At its price point, HTC’s scaled down Windows Mobile device doesn’t have much going for it.
Along with it’s Android based phones in the Middle East such as Legend and Desire, HTC is also offering on a physically scaled down version of it’s HD2 in the form of HD Mini. The biggest drawback of the HD Mini, and it usually is the deciding factor in buying a smartphone, is its aging OS. Windows Mobile 6.5.3 hangs like an axe over Mini’s head, waiting to drop the moment the wondrous Windows Phone 7 launches later this year. It does not mean HTC hasn’t managed to pull it off. But at its price point, and the technology that powers it, we find out if its worth your Dirhams.
Design and Built
At dimensions of 103.8 x 57.7 x 11.7mm, the HD Mini is slightly larger than my credit card. Like its older brother the HD2, HTC has kept the minimalistic look with muted black and grey colors and slender body form. It does have its angles, but with a slightly rectangle-ish shape and ‘just there’ looks, it’s certainly not stylish and sexy like some of the other phones in the market.
The front is covered in a glass pane tucking in the 3.2” HVGA capacitive screen, and the Call, Home, Start, Back and End touch buttons. Probably subjective, but I have never been a fan of touch sensitive buttons. I always prefer to have tactile feedback for basic functionalities like Call and End, which allows me to perform said functions without having to look at the device. Regardless, the HD Mini gives a nice satisfying nudge whenever the buttons are pressed helping somewhat in the matter.
The volume keys are placed on the left side of the phone with the lock key on the head; the mobile is devoid of any other buttons. I found the hard buttons tough to operate with volume keys being too flat and non-clicky to use without fumbling around its edges. The lock button is very spongy and the low raise makes it hard to press it from behind. This may sound like nit-picking but if you hold the phone like I do, it does get irritating pretty damn quick.
The backside is rather interesting. There are four visible screws that are actually the real ones holding the phone together. Popping the back cover off reveals a bright yellow inside with a transparent lower end. The design looks very impressive and we wish HTC had found a way to express it than hiding it away.
Weighing in at 110g, the HD Mini feels tight in the hands and gives off strength and sturdiness. The four visible screws also play a subconscious part in making it feel stronger than it could be. Clever little trick there, HTC!