Samsung and HTC’s mini handsets have been battling it out for a while, but now LG is joining the fray with a shrunk down version of its G2 flagship. Can it stand up to its big name competition? Read on to find out.
The LG G2 mini looks a lot like its full sized counterpart as you might expect. That means a fairly bland plastic back made slightly more interesting by the trio of buttons set below the camera lens. It’s built solidly enough but without the buttons on the back it would look totally non-descript and, dare we say it, a little bit like a Samsung.
Speaking of Samsung, the Galaxy S4 mini also looks a lot like its big brother, with a plastic back and a metallic edging. Arguably that edging makes it look a little nicer than the LG G2 mini, but there’s not much in it.
The HTC One mini is by far the star of the show in the build department. It has an aluminium back and aluminium speaker grills, leaving it looking far higher end than its competition. It also feels the most solidly built and durable of the three.
The LG G2 mini has a 4.7 inch 540 x 960 IPS display. At 4.7 inches it can hardly be considered mini really, as it’s actually the same size as the full fat HTC One, but it’s a little smaller than the 5.2 inch LG G2. Unfortunately it’s also quite a lot lower resolution than the LG G2 and can’t even manage 720p.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini has a slightly smaller 4.3 inch 540 x 960 Super AMOLED display. So it’s the same disappointingly low resolution as the G2 mini, but as the screen is smaller it has a higher pixel density.
The HTC One mini once again trumps the competition here with a 4.3 inch 720 x 1280 Super LCD display, so while it’s not full 1080p it is at least 720p. All the phones use the same display technology as their big brothers which, resolution aside, ensures that they all produce good images. The Galaxy S4 mini has the richest colours and the best contrast, but the HTC One mini’s resolution ensures that its screen is still better overall.
The LG G2 mini has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor if you opt for the 4G version, or a 1.7 GHz quad-core Tegra 4i processor if you go for the 3G version and both versions have 1GB of RAM.
This is one area where the G2 mini fares pretty well, as the Galaxy S4 mini has just a 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor, though it does have slightly more RAM at 1.5GB.
The HTC One mini is the least powerful of the bunch with a 1.4 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM.
All of them have reasonable performance, but the Galaxy S4 mini and especially the HTC One mini are starting to slip towards the bottom end of the mid-range, despite their steep price tags, while the LG G2 mini can stand up to recent phones like the Motorola Moto G.
The LG G2 mini has an 8 megapixel main camera and a 1.3 megapixel front facing one, though no information has yet been confirmed on its video shooting capabilities.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini has an 8 megapixel camera too, along with a 1.9 megapixel front facing one. It can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps.
The HTC One mini uses HTC’s 4 megapixel camera with Ultrapixel technology along with a 1.6 megapixel front facing camera and 1080p video at 30fps.
All three handsets have reasonable cameras for mid-range phones. The HTC One mini fares the best in low light but for everything else we’d recommend either the LG G2 mini or the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini.
The LG G2 mini has a 2440 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S4 mini has a 1900 mAh one and the HTC One mini has an 1800 mAh one. Despite being slightly smaller the HTC One mini’s battery actually outperforms the Galaxy S4 mini’s as it can manage up to 692 hours of standby time or 13 hours 20 minutes of talk time, while the S4 mini can only manage 300 hours of standby or 12 hours of talk time.
On paper the LG G2 mini should be way out ahead of either of them, given its much larger battery size, but it also has a larger screen and faster processor to keep going. Unfortunately LG hasn’t released any battery stats yet, but we’d guess that it might be fairly similar to the HTC One mini’s performance.
Both the G2 mini and the S4 mini have 8GB of built in storage along with a microSD card slot, while the HTC One mini has 16GB of storage but no microSD support.
All three phones come with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G and 4G LTE, while the 4G version of the G2 mini also has NFC, as does the Galaxy S4 mini and the S4 mini one-ups them all by additionally having an infrared port.
When we first heard about the LG G2 mini we hoped it would follow the lead of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and be every bit as good as the LG G2 just in a smaller package. Unfortunately it isn’t, it has a far worse screen, it’s much less powerful and it doesn’t have as good a camera or as much storage.
It’s still not a bad phone by any means though. It’s more powerful than either the S4 mini or the HTC One mini and it has just as good a camera as either of them, though its screen still suffers in comparison.
Ultimately we’d give the LG G2 mini the edge over its competition, because the other two are starting to look a bit long in the tooth power wise, while the HTC One mini comes in second for its superior screen and great build quality. That leaves the Galaxy S4 mini as marginally the worst of the three.
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