HTC One mini

By Enda Crowley on August 20th, 2013

Why are today’s smartphones so fucking huge? Initially, or so I read, it was because, when LTE first came out, the chipsets were bigger and thirstier and demanded a bigger battery, so manufacturers gave phones bigger cases and bigger screens to compensate. At some point this got stuck. Bigger is better, right? I mean just look at Cadillacs, Hummers and Lincoln Navigators. They’re all driven by fine individuals who mostly keep to themselves and definitely aren’t massive cocks.

Anyway. The Kernel once published a now-infamous piece about how no-one sporting an Android phone gets laid. I believed that, until the HTC One mini landed on my desk. This phone is beautiful. The anodised aluminium body is gorgeous. It is often mistaken for a white iPhone 5, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But I personally think this looks better than an iPhone.

The rounded shape and size of it fit perfectly in one hand, unlike most Android phones on the market today. This was a game changer for me: the reason I’m usually so put off Androids is the pissing contests manufacturers have with each other about screen size and specifications. Just give me something I can hold!

HTC One mini
Out Friday, $579

The phone is loaded with features, including stereo speakers on the front with some Beats Audio enhancement that makes them sound fantastic. Urban delinquents and back-of-the-bus DJs, take note. The phone is also unfortunately loaded with HTC-branded crapware, but that might just have been our review model.

Think of it as the smartphone equivalent of free AOL subscriptions and Norton AntiVirus trials that came with every Packard Bell ten years ago. First thing you do when you buy this phone, get Nova Launcher (free, Google Play Store) and Google Keyboard (free, Google Play Store) which will help speed things up and lower your blood pressure.

I’ve had a lot of Android phones over the years and they have always ended up on eBay or in a drawer somewhere. The closest I’ve come to liking an Android phone was the Google Nexus One, but it is just too big and too ugly. Finally, a manufacturer has made a decent phone for those of us with realistic expectations.

This is by far my favourite Android phone on the market and if you, like most people, don’t care about having the fastest processor or the most RAM but want something that looks good and works well, give it a go.