A miniature companion for your smartphone, and a new security keyring
HTC is continuing to roll out accessories for its flagship “One” series, and today we’ve had the chance to go hands-on with two quirky new additions to the HTC accessory family — the HTC Mini+ and HTC Fetch.
First up, the Mini+ is the successor to last year’s HTC Mini, which shipped alongside the original Butterfly handset in China. As we’ve said before, this is effectively a phone for your phone. It pairs to your full-sized HTC handset over NFC and Bluetooth, allowing you to control your phone remotely as long as the Bluetooth connection is active.
The Mini+ lets you make or receive calls, view text messages, remotely take pictures using your main phone’s camera, or control your TV using the Sense TV app and an inbuilt IR blaster. The latter works even if your main phone is one without IR, such as the One Mini. Other goodies include the ability to control Microsoft PowerPoint presentations using a companion app, and a laser pointer built into the top of the device.
The chassis is extremely thin, light and compact, with a metallic front and a glossy-feeling back. Much of the front face is taken up with the keypad and other buttons, and up top you’ve got a 1.5-inch 4-grey OLED display. Using it is enough to make you nostalgic for the for the days of featurephones, but it isn’t a standalone device, and you’ll need an HTC smartphone to make full use the Mini+.
By the same token it’s not meant to consign your smartphone to a pocket-ridden life — instead it’s designed to allow certain tasks to be performed quickly and easily without unlocking your larger handset. So it’s safe to say we’re probably looking at a niche product here. HTC says to expect 9 hours of talk time or 95 hours on standby, thanks to the built-in 320mAh battery.
HTC’s second new accessory is an unassuming little plastic keyring dubbed the HTC Fetch. Like the Mini+, it pairs with HTC smartphones, but the main focus here is security. The Fetch has a single button which activates the phone’s ringtone when you press it, and works within Bluetooth range (around 15 meters). The alarm can also be set to sound automatically when the phone moves out of range of the Fetch, and for added security the last location where the two devices were paired is stored — useful if you’re particularly forgetful, we guess.
HTC says the the Fetch’s battery will last for up to six months of use, after which a new one can be swapped in.
Both the HTC Mini+ and Fetch are due to appear in the UK during Q4.