With the possible exception of the iPhone 5S the HTC One Mini 2 was the most stylish small smartphone around, just as the HTC One Mini before it was. But now Samsung’s arrived with a surprising new competitor, the Galaxy Alpha, which has the specs you expect from Samsung and a whole lot of style too. So how does it compare to the HTC One Mini 2? Read on to find out.
The Galaxy Alpha is a first for Samsung in that it’s a smartphone with a metal frame. That adds an unmistakeable touch of quality and helps it stand out from the plastic crowds. The back is still plastic but it’s soft and easy to grip and at 132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7mm and 115g it’s slim and light.
As good looking as the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is, the HTC One Mini 2 has the edge here. The whole back is metal and it curves comfortably into your hand. There is a plastic strip along the edge of the phone and at 137.4 x 65 x 10.6mm and 137g it’s nowhere near as slim or light as Samsung’s handset, but there’s a lot more metal on show and it looks higher end as a result.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha has a 4.7 inch 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 312 pixels per inch. So while it’s smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S5 it’s still reasonably large. As big as the original HTC One for example. Its use of Super AMOLED also means that it should have bright, rich colours and an all-round vibrant display. It’s only 720p but at 312 pixels per inch it’s still fairly crisp.
The HTC One Mini 2 has a 4.5 inch 720 x 1280 Super LCD2 display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. So it’s the same resolution as the Galaxy Alpha but as it’s slightly smaller it’s also got a slightly higher pixel density. But the overall quality of the display isn’t as good, with comparatively washed out visuals.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha may be fairly small but it’s not lacking in power. It has an octa-core Exynos 5430 processor with four cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four at 1.3GHz and that’s all backed up by 2GB of RAM. It may not quite be a match for the OnePlus One and the Galaxy Note 4 is likely to blow it out of the water, but it’s still a very powerful little phone.
The HTC One Mini 2 has comparatively modest specs, with a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM. It still feels fairly powerful and there are rarely any issues with its performance, but it’s not likely to be a match for the Galaxy Alpha.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha has a 12 megapixel main camera with an LED flash, along with a 2.1 megapixel front facing camera and the ability to shoot 2160p video at 30fps or 1080p video at 60fps. We haven’t had a chance to put it through its paces yet but on paper it should be a competent camera, if probably not quite a match for the Galaxy S5’s snapper.
The HTC One Mini 2 has a 13 megapixel main camera, again with an LED flash. But there’s a far superior 5 megapixel camera on the front, making it great for selfies. It’s not quite as good for recording video though, capping out at 1080p at 30fps.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha has an 1860 mAh battery. No stats have yet been released on it but that’s fairly small for a phone of this size and power. It does at least have an Ultra Power Saving Mode to eke out some extra juice when it’s running low though.
The HTC One Mini 2 has a larger 2110 mAh battery, but despite that its life isn’t great, struggling to make it more than a day even with quite light use. So it remains to be seen whether the Galaxy Alpha will beat it there.
The Galaxy Alpha has a generous 32GB of built in storage but there’s no microSD card slot to expand that, while the HTC One Mini 2 has just 16GB built in, but there’s a slot with support for microSD cards of up to 128GB.
The two phones connectivity options are much the same. In both cases there’s support for Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, so they’re both well equipped.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha and the HTC One Mini 2 are fairly well matched. The Mini 2 has a slightly more premium build, but both phones look and feel great. The Mini 2 is smaller than the Galaxy Alpha but the Alpha is slimmer and lighter. The HTC One Mini 2 is better for taking photos, especially if you’re into selfies, but the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is better for recording videos.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha has more built in storage but the HTC One Mini 2 has a microSD card slot and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha has a fingerprint scanner but the HTC One Mini 2 has dual front-facing BoomSound speakers, so most things balance out more or less.
There are two significant exceptions to that though. The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is indisputably more powerful and likely has a superior quality screen too. Those are some major features and while the HTC One Mini 2 doesn’t do badly in either case it’s the lesser of the two.
Of course price will also be a factor. Right now you can pick up the HTC One Mini 2 SIM free from around £340. No price has yet been announced for the Galaxy Alpha but we’d be surprised if it doesn’t exceed £400. Whether it’s worth the extra for a slightly better screen and a boost in power is entirely subjective.
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