Weekend Roundup: HTC unleashes One mini, UK probes Huawei's 'Banbury Cell' and London's Tech City is Britain's business hotspot

HTC One mini hogs the headlines

The undisputed glamour story of the week was the HTC One mini, which launched on Thursday. This, the shrunken version of HTC's flagship One smartphone, and direct rival to Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini, looks like it could be the real deal.

We got our hands on the 4.3in device, and instantly felt that HTC has done a better job than Samsung of transferring the qualities of its flagship into a smaller device. Apart from carrying polycarbonate sides instead of wraparound aluminium, and a 720p display (rather than a Full HD one), the One mini is very similar to the HTC One.

The device also packs a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB onboard storage, dual front-facing speakers, Beats Audio technology and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It measures up at 132 x 63.2 x 9.25mm and 122g.

We managed to get our hands onto the device and our first impressions are overwhelmingly positive - from the design to the performance to the specs. It will ship to select markets in August before rolling out globally in September, so there's not too long to wait. If you're really impatient though, Mobilefun.co.uk has already listed the phone for pre-order, with a SIM-free model priced at £379.99.

Huawei cyber-security systems go under the microscope

Huawei has welcomed the UK government's decision to review the Chinese company's cyber-security practices, following an expression of concern from the Intelligence and Security Commission (ISC).

The ISC is unhappy that the organisation charged with ensuring Huawei poses no security threat to the UK – the Cyber Security Evaluation Centre – is actually run by Huawei. "A self-policing arrangement is highly unlikely either to provide, or to be seen to be providing, the required levels of security assurance," the IDC said.

Huawei, having given the review its blessing, has stressed that its practices are all legitimate, and that it shares no bonds with the Chinese government. The Cabinet is also confident that it hasn't missed a trick with Huawei's security arrangements, but is "not complacent" and has agreed to the ISC's terms. The ISC believes GCHQ should take over the running of the security organisation, even if it passes the review procedure.

The UK government last year gave Huawei the green light to continue operating in the UK, despite accusations thrown at the company from the US, which promptly shut it out of its own markets.

Tech City flies the flag for new UK businesses

London's startup community received some great news this week, with the release of UHW Hacker Young's research on new business generation in the UK. The survey found that East London's Tech City was by far the biggest creator of startups, launching 15,720 between March 2012 and March 2013.

The growth has been attributed largely to increased investment and the fact that Tech City is now established as the UK's main technology hub. YPlan, Hailo and Moshi Monsters can be counted amongst its biggest success stories.

"The area around Old Street has been an emerging business destination for some time thanks to relatively cheap rents, but since the internet and app industries started to colonise the area, new business creation has really taken off," said Colin Jones, Partner at UHY Hacker Young.

The second-most prolific area was Borough and Bermondsey, which generated just over 5,000 startups. Three of the top 20 places listed by the survey fell outside of London, in the form of Warrington, Brighton and Cheshire.

Image credit (bottom): Flickr (JB_1984)

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