HTC Sense 5.0 first hit the market on board the One, which is of course the flagship smartphone from this Taiwanese manufacturer. However, the HTC One Mini is set to join its big brother soon and should pack in most of the same features, including this impressive interface. So what can you expect from HTC Sense 5.0 on the One Mini and will it make the most of Android Jelly Bean features in spite of the phone’s smaller display and slower CPU?
The good news for fans of the One is that HTC BlinkFeed is present and correct on board the One Mini, giving you the opportunity to get all of your favourite content in one place. You will need to tinker with BlinkFeed when you first get the phone in order to customise it to your own specifications, but once the initial setup is complete it should be your one-stop shop for everything from social media interactions to news stories and scheduled calendar events. BlinkFeed’s interface is based around tiles, which makes it a little more like Windows Phone than Android, but the change is welcome and should appeal to anyone who has an eye for aesthetic detail. Pulling down on the BlinkFeed interface will cause it to refresh and update content so that you get everything delivered to you in a timely fashion whenever you need it.
The full sized HTC One’s camera has been transplanted wholesale into the One Mini, which means it has the same four megapixel sensor. The only thing missing is optical image stabilisation, which means you will need a bit of a steadier hand if you want to match it for image quality, but this is a minor concern.
Also present is HTC Zoe, which is a clever image capture feature which turns still images into 3.6 second video clips. These can be enjoyed on their own or edited together into something a little longer.
Zoe is ideal for those who want to get creative with their photography rather than sticking to editing static images or videos independent of one another.
One HTC Sense 5.0 feature that is available on the One but absent from the One Mini is Sense TV, which means that it is not possible to use the phone as a universal remote for your various home entertainment devices. This may not be a deal breaker for many because it is hard to argue that this is a completely vital feature, even for those who are having to juggle multiple remotes.
The One Mini emulates its big brother in the sound department because it comes with Beats Audio technology on board and also has Boom Sound speakers up front. This combination helps it to deliver rich, bass-laden audio when you are watching video or playing music independent of a pair of headphones. It is a simple touch, but because the speakers are facing forwards everything sounds louder and fuller than if they were mounted on the rear, as is the case with many of its rivals.
Beats Audio is, to some, an acquired taste, because it definitely benefits from being paired with hip-hop and pop music, but this should please a large audience and will not make the One Mini too much of a martyr.
Every HTC Sense review compares this platform to Samsung’s TouchWiz rival, which is perhaps sensible given the distinctions between the two platforms. However, it is perhaps a battle that can easily be one by the One Mini thanks to the fact that HTC Sense 5.0 is a little more fully featured and mature than TouchWiz.