With the announcement of the new HTC One Mini, ailing Taiwanese company HTC has taken the fight to a lower price point against the top Android dog, Samsung. Featuring almost similar specs, the HTC One Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is sure to ignite yet another heated discussion as to which device is superior.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled the specifications of both the HTC One Mini and the Galaxy S4 Mini into a comparison table, and discuss the pros and cons.
Article continues after the break.
We start with the obvious and arguably the most important aspect in any smartphone spec sheet: the chipset. Both the One Mini and the Galaxy S4 Mini use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core chipset, a processor designed for lower-end devices. However, the processor on the S4 Mini sports a higher clock speed at 1.7GHz compared to 1.4GHz on the One Mini. In addition, there’s 50% more RAM in the S4 Mini too, with 1.5GB to the One Mini’s 1GB.
Of course, some would argue that the higher clock speed and RAM is necessary due to the TouchWiz UI which is known for being too heavy in lower-end hardware. However, the new Sense 5 UI on the One Mini, aesthetically at least, also appears to be a heavy UI skin. The main differentiator here should not be on the slight increase in clock speed for the S4 Mini, but rather on the amount of RAM, which is why for this aspect, we believe the S4 Mini trumps the One Mini.
On the other hand, HTC’s much-hyped UltraPixel camera has also been fitted into the One Mini. It must be noted here that it is very rare for an OEM a similar piece of hardware (and such an important one at that) on both the premium and “watered-down” variant. That being said, despite the fancy moniker and impressive-sounding sensor specs, we still have doubts over the UltraPixel camera’s performance since our smartphone camera shootout. As for the S4 Mini, not much is known about the 8MP sensor, although Samsung has added the suite of software features for the camera found in the flagship Galaxy S4 into the S4 Mini, with the notable exception of Dual Shot…though we certainly hope the laggy camera app on the Galaxy S4 does not make an appearance on the S4 Mini.
Besides that, HTC also fitted the One Mini with the HTC BoomSound technology, which is essentially two front-facing speakers (which remains a unique rarity for smartphones) with integrated amplifiers. On the HTC One, the BoomSound speakers were impressively loud with amazing fidelity. On top of that, there’s also Beats Audio enhancements on the One Mini, which gives audio an added bass boost when on headphones. On paper, it must be said that the S4 Mini is very unlikely to top the One Mini.
Both smartphones also pack impressive arrays of software enhancements, both of which are inherited from their premium elder brothers. HTC Zoe is ever-present on the One Mini, providing various enhancements to the One Mini’s camera as well as the Gallery app, while the various S-branded apps make the S4 Mini very different from other Android devices.
With a smaller footprint, both devices not only had to compromise with less powerful hardware, but in the case of the One Mini, several hardware features as well. HTC opted to omit both NFC and the IR blaster for the One Mini, and like the HTC One, does not offer expandable storage via microSD cards. However, the smaller 1800mAh battery on the One Mini is of the lithium-polymer variety, which is a newer technology and features faster charging times compared to lithium-ion batteries.
Finally, there’s the exterior bodies of both devices. Samsung and HTC both faithfully recreated the mini variants of their flagship smartphones with the same design and materials – and that’s a big, big plus to the One Mini, which sports a similar aluminium unibody that is as sleek and sexy as the One. The S4 Mini, on the other hand, goes for a more practical polycarbonate body with a detachable back cover – at the expense of an all-round cheap plasticky feel.
Ultimately, the success of the HTC One Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini will be down to another crucial factor: price. Both devices have not been launched locally yet, so there’s no way to determine the prices just yet (although a local bank may have spilled the beans on the S4 Mini) With so little to separate these two devices, consumers could very well just go for the cheaper of the two, regardless of the user experiences offered by both smartphones.