Taiwanese company HTC Corp (TPE:2498) unveiled today a smaller version of its flagship smartphone HTC One. The new smartphone shares several features with its older sibling, including Blinkfeed, Zoe and an Ultrapixel camera. The manufacturer said this smartphone will launch in select markets in August, followed by a global rollout in September.
Given that Samsung has produced a 4.3-inch Mini version of its flagship five-inch Galaxy S4 smartphone, it’s no surprise to see HTC Corp (TPE:2498) follow suit with the HTC One Mini. Like Samsung, HTC is aiming to offer the majority of its flagship-phone experience in a scaled-down, more affordable package.
HTC One Mini features
The phone’s software has also been upgraded, as the phone will ship running Google’s latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system. Released for the HTC One earlier this week, this provides the phone with features such as more imaging themes, the ability to hide the launcher bar at the bottom of the screen and an added quick settings menu.
Like the HTC One, however, this operating system will come skinned in HTC Corp (TPE:2498)’s Sense 5.0 user interface, putting the firm’s Blinkfeed news aggregator at the forefront of the phone. Also like the HTC One, the HTC One Mini will be available in Glacial Silver and Stealth Black, although HTC said there are no plans to release a miniature version of the red model.
The new One Mini features a 4MPUltraPixel camera and LED flash on the back, while a 1.6MP shooter is present in the front. The handset has connectivity features like 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB 2.0. This phone has a 1,800mAh battery and comes with BoomSound speakers and Beats Audio technology for sound enhancement.
In terms of looks, the HTC One Mini looks exactly like the current flagship, though the dimensions are smaller due to the decrease in screen size.
What’s missing from the One Mini compared to its larger sibling is the infrared remote control feature, Sense TV, and NFC support — basically for space reasons.
HTC One Mini’s market segment
In developed economies, the market for premium smartphones is increasingly saturated.Meanwhile, lower-cost brands are catching up quickly in terms of technical functionality and design.
Analysts say high-end smartphone makers are trying to cope in part by launching lower-cost phones that try to ride off the marketing for their high-end siblings by keeping the name of the flagship. While HTC, for instance, has always offered some lower-cost smartphones, they previously went by a different name than the high-end devices.
“The One Mini is targeting a different market segment, people who maybe like the HTC Corp (TPE:2498) brand but aren’t willing to spend a lot of money on the One,” said Barclays analyst Dale Gai. “The ‘mini’ market is extremely marketing-driven, because customers who care a lot about the specs will get a high-end phone.”
However, analysts say sales of the mini smartphones from HTC Corp (TPE:2498) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) are expected to be much smaller than those for their flagships, as they will be going up against a range of lower-cost mid-tier competitors.
Pricing for the HTC One Mini is not yet available, but will be announced regionally in coming weeks.