Remember the kicking the Samsung Galaxy Note received when it was first announced? The upshot of all the whining was it was too big to be taken seriously as a phone. Regardless, it went on to sell very well, spawn an even bigger selling sequel along with a wide variety of imitators, including the Droid DNA with its Full HD, 5-inch display.
Let’s not mess around, the Droid DNA and its HTC Butterfly siblings are quite cumbersome, plus like all its peers, can look a bit silly when you’re holding it up to your ear. The solution is quite simple – buy a Bluetooth headset. You run the risk of looking equally as silly if you never remove it from your ear, but it’s undeniably more convenient. HTC however, says convenience be damned! In China, where the HTC Butterfly (essentially the Droid DNA) has been recently released, its solution for the Butterfly’s awkwardly large size is to produce the HTC Mini – a phone accessory for your, um, phone.
It looks like a cross between a decade-old feature phone and a big Apple TV remote control, and it connects to the Butterfly using NFC, then thanks to the magic of Bluetooth lets you exploit a tenth of the Butterfly’s abilities. With your cool, expensive device hidden away in your bag or pocket, the Mini can be used to make or receive calls, tap out SMS texts on its alphanumeric keypad, see incoming messages and notifications, control your music and even activate the Butterfly’s camera shutter.
I’ll have a phone to go with my phone, please.
Yes, the Mini is your chance to buy a second, incredibly basic phone from HTC, after spending quite a lot of money buying an all singing, all dancing phone from HTC. If you listen carefully, you can hear the folk working on HTC’s Marketing 2.0 scheme banging their heads against the wall.
We can see where HTC got the idea, as people who own big, powerful and pricey cars often have a smaller, cheaper more sensible vehicle in their garage, However, the HTC Mini doesn’t make sense unless it’s always with you ready to use, so it’s like buying a Range Rover and towing a Smart ForTwo around on a trailer each and every day.
What HTC seems to be saying with the Mini is the Butterfly – and by extension, the Droid DNA and all the other smartphone/tablet hybrids out there – is simply too big to be used everyday. At the moment, it looks like it’s only going to be released in China, however with Mobile World Congress a month away, and talk of the big-screen HTC M7 as its new global flagship, are we about to see an HTC Mini of our own?