There are two ways to make a "mini" phone these days. The first is typified by Samsung and HTC, who have made Mini versions of the Galaxy SIII, S4, and HTC One with lower specs to match the physically smaller size. The second way is to make smaller phones that still strive to be the technical equal of their larger stablemates, like the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the Motorola DROID Mini. Guess which way HTC is going with its upcoming One refresh.

Well, allegedly going, anyway. Noted Twitter leak machine Evleaks posted a set of leaked specs for the "HTC M8 Mini" yesterday, showing a device that's smaller, cheaper, and less powerful than even the current One from 2013. A Snapdragon 400 processor, 720p 4.5" screen, and 1GB of RAM aren't going to impress many power-hungry users, although the 13 megapixel real camera twinned to a 5MP front-facing shooter is impressive. Evleaks says the new model will use the latest version of KitKat and Sense 6.0. The 1GB of RAM on this mini model is particularly disappointing, since that was one of the chief complaints with the original One Mini, and at 4.5" I imagine even some users who crave smaller phones won't be satisfied.

This is the first reliable information we've heard about the mini variant of HTC's next flagship. (Evleaks' predictions are almost universally accurate.) A pair of leaked photos (or at least photos that are claiming to be leaks) have shown the M8 with a secondary rear camera of unknown function, and Evleaks himself showed off Sense 6.0 with on-screen buttons. The frequency of these leaks point to a possible reveal at Mobile World Congress in just two weeks.

Of course HTC hasn't said anything about any upcoming phones, and we haven't been able to independently confirm any of the leaks so far. That said, if the pattern continues, we should see more and more information as a possible announcement date draws near.

Source: Evleaks Twitter

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • deltatux

    Really? A Cortex A7 processor? Even the Moto G runs a Snapdragon 400 but with a dual core Krait variant!

    • Alex

      False. The Moto G has a QuadCore Snapdragon 400 with Cortex A7 technology @ 1.2GHz

      • deltatux

        My mistake, the Moto G is indeed powered by a quad core Cortex A7. However, even the older HTC One Mini this phone is purportedly going to replace ran a dual core Krait Snapdragon 400. So essentially, this can provide to be a downgrade really.

  • pytajnik

    one of the reasons why HTC is basically dead - no innovations at all.

    • Martha John

      I imagine even some users who crave smaller phones won't be satisfied.

      • ProductFRED

        Fuck off.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      But... Aloooominum? And extra bass?

      • squiddy20

        *Aloooominium. Fixed that for ya :P

    • Jadephyre

      It's not the missing Innovations (I wouldn't call Samsung's bloatware "innovative" in the slightest) but it is the insanely high price tag.
      We are talking about phones that do nothing better than 99% of all other flagship devices out there, yet most of the time cost about 100 Euros more, and that begs the question "What do I get for that money?"
      A case made out of Aluminium and front-facing speakers doesn't justify the extra moola you have to fork over, it's as simple as that.

  • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

    Only when it's the Google Moto G it's acceptable and praised.

    • wtfsss

      It was acceptable because the phone sold for $199 off contract

      • ProductFRED

        It also doesn't have a 3rd party UI bogging it down. Just vanilla (but optimized) Android. I highly doubt the battery on this thing will last as long as it does on the Moto G.

        • Simon Belmont

          From my experience, out of all the third party UI skins, Sense 5.x has been one of the lightest I've dealt with (my wife owns an HTC One). It's never hinted lag.

          I'm hoping Sense 6.0 continues that trend. As for battery life, that remains to be seen after it's launched.

          • Memphis May [S]unjay

            No, Xperia Home is the lightest. Then Sense.

          • TK

            He didn't say it was the lightest, but one of the lightest.

          • Memphis May [S]unjay

            Oops, my bad.

      • MITM

        you have no ide what this phone is going to be price at

        • Justin W

          I'm going to take a wild guess and go with roughly $400-$450 (see the current HTC One Mini: http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/htc/one-mini-glacial-silver.html#fbid=GxrMnEyxVIA )

          • Jadephyre

            Yeah, that's a tad too expensive...

          • Justin W

            And definitely not worth the $200+ over the Moto G.

