HTC HD mini review: Smart pup

GSMArena team, 23 April 2010.
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Final words

The HTC HD mini is pretty much what a modern-day smartphone should be all about. We are not talking the ultimate of technology, a ridiculously expensive piece of gear to flash around and impress everyone around. We mean a handy working tool that can also keep you entertained.

Much more pocket-friendly than the HTC HD2, the HD mini offers a comparable (although admittedly inferior) performance at a lower price. It’s the ultimate speed and power against the friendly appearance and cheery attitude. It’s a matter of priorities of course, but the HD mini can be a pretty good deal.

Sense UI has done well to cover the WinMo user interface shortcomings and the capacitive multi-touch display adds value to the whole package. The youthful design (just not as childish as we’ve seen XpressMusic get) seems well suited to the target audience too.

The thing is, yet again, pricing is just steeper than most of the competing smartphone platforms out there.

The HTC Hero will gladly deliver for far less cash, while the HTC Legend will throw in AMOLED for the same asking price. The Galaxy Spica is also a comparable package within the same price range.

HTC Hero HTC Legend Samsung I5700 Galaxy Spica
HTC Hero • HTC Legend • Samsung I5700 Galaxy Spica

The Nokia X6 16 GB has had its price tag duly corrected and 16 gigs of internal memory do sound tempting. The Symbian touch user interface is nowhere near the Sense UI standards though, and the X6 CPU and RAM are less impressive. The Finn offers higher screen resolution and the audio quality to go with the XpressMusic background.

Nokia X6 16GB
Nokia X6 16GB

Within the very same PocketPC ranks, the HTC Touch Diamond2 will tempt you with WVGA resolution if you can live without the multi-touch capacitive screen. It comes with an earlier version of the OS and the Sense UI.

HTC Touch Diamond2
HTC Touch Diamond2

The Samsung Omnia II will take this offer to the next step by adding a much larger 3.7” AMOLED display, D1 video and faster CPU. Sorry for stating the obvious but the Omnia II will give you much more bang for your buck. It’s fair to note though, these two are not competing for the same kind of users.

Samsung Omnia II
Samsung Omnia II

So, the HTC HD mini is a great idea overall, and it has the advantage of packing the latest software available. The disadvantage is having to compete with too many equal (and stronger) rivals in the same price bracket.

Value for money is not its strongest point, and it doesn’t get any better when you put WinPho 7 in the picture. What we now know as Windows Mobile 6.5 will become Windows Phone Starter edition. No need to tell you Windows Phone 7 will be the pet project and the starter edition will be the entry-level alternative. We can only guess what the implications will be for the level of support – and we cannot say Microsoft are doing such a good job of it even now.

So, with that bit of warning, is the HTC HD mini good to go? We’d still say yes. Not because we did our job and it’s your responsibility henceforth. There’s just something about this kiddo.

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