Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.
Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!
The HTC One Mini is the new, compact, baby brother, or little sister to the HTC One, and continues with the technology introduced in the HTC One. Namely a 4 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor and f/2.0 lens, designed to give better low light performance than other higher resolution sensors, although the HTC One Mini does not benefit from the optical image stabilisation in the HTC One.
The HTC One Mini is a smaller version of the HTC One, with a smaller body and 4.3 inch screen, as well as the same 4 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor and bright f/2.0 lens. The HTC One Mini does not feature optical image stabilisation, and uses an LED flash for lighting in dark conditions. The HTC One Mini features a built in, non-replaceable, lithium ion rechargeable battery, and 16GB of built-in memory that also can't be upgraded.
The HTC One Mini has a "Zoe" shooting mode that takes a number of continuous photos (up to 20) and then puts them into a video, the video makes a short clip and doesn't include sound, but you also get to keep the photos as well.
- 4 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
- Pixel size 2.0 µm, Sensor size 1/3inch
- f/2.0 28mm wide-angle lens
- 1.6 megapixel front camera
- LED flash with five levels
- 4.3inch 720p screen
- 16GB storage built in, 1GB RAM
- Full HD Video, Stereo sound, HDR video mode
- ISO100 - ISO1600
- microSIM slot
- Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400, quad-core, 1.4GHz processor
The HTC One Mini is easy to unlock with shortcuts to web/camera/phone and messages to give quick access to your most commonly used apps. On the bottom, underneath the screen are the usual Android Home and back buttons, although strangely the third menu button only appears when the screen is touched, taking up some screen area. MicroUSB connection and charging is at the bottom of the phone, and on top is the unlock button and headphone socket.
The HTC One Mini, with a smaller screen than the HTC One, and therefore a narrower width is easier to use one handed than the larger HTC One, although this may depend on how large your hands are.
The unlock button is slightly raised, but as the phone is rectangular it can take a while to work out which way up the phone is without looking at it, when you first pick it up. On the side are smooth volume buttons.
Facing forwards are the "Beats audio" stereo speakers, which are capable of producing good levels of sound and clarity, although as expected are low on bass. The phone has the latest version of Android with access to the Google Play app market, with all the popular photo apps such as Instagram, etc, and as an HTC phone has a few additional unique HTC apps thrown in for good measure. Performance and responsiveness of the phone and apps is excellent with programs loading quickly and the screen responding rapidly to touch.
The HTC One Mini features a silver body made out of aluminium, and is extremely thin measuring just 9.25mm making it feel very slim in your pocket. There is nothing to protect the lens element on the rear so a case or careful handling of the camera phone is recommended, and as with other smartphones it's important to make sure the lens is clean as it's very easy to get finger prints on the lens. Build quality appears to be excellent with white plastic surrounding the body of the phone.
The phone has built in memory and a built in rechargeable 1800mAh battery. The HTC One Mini has a longer standby time than the HTC One, but a shorter talktime of 13.27 hours vs 18 hours for the HTC One. We found that the phone would last roughly a day with regular use, and as with other modern smartphones, daily charging is recommended.
Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|HTC One Mini|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.1s|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||<14s|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||0.3s|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.1|
|Continuous Shooting - JPEG||9fps (20 shots)|
Continuous shooting shoots at 9fps, and for 20 shots, although you can enable more shots than 20. Shot to shot time is excellent and there is virtually no focus delay.
Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
HTC One Mini Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 160
Portrait with LED Flash | 1/91 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Thoresby Hall | 1/5495 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Drive HDR | 1/293 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Sample Photos - The single LED flash does a good job of lighting the scene, however, you can get more natural looking results without using it, although the 28mm equivalent focal length of the lens isn't the most flattering for portrait shots.
If you shoot 16:9 aspect ratio photos you get 4 megapixel images (2688 x 1520), whereas if you shoot using the 4:3 aspect ratio you get 3.1 megapixel photos (2048 x 1520). Colour and saturation is good, with the camera producing pleasing images, without being overly saturated. Exposure is generally good, and can be set using the touch screen.
