HTC HD mini review: Smart pup

GSMArena team, 23 April 2010.
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Introduction

There was a time when Windows Mobile used to rule the smartphone seas. Then along came Symbian but that’s a whole other story. It was touchscreen that showed to all the willing challengers that Windows Mobile is just too big to turn around quickly enough and catch the new wind. HTC however seem to disagree and dispel doubts of jumping ship. They have not given up on the cause and the HTC HD mini is the living proof.

So, mini is perhaps the right approach to users who would otherwise feel timid about giving Windows Mobile a try – especially with so many touchscreen temptations around. On the other hand, it does matter whose mini version it is. The almighty HD2 was the first PocketPC with a capacitive screen and a Snapdragon core.

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HTC HD mini official photos

Now, the HTC HD mini is obviously shorter on size, resolution and processing power. But it may be well worth the resources invested in making it what it is – a pocket-friendly, but still powerful handset with solid build, slick design and a touch-friendly UI.

Check out the HTC HD mini key strengths and possible turn-offs in the lists below to get an idea if this is the handset that will suit you.

Key features

  • 3.2" 65K-color HVGA capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch input
  • Compact body and bold industrial design
  • Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Professional OS with Sense UI
  • Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz CPU and 384MB RAM
  • Quad-band GSM support with dual-band HSDPA 7.2Mbps and HSUPA 2 Mbps
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS support
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with touch focus
  • VGA video recording at 30fps
  • microSD card slot
  • Standard microUSB port and Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • MS Office Mobile document editor
  • Opera 9.5 web browser
  • YouTube client, Facebook and Twitter integration
  • Very good audio output quality
  • Excellent loudspeaker performance

Main disadvantages

  • Poor display sunlight legibility
  • No dedicated camera key and no lens cover
  • Card slot under the battery cover
  • No DivX/XviD video support out-of-the-box
  • Preloaded CoPilot Live navigation software is a trial version only
  • No secondary video-call camera
  • No voice dialing
  • No handwriting recognition
  • Unreliable Flash support in IE Mobile

We all know there’s more to a contemporary smartphone (touchscreen at that) than its spec sheet. The HTC HD mini certainly has the pedigree but the verdict will only be passed on its performance.

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The HTC Mini HD at ours

Windows Mobile has been known to be pretty demanding on a phone’s processing power, and the Sense UI probably takes its toll too. Our initial impressions of the HD mini were downright positive but it still needs to pass the test of a full review.

Now then, we’ve got a PocketPC on our hands and we’re not gonna let that pet name fool us. It’s been a while so let’s not waste any more time in small talk and move on. On the next page, we look inside the box, before we set off to exploring the hardware and ergonomics
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