HTC One Mini ... does it make Sense?

2014-04-01 Personal Mobile Nerdy

Update 2004-04-02: The first nightlies for M4 got released on CyanogenMod. Testing now ...


The short answer is: NO!

At least not in my case (anymore). I just removed all (common) Sense from my phone. HTC Sense that is!

3 month ago I got myself a new phone and decided to go with the HTC One Mini. It is my kind of phone. It runs Android (means I can write Scala apps for it), it is sturdy, looks good and is not too big.

But ... Jesus ...

... the ROM image it comes with is (b)loaded with "goodness" and call me old, but I had a hard time to figure out how the UI works, means at the end I decided to bite the bullet and do the right thing: Put a Custom ROM image on it (the smallest, meanest and leanest I was able to find).

Obviously there are lots of articles about how to put a Custom ROM Image on your phone, but as always, the devil is in the detail and that means in my case in the model I am using (M4_UL).

Ssssoooo ... here comes the bullet list of what I have learned ...

  • The HTC One Mini is an HTC M4 (not an HTC M7 (which is the bigger, "normal" HTC One)).
  • This is important, because most of the stuff (recovery images, ROM images, ...) that you get out there is for the HTC M7
    • Funny enough the guys on CyanogenMod just released an M4 for CM-11, but it is for the M7
    • What??? ... Explanation: On CyanogenMod the work to make a release stable is divided into milestones, means right now they are working to make CM-11 (Android 4.4) stable and for that work they have released milestone 4, but ... you would not be the first to think that ... -SNAPSHOT-M4-m7... works for the M4 (which it is NOT)). Which leads to the question, what to do when you have an M4?
  • First you need to unlock the bootloader (easy).
  • Then you need to root/superuser it (easy).
  • I suggest that you only S-OFF the phone, if you really need it.
  • Then you need to find a good recovery image. The one from ClockworkMod that works for the M4 is kind of old (at least I was not able to find a newer one than and is not always working. The good news is that TWRP just released 2.7 and that works like a charm.
  • Flash your phone with that recovery image (easy).
  • Now you are in business, means now you can boot into recovery mode and you can use adb to put whatever Custom ROM image on the phone that you like, but this is when you might run into the next problem: Where to find one? I was not able to find anything on CyanogenMod and then I tried a couple that I found in forums and some of them did not install (badly packaged) or if they installed on the phone they did not work (no Wifi, no calls, ...).
  • The one that I was able to find that works (Android 4.3 for M4_UL) is the one from One Hybrid
... and so far I am happy with it!!!

PS: As a pleasant side effect, I could also swear that I get 4 hours more out of the fully charged phone. No hard evidence, but it feels like it.