          • Jadephyre

            No, most certainly not.
            Had I known that the Moto G was coming to Europe, I might not have bought my Nexus 4, but buying an HTC Phone was never on my agenda.
            They make quality hardware, that is not the problem, but the extreme markup in price is just scaring people away.
            That's something that Samsung hasn't understood yet either.

          • Justin W

            Yup. Look at their similarly-priced devices to the Moto G - just unreasonable. The Moto G is by far the best value for it's price range (unless you include the Nexus 4 when it went on sale).

        • flosserelli

          True, but I think everyone can guess what level it will fail at.

    • Dehaha1

      Well that's because there is a difference between a mini version of the phone, which should just be a smaller version, not weaker in basically every way possible, and a phone that is just touted as a budget phone.

      You can bet that if the Moto G was called the Moto X mini, we would all be up in arms about how bad it is. It is all about how it is marketed.

    • Scott

      The Goto G is cheap, powerful with all day battery life with lightening fast updates. That's why it's praised.

  • Gerard

    Definitely overpriced again. It's seriously HTC's biggest problem. It's not that they lacked devices at every entry point, but that their devices are not competitive at those pricepoints! The 'brand' is not worth a huge premium like with Apple and Samsung.

    • Deonix

      I think it's worth more than Samsung... HTC One is premium-"er" phone than S4 .

      • Patrick Smithopolis

        Not from a cost standpoint. The S4 costs more to make than the One.

        • jonathan3579

          The plastic S4 costs more than the metal One? Hmm...

          • occono

            The S4 has a different camera, bigger battery, more sensors. It's not just about the exterior.

          • jonathan3579

            While that's true, Samsung has explicitly stated the use of plastic was to cut costs where possible. Furthermore, there's far less R&D involved with a cheap plastic chassis than a metal One. Cramming in a slightly bigger battery, extra sensors, and higher megapixel camera are not indicative of a phone that costs more to build.

        • Mantas

          How? They have almost identical specs, but the Ones body I imagine is a lot more expensive to make

          • Cerberus_tm

            Why do you think so? A friend told me his colleague, who works in the phone manufacturing business, said that the aluminium body of an Iphone probably added around € 2 to the marginal cost price of the phone. Or what else were you referring to?

      • Gerard

        For the same price, anyone smart will always lean toward the device with expandable storage. Even HTC's lowest-end mobiles include it, so there's no excuse to price SD-less devices like ones with SD slots. One already didnt compete in the 600$ range, more the 500$ as a starter price.

      • http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=1356962 ThilinaC

        Brand worth =/ a single product worth

    • Simon Belmont

      Definitely overpriced again? Where was the price even mentioned?

      I'm sure it won't be "cheap" in the Moto G style, but we won't know until it's announced/released. Just my two cents.

      • Gerard

        A One mini won't be priced like the Desires or cheaper, to not tarnish the 'One' brand, you can bet on it. Most Desires are already overpriced, so form your own conclusions.

    • Jadephyre

      They used to be worth a certain markup... in the early days of Froyo & Gingerbread because their software was better then than the standard Android Interface, but these days they aren't anymore. They don't offer anything substantial for the higher price.

      • Gerard

        The markup is only justfied when manufacturers risk having unsold inventory whose manufacturing cost is already incurred. However, except for large branded shipments to carriers, there is zero risk of having unsold inventory when you also sell online like on the Play Store, ergo the margins are no longer justified if they make the devices undesirable compared to others available on more favorable terms.

        HTC needs to work with carriers to make picking their phones the better option financially compared to whatever else is available.

  • DT

    If they're going to call 4.5 "mini", they clearly don't know the market and only have themselves to blame when it flops. It better be priced fairly rocking a processor like that- but I'm guessing it won't. They're doing this to themselves.

    • MITM

      compared to other phones today, 4.5 is kinda mini... even Apple is making the iphone 6 with a 4.7 inch display

      • Gabernasher

        You saw the Apple production line, or did you read a speculation from a speculator?

        • MITM

          Steve Jobs showed me a pre-pro handset

          • Sourabh Sekhar

            He's dead bro. I think you were drunk and you believed someone to be steve jobs.

    • senor_heisenberg

      The Moto X has a very similar screen size and is pretty much iPhone size. It comes more down to bezel size in this case, not having a 4.5"display.

