HTC Mini: a glorified Bluetooth headset or the answer to all our phablet woes?

April 19, 2013
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htc mini htc one Credit: Cnet Asia

In the year 2013 a smartphone is many things. It is a camera, gaming console, social media hub, television set, internet browser, planner and an all out miniature computer that fits in your pocket. However, it’s all too easy to forget that a smartphone is at heart still a PHONE.

There are those of us who claim that we look stupid holding our Galaxy Note 2’s and other 5-inch+ behemoths to our heads to talk. They long for the days when you could completely wrap your hand around your Nokia and it would barely seem as if you were on the phone. Maybe it was easier to get away with talking on the phone while driving? Who knows?

But hang on, you still want to be able to tweet, game, snap photos and browse the web on their smartphone? Well, HTC has heard your screams for help on those lonely nights. The company has created a device which they have quite aptly named the HTC Mini, designed to help you conquer your phablet problems.

The HTC Mini is a product designed to act as what could be considered a Bluetooth headset replacement or rather as HTC put it “an enhanced Bluetooth accessory”. A throwback to the old feature phone days, it is basically a phone for your phone.

htcmini_1 Credit: Cnet Asia

Hang on, before you dismiss this as a ludicrous idea and claim HTC have well and truly lost their marbles, it does more than make a simple phone call. It can search through your contacts on its tiny 1.6 inch screen, let you read and reply to texts, let you check your calendar, play music remotely and take pictures remotely. This would be especially helpful in removing that dreaded camera shake and to take timed shots and timelapse video. After taking the photos you can then remotely view them in a style reminiscent to Microsoft PowerPoint.

Setting up the device is quite simple, since the Mini has NFC capabilities and with a simple tap it pairs with your smartphone through Bluetooth.

With a range of about 10 metres, some would see it useful for use in an office environment while their phone is on charge. Others could see it as a solution to pulling their phones out of their exceptionally tight jeans to you or make calls and to reply to text messages. However, that is not recommended as the device has no touch screen and instead you must type on the alphanumeric keyboard provided.

However, the ultimate blow to those who still shudder at the thought of raising a 5 inch smartphone to their heads, is that it is not sold as a separate device and is only available in China, free with a HTC Butterfly and on some telcos in Singapore. Not only that, but if you were planning on grabbing it as a companion device for your Galaxy Note 2 you’ll be disappointed to know that you’ll be limited to calling capabilities and without a SIM slot for itself the Mini would be nothing but a paperweight for those looking for a feature phone made by HTC.

Is the HTC Mini the solution to your phablet woes? Would you consider buying it as a replacement for your Bluetooth headset, if it were available separately and sold in your country? Let us know in the comments.

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