One mini
M4

HTC Hopes Shrinking The Best Android Phone Available Is The Way To Win

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Let’s say you’ve created an incredibly well-received smartphone and need to create another such device to send off into an incredibly competitive market. What do you do?

Well, if you’re HTC, the answer is to make another one… but slightly smaller. In line with rumors that have cropped up over the past few weeks, Estonian news site Delfi has obtained some seemingly authentic shots of a tinier version of the HTC One.

This smaller version is said to sport a 4.3-inch display (compared to the One’s 4.7-inch panel), 2GB of RAM, a dual-core processor, and the same sort of UltraPixel camera found in the big One. The battle of the not-so-mini Mini phones is heating up, or so it seems. Samsung just officially outed the Galaxy S4 Mini last week ahead of a June 20 press event in London. If all we’re doing is comparing spec sheets, then the mini One appears to have a leg up, but we all know that’s not all it takes to make a winner.

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It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming, either. Noted phone scooper @evleaks pointed to the existence of a smaller One (known as the M4) in early May, and frankly it was only a matter of time before HTC tried to take the lauded One formula and apply it to a new spate of devices. Then again, that sort of strategy was what led the company to release a slew of rehashed, hard-to-differentiate phones a few years back, which certainly didn’t help HTC as much as its brass had hoped. Finding the balance between thoughtfully extending a product line and running said product line into the ground is a tricky feat to master, and HTC has never been very good at that.

For now though, the company has at least some reason to celebrate. HTC published its May revenues earlier this week, and they seemed surprisingly promising considering the rough seas the HTC has been navigating lately. Pushing out a smaller, hopefully more aggressively priced version of the One could help the Taiwanese OEM pick up some much-needed traction, but hardware is only ever part of the issue. It’s hard not to look at HTC’s executive exodus (news of COO Matt Costello’s departure broke just the other day) and not wonder what the hell is going on over there.