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Review: HTC One mini 2

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The mini 2 has a 4.5-inch 720p Super LCD 3 panel. Even though it's not a full HD screen, the 720p resolution is more than enough to satisfy my eyes thanks to the relatively small physical size. The pixel density is good enough that I can't pick out individual pixels with my eyes. Everything on the screen looks clear and sharp, with well-defined edges. Brightness is quite good. I had no trouble using the mini 2 outdoors, whether to check Twitter or take pictures. Viewing angles are great. There's no color change when the phone is tilted side-to-side, and there's barely any brightness drop-off. It's one of the finer 720p panels I've tested.


HTC gave us an unlocked UK variant of the mini 2 for our initial testing. That means our current unit doesn't support U.S. LTE networks; our review unit was limited to HSPA+. We tested it with an AT&T SIM card.

The mini 2 gave me zero trouble when testing it around northern New Jersey and New York City. It was adept at finding and hanging onto AT&T's network. The mini 2 connected all calls on the first dial and it didn't drop or miss any calls during my review period. It connected calls even under the worsts network conditions. It connected to AT&T's HSPA network most of the time, and spent about an even amount of time down on 3G and up on HSPA+ (3.5G). Even without LTE, data speeds were never disappointing. The mini 2 performed well when it came to refreshing my Twitter feed, my email, and my Facebook feed.


The mini 2 has next-generation - albeit much smaller - BoomSound speakers on board. They sound very good, but lack the room-filling, huge sound of the larger M8. The BoomSound speakers of the mini 2 are very loud for a cell phone, but the reduced size impacts their overall volume capabilities a bit. Regular phone calls are sent to just one of the two speakers. Calls are plenty loud and audible with the volume set between 40% and 60%. I found call quality to be a bit better than that of the M8. The bulk of the time call quality was above average and only sometimes did it dip down to what I'd term "average." Calls routed to the speakerphone are very loud - definitely enough to overcome noisy kids or a bustling office.

The M8 may be louder, but music sounds very, very good when pumping through the mini 2's BoomSound speakers. The phone produces loud ringtones and alerts. If you crank the ringtone volume, you won't miss incoming calls unless you're at a concert or a NASCAR race. The vibrate alert is very good.


At 2,100mAh, the mini 2's battery is significantly larger than last year's phone. HTC isn't making quite the same bold battery life claims it is with the full-sized One, but the mini 2 offers killer battery life just the same. I consistently got a full day out of the battery - with room to spare - despite heavy use of the phone. Granted, I tested the mini 2 without LTE, but I did use it a lot for checking Twitter, email, RSS, listening to music via Bluetooth, and more. The smaller, lower-res screen certainly helps the mini 2 keep power consumption in check, and the mini 2 has HTC's power-saving modes to help.


The mini 2 carries over the M8's Power Saver and Extreme Power Saver settings. The first will turn off a bank of processors and a few other background sync items to lets users extend the usable life of the phone. The Extreme Power Saver mode kicks in when the phone hits a low-battery threshold of your choice (5, 10, or 20%.) It conserves CPU usage, reduces screen brightness, turns off vibration, turns off data when the screen is off, allows only a handful of essential apps to run, and turns off the pedometer. With the larger M8, Extreme Power Saver mode offers an incredible 15 hours of additional battery life even when the battery is at 5%. HTC didn't say what sort of gains users can expect from Extreme Power Saver mode on the mini 2.

It's quite safe to say that most users will get a full day of usable battery life out of the mini 2, and the power saving modes mean you can, theoretically, go much longer in between charges.

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