HTC One Mini Lens test images
Hall | 1/2747 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Digital Zoom | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Trees | 1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 200
Macro | 1/33 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 160
Lens Performance - Detail is quite good in photos, although they do appear to have strong sharpening applied, and the level of detail is definitely low when compared to other good 8 or 13 megapixel smartphones. Some purple fringing is visible in the photo of the trees above, however in most shots this was not a problem. The HDR shooting mode does an impressive job in dealing with high contrast photos, although it can look artificial. Digital zoom is best avoided as the results are pretty terrible. Macro performance is reasonable with the camera letting you get fairly close to the subject.
HTC One Mini ISO test images
1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
ISO250 (Anti Shake mode) | 1/25 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 250
ISO Noise Performance - The camera gives options to set the ISO setting, however, no matter how you set it, the camera ignores this and chooses the ISO setting depending on how it feels, and how much light there is. As can be seen below, despite setting a fixed ISO speed for the shots, the camera has changed the ISO speed depending on lighting.
HTC One Mini White-balance test images
AWB Tungsten | 1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 200
WB Tungsten | 1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 160
AWB Fluorescent | 1/20 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
WB Fluorescent | 1/20 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten or fluorescent lighting with the tungsten and fluorescent presets giving very similar results. There are also cloudy and daylight white balance settings in case you want to alter the colour of your photos.
HTC One Mini Panoramic | 3.8 mm
Panorama mode - The camera has a sweep panoramic mode, where you press the shutter button and simply pan the camera from one side to the other, with the camera stitching the photos as you go. Detail is good and the photo is stitched together well, giving you a higher resolution photo than the standard 4:3 or 16:9 shots, at roughly 9 megapixels.
HTC One Mini Digital filters
Standard | 1/3497 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect1 | 1/3497 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect2 | 1/2959 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect3 | 1/3497 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect4 | 1/3497 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect5 | 1/3497 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect6 | 1/3497 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect7 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect8 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect9 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect10 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect11 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect12 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect13 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect14 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Effect15 | 1/3846 sec | f/2.0 | 3.8 mm | ISO 125
Digital Filters - 15 effects are built into the HTC camera app and are selectable along the bottom of the screen. You can also adjust exposure, contrast, saturation, and sharpness of photos.
Video - Video options include slow-motion, fast HD (60fps), video HDR (Full HD), although this does not feature optical image stabilisation, which makes handheld videos shaky. Video quality is good and the HDR video mode does a very good job of expanding dyanamic range.
Value For MoneyThe HTC One Mini is available for around £360 sim free, although this price is expected to drop over time, this makes it a little less than the HTC One, which is available for around £450. Other smartphones available for around the same price, include the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (8 megapixels) for around £325, or the Sony Xperia T (13 megapixels) for around £230.
Other smart phones with cameras to consider are the Samsung Galaxy S4 (13 megapixels) at £450, iPhone 5 (8 megapixels) at £505, HTC One UltraPixel (4 megapixels) at £460, Nokia Lumia 925 (8.7 megapixels) at £452, and Sony Experia Z (13 megapixels) at £449.
However, while the lower resolution 4 megapixel sensor and bright f/2.0 lens give better low light performance in low light, it is a shame that that phone lacks optical image stabilisation from the HTC One. In good light you'll also wish that there was a higher resolution sensor where photos show a lack of detail compared to other 8 and 13 megapixel camera phones.
As with the HTC One, the Mini delivers HDR photos and videos that are impressive, as well as high speed shooting. As a smart phone, the HTC One Mini is excellent, and available for a better price than the larger HTC One, however we would welcome a better camera. For those that already have a better (dedicated) camera, this would make an excellent companion mobile phone, fitting easily into small spaces, and came very close to being recommended.
HTC One Mini ProsLarge clear bright 4.3inch screen
Extremely responsive and quick in use
Impressive HDR stills and video
Great looking phone
Fast continuous shooting
Bright f/2.0 lens
2 year warranty
Very good panoramic mode
HTC One Mini ConsNo physical shutter release button
Only 4 megapixel sensor - daylight shots lack detail
Lacks optical image stabilisation
Can get warm in use
Ignores ISO setting
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
HTC One Mini Specifications
|CCD pixels||4Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Shutter speeds shortest||No Data|
|Shutter speeds longest||No Data|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 800|
|Video FPS||1080P up to 30fps, 720P up to 60fps, 1080P with HDR up to 28fps, 768x432 up to 96fps|
|Box Contents||Phone, microUSB Cable, Earphones, Sim eject pin, Instructions, UK charger|