HTC One Mini vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini: What are consumers giving up for small size?

Like Samsung, HTC announced a smaller version of their flagship Android smartphone with lower specifications. More pocketable devices make great tablet companions, but are consumers willing to give up specs for size?
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
HTC One Mini with metal chassis, BoomSound, and Zoes coming soon
Image: HTC

Regular readers know I am a huge fan of the HTC One; and the 4.7-inch display has never once left me wishing for a smaller device. However, there are consumers who want smaller phones; for these folks, HTC has announced the HTC One Mini. There are also rumors of an even larger Maxi, but we'll leave that for another day.

Just a couple of years ago, many of us thought that 4.3 inches was the largest-sized display we would see -- or even want -- on a phone. Size then took off and now we see phones with displays of 5.5 inches and more, which I personally find a bit too big. Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 Mini a couple of months ago and we'll soon have a model from HTC to compete with it.

Galaxy S4 Mini
Image: Samsung

Like the new HTC One Mini, the Galaxy S4 Mini also lowered some of the specifications for the smaller, less expensive device. When compared to the HTC One, we note that the IR functionality and OIS are missing, the processor is rated lower, RAM and internal storage is halved, the battery capacity is lower, and the front facing camera has fewer megapixels. When the Galaxy S4 Mini is compared to its bigger brother, we also see lower processor performance, reduced internal storage, lower resolution display, and lower resolution camera.

The HTC One and Galaxy S4 offer different software and hardware experiences and the Mini versions of both keep that difference in place. When compared to the HTC One Mini, we see that the Galaxy S4 Mini has more RAM (1.5GB vs 1GB); larger and removable battery; smaller internal storage (but also comes with microSD card slot); and lower resolution (960x540 compared to 1280x720) display. On paper, the Galaxy S4 Mini may look like a better option, but I prefer the design, Sense 5 experience, and unique camera experience of HTC's offering.

I'm meeting with HTC at lunch today and will get some hands-on time with the new HTC One Mini. Given the superb design of the HTC One and the One Mini having much of the same design features, this may be a great lower cost HTC device. Now we will see if consumers are looking to stem the tide of going bigger with these new Mini smartphones.

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