HTC ushers in next-generation ‘mini’ smartphone era

November 11, 2014 : TECHFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

HTC ushers in next generation mini smartphone era

One trend that you can't have failed to notice in the smartphone market in the last few years is that, on the whole, the latest models are getting bigger. Sure, the diets the big manufacturers have been putting their flagship devices on means they're now thinner and lighter than ever, but there's no getting away from the fact that some of them are starting to test the boundaries of your pocket.

Take the three of the biggest Android manufacturers, for instance – Samsung, Sony and HTC. All their current flagship models, respectively the Galaxy S5, Xperia Z2 and One (M8) boast five-inch plus screens. And its been suggested that Apple will be making the jump up to this area with its upcoming iPhone 6, as several commentators have suggested the current design is not too small to excite buyers.

But what if you want the powerful specs and style status of these top-of-the-line models, but don't fancy holding something the size of a paperback book to your ear? Well fortunately you aren't forgotten about, as shrunk-down 'mini' versions of the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC One (M8) are all in the pipeline, and the first of these – from HTC – broke cover for the first time this week.

Smaller, not weaker

With its new HTC One mini 2, the Taiwanese firm is keen to emphasise that just because you're getting a smaller package, it doesn't mean you're going to be stuck with a second-rate gadget. It still has the five-megapixel front-facing camera from the One (M8) – so selfie-obsessed users will be well-served – while key features such as HTC's BoomSound audio technology and BlinkFeed aim to ensure a high user experience. 

Silly name aside, chief executive of HTC Peter Chou was also full of praise for the device, as you might expect. He said: "Its size and tapered edges fit perfectly in a hand, pocket or purse, making it look great and feel even better to use. It's the perfect choice for those who love the iconic design of the HTC One (M8) yet want something more compact."

A small slimdown

If you're expecting a return to the days of the early-00s though, when it seemed the primary goal of every smartphone maker was to create a phone you could lose under your fingernails, you might be in for a surprise. Because even after its haircut, the HTC One mini 2 still isn't exactly what you'd call tiny. In fact, it still boasts a 4.5-inch 720p screen – which actually makes it half an inch bigger than the iPhone 5s.

Aside from the dimensions, where it does differ from its big brother is with its slightly older Snapdragon 400 processor, as opposed to the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 801 found on the M8. While this means it won't be quite as blisteringly fast, the quad-core design should still pack a punch. The Ultrapixel rear-facing camera from the M8 has also gone, to be replaced with a more standard 13-megapixel option. Again, still no slouch, just not quite as earth-shattering.

What about other options?

Neither Samsung nor Sony has yet officially unveiled compact versions of their current flagship phones, but you can be sure they'll be along sooner rather than later. Leaked details earlier this month from the Samsung camp suggest that like its HTC rival, its effort is set to come with a 4.5-inch screen and a Snapdragon 400 processor – so it should look and feel pretty similar to the HTC One mini 2. Meanwhile, TechRadar suggests it's set to be called the Galaxy S5 Dx and could be marketed heavily alongside its Gear and Gear Fit wearables – so close integration with these is a possibility.

Sony, meanwhile, recently unveiled a new Xperia A2 in Japan, while comes observers have suggested will be branded as the Z2 compact once it reaches the west. It has a 4.3-inch display and its specs seem broadly similar to its previous Xperia Z1 Compact.

This entry was posted in TECH and tagged on by sarahstooks
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