This update could be interesting. HTC delivered a nicely styled phone with the HTC One Mini, but in reviewing it I was concerned with some sluggish UI responses and sub-par camera performance.
Google focused KitKat on improving hardware optimization for lower powered handsets. Cheap Android phone manufacturers would often turn to Gingerbread (Android 2.3), so Google is making efforts to polish up the experience for entry level handsets. As the HTC One Mini was last years mid-range entry, it stands to reason that it too might get a nice little performance boost.
The One Mini wasn’t a terrifically popular phone, so it’s really nice to see HTC continuing to support customers here even if the update has been a bit delayed. I’m updating my One Mini now to take it for a second test drive!
Hit the jump for the full changelog of additional updates and improvements. Continue reading “AT&T Bringing Android 4.4.2 KitKat to HTC One Mini”
They say good things come in small packages…
I was a big fan of Ultrapixels on the HTC One, and now they’re making an appearance on the One Mini.What’s missing however is optical image stabilization. Let’s take a look at some samples and see if the One Mini camera can hang with other mid-range handsets.
Benchmarks really can’t tell you how a phone will perform in real world situations, but they can show relative performance between devices. Android seems to be entering a phase of “efficiency”, with mid-range phones utilizing dual-core processors. Even the Moto X, which stands as a premier handset for Motorola, only uses two cores to get the job done.
Let’s take a look at how the HTC’s Mini performs in a number of synthetic benchmarks against its big brother One and an older handset running similar internals.
If you’re checking out HTC Phones on AT&T, you’ll notice something a little curious. Firing up the One Mini you’ll see it’s running Android 4.2.2, which is a newer version of the operating system than the flagship full-sized One which is currently rocking 4.1.2. One of the biggest changes in the update can be seen on the right. The notification tray quick toggles for things like WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.
The update for 4.2.2 is already live in the UK, much to the chagrin of some One customers in the USA. Support for Android handsets has always been a dicey conversation. The relationship between Google, manufactures, and carriers can often delay support to end users. This support gets even more contentious when some phones are updated but others are not.
Apparently the Verizon version of the One will ship with 4.2.2 pre-installed. President of Global Sales Jason Mackenzie took a couple minutes to respond to some of the comments on Twitter.
Minor though it may be, it does include some nifty usability improvements like that aforementioned notification tray update. When pushed on the timing of this update Mr. Mackenzie replied:
And hopefully that’s what we’ll see. The changes between 4.1 and 4.2 and 4.3 weren’t substantial enough for Google to even change the name of the update. They’re all called “Jelly Bean”. Yet this still gives customers the impression that some are being left out in the cold. That they aren’t getting bug fixes and patches. Not a great feeling to have when you supposedly have a premier handset.
As I’m currently using the AT&T HTC One, I’ll be following up on coverage as soon as some kind of update reaches us.
I like the One Mini a lot. I think you’ve largely succeeded in bringing a nicer experience to the mid range Android ecosystem. The fit and finish are outstanding, and in many ways it out shines its bigger brother One. There are a few things I’m going to be critical about when I wrap up my review, but honestly there aren’t any severe deal breakers here. It’s a great little phone.
You know what is bothering me about the HTC One Mini however? Your advertising for the phone.
You remember two sentences ago, when I said it was “…a great little phone”? The problem is, it’s not THAT little. In fact it’s ever so slightly bigger than the Moto X. This wouldn’t be a problem by itself. The phone IS smaller than the original One, so you have every right to call it the “Mini”. I guess I’m just a little disappointed to continue seeing press pictures of the Mini like this on your official HTC site:
Nice! That makes the Mini look like it’s a tiny wunder-phone. A Mighty Mouse here to save the day from all of these gargantuan mini-tablets! Huzzah!
Unfortunately reality look more like this:
Yeah… See that’s not what you showed us it would be. That’s actually pretty close in size to the original One. This is the problem with forced perspective and Photoshop. Moving the Mini in front of the One would actually make the One appear to be smaller as it would be slightly farther away from the “camera”. To recreate the size difference you showcase I actually had to move the One closer to the camera:
I know, I know a LOT of tech has to be crammed in there like a 4.3″ 720p screen and those terrific Boomsound speakers. I get it. But you didn’t have to lie to us.
Ahem, I mean, you didn’t have to exaggerate the differences in size for dramatic effect.
Click here to watch my video first impressions of the HTC One Mini.