New HTC One Mini 2 keeps the One M8’s looks, but loses the Duo Camera

HTC One Mini 2 Main
HTC has taken the wrapping off the One Mini 2, its follow-up to last year’s successful One Mini, and spin-off from the recently announced 2014 flagship Android phone, the One M8. We’ve been hearing about the device for several weeks, and while the phone’s look and spec matches most of the rumors, there’s still some surprises. Here’s what the M8’s little brother is all about.

The aluminum chassis remains a standout feature, but rather than entirely encasing the phone, it joins a plastic screen surround. HTC has increased the size of the screen from 4.3-inches on last year’s model to 4.5-inches, but has left the resolution at 720p. This has the consequence of making the phone slightly larger all round. It now measures 10.6mm thick, from 9.3mm last year, and weighs 137 grams.

htc-one-m8-mini-2Android 4.4 KitKat is installed underneath the Sense 6 user interface, and HTC has added the BlinkFeed stream on the homescreen, plus the Zoe app for creating short highlight videos. Sadly, some of the cool features seen on the One M8, such as the Motion Launch gesture controls, aren’t included on the One Mini 2.

There’s another difference too. HTC has decided against using the new Duo Camera on the One Mini 2, and hasn’t even bothered with an UltraPixel setup either. Instead, the One Mini 2 has a more traditional 13-megapixel lens on the rear, a feature which sees it trump competing devices like LG’s G2 Mini, on paper at least. Selfie fans won’t be disappointed though, and HTC has carried over the M8’s 5-megapixel front camera to the One Mini 2, complete with a timer and the Touch Up app, which helps you tweak your look after shooting a picture.

Inside the phone is a 1.2GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM, matching just about every other mid-range smartphone announced recently, along with 16GB of storage space. The good news is HTC has added a MicroSD card slot to the One Mini 2, which is a welcome upgrade over the old One Mini. Other features include 4G LTE, NFC, a 2100mAh battery, and Bluetooth 4.0. Finally, the small phone makes use of the One M8’s big BoomSound amplifier and dual front speaker system, so it should sound great.

The phone will be sold in Gunmetal Grey, Glacial White, and Amber Gold, but has so far only been confirmed for much of Europe and Asia, with the release beginning in June. We’re waiting to hear when, or even if, the One Mini 2 will come to America.

Check out our review of the HTC One M8 smartphone.

Continue to page 2 for a roundup of all the rumors prior to the HTC One Mini 2’s launch

How this for a surprise? HTC is rumored to be planning a, wait for it, Mini version of the brand new HTC One M8. Shocking, we know. Rumors have been gathering since the launch of its big brother, so it’s time to bring them all together for a complete look at what we think we know about HTC’s next major release.

It may not wear the M8 name

HTC decided to keep the M8 codename for the newest One smartphone, using it to avoid adding the number two, or a plus sign, to the final name. This left it with a dilemma for the new Mini, because presumably, it’s referred to internally under its own codename, which almost certainly isn’t the M8. It’s less likely we’ll be getting the One M8 Mini, then, and more likely that we’ll be seeing the One Mini 2.

What will it look like, and how about the specs?

According to a rumor report from a UK smartphone retailer, HTC isn’t going to drastically change the formula which made the original so popular, but we should prepare ourselves for a mixture of positive and negative alterations. Apparently, HTC will increase the screen size for the One M8 Mini from 4.3-inches on the old model, to 4.5-inches. This brings it into line with the popular Motorola Moto G, and keeps a similar size difference between it and the full-size model. There’s no information on the resolution, but we expect HTC to stick with 720p.

Back in February, @evleaks also revealed a set of specs linked to the One Mini 2, referred to as the M8 Mini at the time. The tweet also mentioned a 4.5-inch screen with a 720 resolution, along with a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory. A MicroSD card slot may be included. The operating system should be Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC’s Sense 6 user interface. 

HTC One Mini 2 Leaked Image

A leaked picture published by @evleaks on Twitter suggests the device’s shape will be very similar to the One M8, although it looks slightly thicker when viewed from the side, plus the sensor layout above the screen is closer to the original. There’s no Beats Audio branding on the rear either. We won’t know until the phone is announced if this is the real thing, but if it is, we can expect three different colors to be offered, including gold.

In a picture leaked to PhoneArena.com, the plastic antenna covers running around the One Mini 2’s body are shown in a bright accent color, suggesting HTC will make these more of a feature this time around. The garish greeny yellow isn’t to our taste, but judging by HTC’s previous colorful efforts, it’ll probably look much better in real life. However, the bright accents don’t appear in @evleaks picture, so it’s not certain this will happen.

No Duo Camera on the One Mini 2

The slight increase in screen size is welcome, but the other potential difference between the two phones probably won’t be seen in such a positive light. Apparently, the Duo Camera introduced on the One M8 won’t be a feature on the Mini. This could leave the new phone with the same UltraPixel camera seen on the last phone, unless HTC has something else up its sleeve to make the smaller device standout. The February leak stated the rear camera would have 13-megapixels, and the front camera 5-megapixels.

The claim HTC won’t add the Duo Camera to the Mini is backed up by the leaked image above. It shows a single camera lens on the rear of the device, accompanied by an LED flash, which has been moved from above the lens to the side. There’s no sign of the second sensor, which is essential to the Duo Camera’s operation.

When will the One Mini 2 be announced?

A report from the UK indicates we should expect the phone to go on sale in May, which if accurate, means the launch could come any day. Despite this probably being a UK date, we’d expect the same to apply to America. It would also arrive less than a year into the existing One Mini’s life. Should this come true, perhaps we should look out for an HTC One M8 Max shortly after the summer.

Article Updates:

Updated on 05-05-2014 by Andy: We’ve added a leaked picture of the One Mini 2, along with news on the phone’s specification, design, and release.

Article first published on 04-01-2014

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