HTC announced the One Mini 2 today and we’re here with a quick unboxing (the unit we received didn’t come in an official box) and some hands-on first impressions of the device. We think the phone, which has a 4.5-inch display, is much more deserving of the “mini” name than the One Mini was last year, especially since the One Mini 2 looks a lot more like its older brother and doesn’t sacrifice too much on the design.
While the One (M8) offers a mostly aluminum body, the One Mini 2 is built out of about half metal, so you still have some plastic popping through around the device. However, the metal curves nearly around to the display and, from some angles, it looks almost identical to the One (M8) but with a smaller display and a different camera setup.
Speaking of the camera, HTC ditched the Ultrapixel lens and the “Duo Camera” setup on the One (M8) for a 13-megapixel sensor. Camera fans might actually be pleased with this option, since it will allow for better cropping and zooming of photos than you’ll get with the One (M8). Up front, HTC kept the same 5-megapixel wide-angle lens.
The major sacrifices come with the hardware. You’ll find a less powerful, but still solid, Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz processor under the hood, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage – though that’s expandable with up to a 128GB microSD card – NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and a 2,100mAh battery. The phone’s 4.5-inch 720p HD display doesn’t offer the 1080p spec that its older brother has, but we found it was sharp enough.
Overall, we’re seriously digging the One Mini 2 so far. Sure, it has some sacrifices on the hardware side, but you still get Android 4.4 KitKat and Sense 6, which run without any flaws, and the phone is much more pocketable and easier to use with one hand. Assuming it comes in at a lower price point, and we don’t know what it will cost yet, this is going to be the best looking mid-range phone on the market, by a long shot.
One note for our readers, however: HTC says that the unit you’ll see in the hands-on video and gallery, which shows a gunmetal gray version with a silver volume button, will soon change. The first batch of devices to ship have that, but a change has been made in which the gunmetal gray will soon have a matching gray volume rocker.
The One Mini 2 will launch in gunmetal gray, glacial silver and amber gold. The gold model is our favorite, thanks to its black accents, offering an amazingly premium look. You’ll find it in EMEA and Asia sometime next month. HTC did not provide any details on U.S. launch availability or carrier partners.