In the world of non-Apple/Nokia smartphone manufacturers, there are several unwritten rules. One of those is that you must release several hundred Android phones per year, regardless of quality, demand or logic.
A second rule states that all Android flagships should be accompanied by – if not immediately then at least eventually – a smaller version of said flagship. Let’s take a closer look at four of them, huh?
Judging by the comments on Mobot and similar sites, there definitely seems to be a market for flagship-level phones with smaller displays.
Alas, to date, with arguably just one exception, no one has really nailed it quite yet.
What we’re really looking for is – as the name suggests – simply a smaller version of the corresponding flagship, but what we usually get is a smaller phone that looks vaguely similar, but with severely watered down specs.
Let’s deploy the magnifying glass, shall we? As per tradition, these things are largely presented in the order that they popped into my head.
Interestingly (look, we found it interesting, alright?), HTC chose not to mention “M8” when naming the One mini 2. So in 2013 we had the HTC One and One mini, and in 2014 we have the One M8 and One mini 2. Confused? Me 2.
Comparing the HTC One mini and One mini 2, the latter is slightly larger (4.5in vs. 4.3in) and opts for a plain old 13MP rear shooter instead of an UltraPixel camera.
Other HTC One mini 2 specs include a resolution of 720p, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 5MP front camera, 16GB storage (with microSD compatibility) and a 2,110mAh battery.
Woah, turns out I wrote about the obligatory Samsung Galaxy S5 mini when it launched at the beginning of June. Who knew?
On the surface, the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini appears to do a pretty stellar job of squeezing the flagship S5 into a smaller bod, with IP67 waterproof certification, a fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and Ultra Power Saving Mode.
But wait! Further Samsung Galaxy S5 mini specs are less impressive, with a 4.5in 720p display (vs. 5.1in 1080p), 1.5GB of RAM (vs. 2GB), and an 8MP rear camera (vs. 16MP). Still, that’s marginally better – on paper, at least – than the HTC One mini 2 above.
With the LG G3’s display measuring a gargantuan 5.5in diagonally, there’s seriously plenty of scope for smaller versions.
LG has promised more LG G3 variants, but for now, the first is the LG G3 Beat, which again looks a lot like the flagship, but comes with significantly less impressive specs – that’s despite LG claiming to have set a “new standard in mid-tier”. Nope, that’s pure marketing hyperbole, I’m afraid.
LG G3 Beat specs include a 5in 720p display (vs. 5.5in QHD on the big guy), quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP/1.3MP camera combo, and a modest 8GB internal storage (with microSD compatibility, right enough).
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the oldest, smallest and arguably best “mini” phone on our list. We’ve truly saved the best for last.
Again, what we really want from these mini phones is a small phone that doesn’t scrimp on specs, and that’s what the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact delivers – for the most part.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact specs include a 4.3in 720p display, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 20.7MP rear camera, 2MP front shooter, 16GB internal storage (with microSD welcoming further memory beef), and a 2,300mAh battery.
A Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is tipped to arrive in the coming months with largely identical specs, but if it ain’t broke…