Need another sign that smartphones are getting too big? HTC just unveiled the HTC Mini, a tiny remote for its 5-inch HTC Butterfly in China, which harks back to the time when miniscule candy bar cellphones were all the rage.
The Mini functions just like one of those small cellphones of yore — it connects to the Butterfly (the Chinese version of the Droid DNA) via Bluetooth to make calls and view messages. You can also use it to remotely control the big smartphone once you’ve connected it to a TV or stereo.
While some may find it useful, I find the very idea of the HTC Mini ridiculous. If smartphones are getting too big to use comfortably for making calls, then perhaps we should be making smaller smartphones. I’ve tested plenty of smartphones over the past few years, and even with my large hands I still can’t get used to phones around 5 inches.
After a certain point, the race to make bigger smartphone screens will have to end and device makers will have to focus on other ways to differentiate their products. There’s certainly a market for bigger phones like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2, but I wouldn’t call that market mainstream. Huawei’s 6.1-inch Ascend Mate was pretty much the last straw for me when it came to useless gigantic smartphones.
At this point, the HTC Mini will be exclusive to China. The company hasn’t announced pricing details yet.