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The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini is smaller and prettier (hands-on)

Rocking a 4.5-inch IPS display and a quad-core processor, the Idol 2 Mini may just be the perfect size and phone for the basic user.

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BARCELONA, Spain -- The Alcatel One Touch Idol 2 Mini and its faster LTE-enabled twin, the Idol 2 Mini S, are smaller versions of the just announced Idol 2 phone. Sporting a similar metallic finish, the Idol 2 Mini, however, comes in more colorful shades -- such as hot pink.

The Alcatel One Touch Idol 2 Mini comes in different shades. Sarah Tew/CNET

Specs-wise, the Idol 2 Mini has a slim 7.9mm-thin figure with a 4.5-inch, 960x540-pixel display. I quite like the size -- it fits comfortably in my palm, and the metallic finish feels cool.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The handset's powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, and I found performance to be similar to the other Idol 2 handsets -- that is to say, it seems fine for day-to-day use and should be sufficient for simple Web surfing and social-media sharing.

Packing in HSPA+ connectivity, the Idol 2 Mini will be faster than the Idol 2 (network permitting) when it comes to downloads, and the phone will also get dual-SIM capabilities depending on where it is sold.

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The rear 8-megapixel camera, like the Idol 2, feels a little laggy after taking a shot, but that's fine if you're just taking shots of landscapes.

The Idol 2 Mini runs Android 4.3, but there isn't an update to 4.4 KitKat planned. So what you're getting with the Idol 2 Mini is fixed unless you're willing to root and install a custom ROM.

Outlook

Priced at 169 Euros ($230, £140), the Idol 2 Mini is set to go on sale in the next few months in Europe, the U.S. and China. If you're looking for a smartphone for basic Web browsing and social networking, the Idol 2 Mini seems like a good deal. For those who want fast download speeds in a compact form, the Idol 2 Mini S may be a better choice, but we'll find out more in our full review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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