Review Smartphones with large screens are great up to a point, the inevitable drawback being a chunky handset. With the HTC HD mini, the 3.2in screen allows even petite paws to reach all the way across it for one-handed use, making it very easy to pocket.
Slim pickings: HTC's HD mini
The handset runs Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional and this sits underneath HTC’s Sense user interface. On board is 512MB Rom, 384MB Ram and its micro SD card slot will handle anything up to the currently max of 32GB of external storage.
Utilising a clearly less powerful processor than the 1GHz Snapdragon that currently rules the roost, the 600MHz Qualcomm 7227 ran swiftly enough for me, as long as I didn’t have too many apps running simultaneously. The HD mini also features a 5Mp camera, HSDPA (7.2Mbps download and 2Mbps upload), Wi-Fi, G-sensor and GPS.
Beneath the screen are touch buttons for Call and End, Home, Back and, the obligatory Windows button that calls up the vertically scrolling Windows apps menu. The 3.5mm headset jack is on the top edge, a micro USB connector is on the bottom edge. Turn the handset over and four industrial-looking screws show through holes in the rubber-finished backplate. You don’t use these to remove the backplate, though. Prise it off and underneath everything is bright yellow.
HTC has worked hard to disguise Windows Mobile and remove its tiny, not-so-finger-friendly icons. Photo contacts, thumbnail Web favourites, and a made-over calendar are good examples. You can use the Windows Mobile calendar app with its trickily small icons if you prefer and sometimes despite HTC’s efforts you simply can’t avoid the weeny icons. You’ll encounter some in Word Mobile for example.
Curiously, when prised open the coloured innards never fail to raise a smile
The main screen offers date/time/call history and calendar information. Flick upwards and there’s a customisable shortcuts screen. Flick left and right, or use the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the screen, and you can get to people, messages, e-mail, the Web, calendar, stocks and shares data, photos and vids, music, weather, HTC Peep (for Twitter), Footprints (for geolocation), and settings. You can tweak the scrollbar bar to remove shortcuts you don’t need and put those that remain in your preferred order. It is slick, but not as customisable as Android.