One of the latest trends to hit the technology world is the miniaturisation of more expensive phones. We had the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini and Apple iPad mini last year, but now the latest and greatest shrunken devices are with us, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One mini.
Both have 4.3″ screens, powerful rear cameras, as well as many of the features you’d find on their bigger brothers. So how do they stack up against each other?
When it comes to first impressions, the HTC certainly looks better than the Samsung, with its curvy metal body and speakers at the top and bottom of the phone. The fact that the One mini’s body has been made out of a single block of aluminium also means it feels a more sturdy and slightly more high quality device.
The S4 Mini on the other hand has been made out of durable polycarbonate. It still feels fairly sturdy but doesn’t quite have the premium look and feel of its rival. The material choice does mean the S4 Mini is lighter and slimmer than the One mini – so it’s the more mini device.
Switching the devices on gives you two 4.3″ screens, identical in size but completely different in every other way. The S4 Mini uses a Super AMOLED display that gives incredibly dark blacks, vibrant colours and uses little power, making for a better battery life when the screen is on, such as when you’re watching a video. The One mini has a Super LCD2 screen that gives very natural colours.
The big advantage in screen quality is with the HTC as it has a 720p resolution, compared to the S4 Mini’s 540p. This means it’s 33% sharper and makes the HTC better for high definition content, web browsing, reading and so on.
Speed, memory and battery life
Both pack powerful Snapdragon 400 processors, although the S4 Mini runs faster at 1.7GHz, compared to the One mini’s 1.4GHz. The faster speed means the S4 Mini is the smoother device, and makes it more suitable to gaming, running more complex apps, and opening multiple apps at once.
Despite the fast processors both phones have impressive battery life. Samsung’s 1,900mAh battery is good for up to 12 hours talk time, while HTC’s 1,800mAh battery gives up to 13 hours 20 minutes talk time.
HTC has also managed to find space for 16GB of internal memory. The Samsung only has 8GB inbuilt storage but it does have the advantage of supporting the largest microSD cards available, 64GB, giving you a massive amount of storage for movies, music and files.
HTC and Samsung offer some useful camera options. The S4 Mini’s camera app comes with 10 pre-set shooting modes that will help you quickly find the right mode for different scenarios.
The One mini has the same host of shooting modes but also has some cool extra features thanks to a mode called HTC Zoe™. This extra software lets you edit moving objects out of your photos, combine a series of shots into one image to capture motion and create highlight videos of events.
The HTC One mini has the same UltraPixel camera as the full sized, and much more expensive, HTC One. This means that the, picture quality is very good, although fine details can be less clear when the image is blown up. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini on the other hand has a standard 8MP snapper, letting you see more detail when you zoom into your pictures.
So you’ll get better shots from the HTC and it offers extra camera features. But if you want finer details to print large versions of your pictures, the Samsung would give less pixilation.