessors.