Well, it’s not a new smartphone from the struggling Taiwanese manufacturer, if that’s what you’re thinking after reading the title. Nope, the HTC Mini is something else – it’s a small NFC-enabled remote control that HTC is giving away with each HTC Butterfly sold in China.
Using NFC to establish a Bluetooth connection to the Butterfly, the Mini can be used to control a number of things on the 5-inch smartphone. One can answer or make calls via the remote control without the need to take out the smartphone out of the pocket, and also check messages, calendar entries and call logs on the small monochrome display on the Mini.
That’s not all. The HTC Mini can also be used to trigger the camera shutter on the Butterfly’s camera, which is sure to come in handy for just setting down the smartphone somewhere and then taking a picture via the remote control. There’s also the ability to navigate through the phone’s interface when it is plugged in to a TV, while the “find my phone” feature can help in case you misplace the phone.
Over the past year, we’ve only seen display sizes on smartphones keep on increasing with no end in sight, so the HTC Mini could in fact set a trend that other manufacturers could follow. I mean, who wants to be digging into their pockets to take out their gigantic 5-inch or larger phone just to answer calls and look at a new message? These basic functions could be well served by remote control devices like the HTC Mini, while leaving uses such as browsing, watching movies or playing games to the phone itself.
Unfortunately, the HTC Mini is bundled with the HTC Butterfly only in China for now, with no info on whether we’ll see it get launched in other markets. It’s certainly a very cool idea and device, so hopefully HTC will soon bring it to HTC Butterfly owners all over the world, and also release it separately for use with other HTC smartphones as well.
Check out the HTC Mini promo video below.