‘Mini’ smartphone

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Mini smartphone for grey nomads
Little and large ... the big Butterfly and its mini version

In the race to cram more and more features into our smart­phones, it seems some people are finding them just too big and unwieldly to actually use for making and receiving calls.

While the latest and greatest phone might be perfect when you want to chill under your awning checking on your stocks and shares or mapping your route for the next day’s journey, they are less practical when you are packed up for a bushwalk and the blooming thing starts ringing. Apparently, many have now become so large that they sim­ply can’t be stored conveniently and whipped out of a pocket or bag in a reasonable time.

In other words, the mobile phone just isn’t as mobile as it used to be. Of course, it’s not just the poor old grey nomads who have been suffering from ‘my-phone’s-too-smart-to-be-a-phone’ syndrome. The rest of the population has been endur­ing the same condition, which may be why HTC has come up with the logical solution … a mini phone for your phone.

Huh! A phone for your phone! Has the world gone crazy? Maybe so. Currently only avail­able for the Chinese market, the (phone-sized!) HTC Mini is an accessory for the much larger HTC Butterfly.

The ge­nius – or the madness – behind the thinking is that owners use the Mini to make and take calls without having to remove their super-sized smartphones (aka small tablet computers) from their pockets.

We are told the mini device connects to the big Butterfly via Near Field Communication (NFC). It’s small, light, and can be stored in a shirt pocket while the much larger Butter­fly sits in a deeper pocket or bag. As well as making calls, it can show messages, calendar appointments, and call history on its monochrome display.

HTC has yet to announce when – and if – the Butterfly Mini will become available outside China … and it’s yet to be seen whether other smart­phone manufacturers will pick up the idea and run with it.

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