Sunday, July 21, 2013

Neither the HTC One Mini Or The Galaxy S4 Mini Are Worthy Of Being Called 'Mini'

HTC One Mini

HTC One Mini

In what world has a 4.3 inch screened smartphone earned the label ?mini?? If manufacturers are going to go for ?mini? handsets then let?s go for truly pocketable smartphones without the cut down specifications.

This week?s announcement of the HTC One mini has again got me wondering if my desire for a smaller handset with as much power and capability as the larger flagships is ever going to be satisfied.

The One Mini has the same software, and follows the same design cues. But it?s the 4.3 inch screen that gets me. In no way is that ?mini?. For me a 3.5 inch screen, that?s a mini size, and there?s nothing stopping smartphones running in that footprint.

Right now, when manufacturers to do go for the smaller sized screens, they cut down the processor, the storage, and the bells and whistles. Compared to the HTC One, the Mini drops the memory from 2GB to 1GB, the storage from 32GB or 64GB to a fixed 16GB (with no expansion support), from a 1.7 GHZ Quad core to a 1.4 Ghz dual core Snapdragon.

Is it too much to ask for a smaller device with similar specifications? The arbitrary lines by the marketing department to make the high end flagship stand out against those trading on the same name is not restricted to HTC ? witness the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 mini ? the idea that if you want high specs you need to go with a large screen makes for a simplistic argument that fails to credit the customer with any intelligence.

Surely there is nothing stopping the manufacturers taking the high end chips, and match them up with a screen that comfortably fits in the hand? I?d much prefer a race to have less volume in a handset, rather than a thinner handset. Add in a few millimetres of depth, bring the size down to something that fits in a normal pocket and is dare I say it,? mobile, and I would be a very happy customer. I?m sure others would happily step off the size queening battle as long as we had the same capability.

But no. ?Bigger is better? is an easy sell in the stores and online, so that?s the message that stays. Rather than tailor their lines to match the spectrum of customers, modern smartphone manufacturers are tailoring their customers to fit in a single linear line of growth for every number of the spec sheet.

It?s simplistic, it?s the easy way out, and it assumes the mindset of the customer matches the PR machine?s output. I wish I could mould my own specs into a handset, or that a company comes along with a better way of doing off the shelf hardware to suit an individual.


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