HTC Mini+

Andrew Williams

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Reviewed:

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HTC Mini+
  • HTC Mini+
  • HTC Mini+
  • HTC Mini+
  • HTC Mini+
  • HTC Mini+

Summary

What is the HTC Mini ?

The HTC Mini is a curious little gadget. It’s a phone for your phone – or more precisely it’s a Bluetooth controller that gives you access to your phone’s basics while your mobile is still in your pocket or bag.

HTC Mini - Design

It may look like a phone, but the HTC Mini is really a less intelligent device than a standalone mobile. It’s a middle man that talks to your phone and relays things like calls and messages using Bluetooth.

That it’s relatively simple technologically lets the HTC Mini last for (according to HTC) nine hours of calls or four days on standby, despite having a pretty weedy 320mAh battery.

Nevertheless, it looks more-or-less like a phone. It’s super skinny at 7mm thick and smaller than just about any mobile you’ll find today, but it has the full complement of number buttons as well a navigational D-pad and call buttons. Just like a phone – just not a phone from this decade.

The front of the HTC Mini is a sheet of brushed aluminium that looks and feel pretty good given we feared this would feel like a cheap, throwaway gadget, and the buttons are also top-quality. Who’d have thunk it?

The HTC Mini doesn’t exactly feel super-luxurious, though. Its rear is plastic rather than metal – HTC says it’s because the NFC in the remote won’t work through a sheet of metal. Yep, aside from Bluetooth, the Mini also has NFC to make pairing with a phone a lot easier.

We’re not convinced all that many people really need an HTC Mini , but this is not a piece of tech tat.

HTC Mini - Screen and Features

The HTC Mini has a small 1.5-inch monochrome screen. It’s a basic 128 x 128 pixel display, the sort we used to see in low-cost phones years and years ago.

However, clarity is good. It’s bright and the interface too is designed to make information easy to digest.

But what can the HTC Mini actually do? Aside from making and taking calls, a bunch actually.

It has its own IR blaster, letting you use the HTC TV control app to turn the Mini into a remote control replacer. Of course, as you’re using something that’s pretty similar to a remote control, the benefits aren’t as clear as when using the phone proper.

You can also use it to control the camera shutter, to act as a Powerpoint presentation controller, and to read your latest notifications. The numbers also light-up, letting you use the Mini in the dark pretty easily.

HTC Mini: First Impressions

The HTC Mini is mini phone controller to stop you having to take out your giant smartphone too often. Of course, this only makes any sense if your phone is prohibitively large. And as the HTC One Max hasn’t arrived yet, HTC doesn’t really have any phones large enough to merit this gadget.

Plus, while it’s small, its retro phone style means it’s not teeny tiny itself. It’s about as ‘must have’ as an motorised toast rack, but we were pleasantly surprised by the build quality of the Mini .

Colin

September 2, 2013, 4:00 pm

And if you really can't be bothered to get your HTC Mini out of your pocket, they've also announced the HTC Micro, which will be 4mm thick and credit card shaped, and will connect to your Mini via mainwave radio, with a chalkboard slate interface...

Dan Thomas

September 3, 2013, 7:07 am

So basically HTC didnt want to make a watch but rather than be original they decided to make a phone but without a sim card slot...

Pg

September 3, 2013, 12:29 pm

I must be different, but I saw this as something you can use walking down the street without fear of someone ripping your spanking new (and expensive) mobile out of your hand and running off with it. Though I find it hard to justify the cost of it to stop that from happening.

But girls could use it in conjunction with their in their handbag, even leave this in an outside pocket of the bag, or of they've got pockets, this looks like it'd fit in pretty slim pockets.

That said, if it cost no more than £50 I'd be more positive about it's prospects.

mikfrak

September 3, 2013, 9:57 pm

I can't be the only person who has wondered why I need a smartphone and a tablet when one is just a bigger version of the other, but using a tablet as a phone doesn't really work, even with a bluetooth headset. Once you are used to a tablet, the screen on even a large 5in smartphone seems irritatingly small. If this device worked with a 4G enabled tablet and also came with an Apple app then it would save a lot of people a lot of money and end the need for two data contracts. Is this what HTC really has in mind but is trying to sneak in by the back door so as not to upset the big mobile phone carriers? I would much rather use my tablet for the internet and uses something like this for occasional phone calls. I suspect that many people buying smartphones with bigger and bigger screens feel the same way.

Alan

April 27, 2014, 12:31 pm

Ahh, so much noise.

I don't know why they've put the number keys on the front, since 99% of the time people will browse their contacts list and pick a person from there. Having the number keys there just confuses the message.

The message should highlight the issue of EM emmissions. Some people get a headache when using a mobile for a while, others just don't want to take the risk. Hence, the popularity of the Bluetooth headset. Bluetooth emissions are a fraction of GSM/3G/4G (and also of WiFi, if you are foolish enough to leave that on). Bluetooth is innocuous, so you can use this all day long without worrying. Do that with your mobile, and we'll be seeing you in the brain tumour unit.

Then there is the microphone placement. I've had people threaten to hang up on me if I don't unplug the bluetooth headset and put the phone cupped in front of my mouth, because the wind noise is killing them. This HTC Mini+ allows you (also because its LONG) to have the microphone in front of your mouth, and protect it from wind noise.

So this is a bluetooth headset, with the upside of a massive battery life and the mic in front of your mouth, but the downside that you have to hold it with one hand. Its a bluetooth not-hands-free headset.

Its not sexy though. If they lost the stupid numeric keys, squashed it a bit to a flattish pen shape, then put a clip on it so I could slip it in my jacket or jeans pocket, then I'd get it just for the fun of it.

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