Mobile Technology

HTC gives a huge smartphone its own Mini feature phone

HTC gives a huge smartphone it...
HTC's Mini lets your Butterfly delegate the whole phone thing to a little helper
HTC's Mini lets your Butterfly delegate the whole phone thing to a little helper
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The HTC Mini is light and ultra-portable
The HTC Mini is light and ultra-portable
HTC's Mini lets your Butterfly delegate the whole phone thing to a little helper
HTC's Mini lets your Butterfly delegate the whole phone thing to a little helper

Huge smartphones and phablets are great for some customers. They provide more screen real estate, and can double as miniature tablets. But the bigger these devices get, the more awkward they become for phone calls. If your 5-inch smartphone has you feeling like Zach Morris, then HTC has a solution: give it its own personal dumbphone.

A phone's phone

The HTC Mini is light and ultra-portable
The HTC Mini is light and ultra-portable

Meet the HTC Mini. Though you might mistake it for the phone you had in 2006, it's an accessory for the HTC Butterfly (known as the Droid DNA in the U.S.). Chinese Butterfly owners can use the Mini to make and take calls without removing their super-sized phones from their pockets.

The device connects to the Butterfly via Near Field Communication (NFC). It's small, light, and could be dropped in a shirt pocket while the much larger Butterfly sits in a deeper pocket or purse. In addition to making calls, it can show messages, calendar appointments, and call history on its monochrome display.

The HTC Mini has a few other tricks. With the Butterfly tethered to a TV set, the Mini can also serve as a remote control for menu navigation. And if you misplace your smartphone, the Mini will ring it to help you to quickly find it.

Joke or genius?

Is the Mini an innovative stroke of genius, or an illustration of how ridiculously oversized our phones have become? Though we still call them phones, smartphones are really pocketable computers. Perhaps if you see the Mini as an ultra-portable phone accessory for your primary computer, it sounds a bit less absurd.The HTC Mini is only available for the Chinese market, and only compatible with the Butterfly. We inquired with HTC about any future availability outside of China, but the company has nothing to announce at this time.

Source: Xataka, via Slashgear

I've been interested in something like this for some time because most features of a smartphone ideally require a screen larger than is comfortable or practical as a phone. An inexpensive, discreet and small handset to make and receive calls, and maybe messaging but I'd hope that someone will make one that works on many devices. It's also great for device security.
Seth Levy
This is where I think things are going. People will have one device for personal computing that can make and receive calls in standby mode using accessories such as this.
Dan Dolar
Yo dawg... I heard you like to talk on the phone, so we made a phone that talks to your phone so you can talk on the phone...
The Reekly
I would use the pygmy phone just for texting on T9, if HTC would allow it. Besides, I would love to hold a device next to my brain that isn't emitting microwaves and WiFi rays every second.
Tobias Moo
Reekly, wifi and microwaves use the same radiofrequency.
Gethin Coles
It's a no brainer. Especially for moving high powered microwave radiation away from said organ.
Michał Borsuk
Good idea.
If I go mountainbiking, I'll still have two carry the giant phablet part with me, so this is essentially a bluetooth earpiece that cannot fit in my ear.
What would be totally useful is to have the carriers allow me to move my number between phones. That way, I can use my phablet monstrosity for everyday tasks, and my tiny and cheap bare bones phone when when do stuff that requires only emergency calling and compactness. Alas, that would be a pipe dream since the carriers will never allow it.
@sk8dad You can switch between cell phones by removing the SIM card from one phone and plugging it into another. I've done it with my iPhone 3s and my old LG phone, works. I'm on AT&T.
Agreed sk8dad. A phone is good for phoning and sms but screens are too small for internet and other functions. I much prefer Asus' other way of thinking with the padfone where you plug the phone into the tablet.
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