  • Belén Cebrián

    I totally don't get why a mini phone has to be lower in specs. Maybe a lot of people don't mind large phones with big screens, but surely there is also a lot of people who want some little and powerfull device, and who will benefit from having the option to buy one of these.

    • Gerard

      For their performance not to leave the large flagship's behind. It takes a lot less ressources to render games at 720 compared to 1080p, for example. I still believe specs are being cheaped out *too much*, especially given the current flagship penetration rate worldwide, lots of apps and games now rely on 2GB being available and may significantly underperform on less.

  • TY

    Everything cheaper...except for the camera it seems.

  • Simon Belmont

    I guess one could argue that 1GB should be more than enough RAM because of KitKat and Project Svelte. However, it would have been nice to see at least 1.5GB of RAM.

    I wonder why they didn't just elect to throw the Snapdragon 600 into it as that's still plenty powerful. At least it's the quad core Snapdragon 400 instead of the dual core this time.

    • Scott

      It would be for straight kit kat... not with Sense added into the mix.

  • mavro aspro
  • Gabernasher

    Why is it so hard to make a 4" Android phone with solid specs? I guess when execs are smoking crack or doing coke it's easy to call a 4.5" phone with 2012 specs a good idea in 2014.

  • Alphajoe

    Honestly? I don't want to sound like the fat couch-guy, giving the sportsmen on TV some snooty advice how to play their game. But seriously, don't they get it?

    4.5" is not mini. Even if it was, people asking for a smaller screen do not necessarily ask for low-end hardware. I know a lot of people who would like to replace their iPhone with a decent Android handset but find most of the devices either too large or to have bad specs.

    Personally, my HTC One has almost the perfect size for me. I do not need more than 4.7" on a mobile device. I wouldn't even mind if it was 4.5", as long as the screen is brilliant and high-res. So if they manage to reduce the size of the frame and increase the amount used by the screen, great: make a more handy, compact device with the same screen size instead of squeezing more and more inches into it, making it impossible to reach the upper left corner with your thumb anymore. All those companies just equaling screen size to better devices bore me out.

    • AsgerK

      Well, Sony released the Xperia Z1 Compact this month, and I've just switched to it from Galaxy S2, and so far my experience have been mind blowing. I'm not sure how many markets it has been released on though.

      • Alphajoe

        Thx. I hadn't looked at it before and it looks quite compelling. Maybe the first phone a bit smaller in size which has decent specs. I won't be giving away my HTC One anytime soon, but will recommend this one. Hope it's a success for Sony to inspire them and the competitors to follow this route.

  • Mystery Man

    That sounds like moto g specs. So moto g price?

    • Gerard

      You wish! 400$ minimum, likely 450$

      • Roh_Mish

        260$ approx in India.

        • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

          In India, the Moto G is US$199 (INR 12,499) for the 8 GB version, US$224 (INR 13,999) for the 16 GB one.

          And coming abck to the topic, I believe the HTC M8 Mini won't come ANYTHING less than US$400. Change my name and shave my head extended mohawk, if I'm proved wrong about the HTC pricing..

          • Gerard

            I think you're on to something, the One Mini here was barely slightly less expensive than a galaxy s4, and you could get the big One for only 100$ more...

  • blairh

    I'm using an HTC First right now. It does everything I want just fine. These lower specs will satisfy most consumers.

    We should be praising HTC here. A microSD card slot and a 13 MP camera. These are huge steps in the right direction. To the person complaining about the screen size being too big. It's a 4.5" screen with on-screen buttons so it's really a 4.3" screen in that regard.

  • WarRaven

    HTC, cutting corners, again.
    High price, lower level tech keeps my dollars going elsewhere.

  • Arthur Dent

    Not sure why all the negativity. With those specs, this looks exactly like a Moto G competitor. Not a bad thing at all, IMO, if they price it right.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    I don't see anything wrong with the specs. Maybe that the RAM could be 2gigs instead of 1gig, but oh well. It's probably the price that's going to kill this device before it even arrives to the market.

  • GraveUypo

    to be honest, i like my main phone big, and my work phone small.
    right now my personal phone is a gs3 and my work phone (which i mostly use as a phone) is a motorola defy. 3.7" inches of goodness. it's pretty dated but it does it's job reasonably and isn't very big (in fact, the entire phone is smaller than the screen on the gs3).