Both HTC and Samsung did a good job of shrinking down their flagships last year and now they’re back at it again with the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini and the HTC One Mini 2. As with last year the specs are broadly similar so they’re very much in competition with one another. So what are the differences between them? And which is the best? Read on to find out.
The Galaxy S5 Mini doesn’t stray far from the Samsung Galaxy S5 when it comes to build. It has a textured plastic back and a faux-metal rim. It feels nice in the hand and the back is easy to grip, but it doesn’t look particularly premium. It’s 131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1mm and 120g and it’s IP67 certified dust and water resistant, which is quite a boon for a mid-range phone.
The HTC One Mini 2 is far and away the best looking of the two as you might expect. It has a curved metal back which makes it comfortable to hold and looks extremely high end. The front of the phone has HTC’s distinctive and impressive BoomSound speakers above and below the screen and the only hint of plastic is a band around the edge. At 137.4 x 65 x 10.6mm and 137g though it’s bigger and heavier than the Galaxy S5 Mini.
Ultimately the best option comes down to whether you value looks or durability more. For looks it’s the HTC One Mini 2, for durability, thanks to its dust and water proofing, it’s the Galaxy S5 Mini.
There’s less difference between the two handsets displays. Both phones have a 4.5 inch 720 x 1280 screen with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, which, while not full HD, is enough to leave images looking crisp and clear.
However while the HTC One Mini 2 uses a Super LCD2 display, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini has a Super AMOLED one, which is brighter and more vibrant than HTC’s, giving it a slight edge overall.
The Galaxy S5 Mini looks to be the slightly more powerful of the two as well. It has a 1.4GHz quad-core own-brand processor and 1.5GB of RAM, while the HTC One Mini 2 has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM. It remains to be seen exactly how well Samsung’s own-brand chip will perform but on paper it certainly sounds like the more powerful of the two.
The good news is that both phones are plenty powerful enough. They may not have flagship specs but with quad-core processors and a gigabyte or more of RAM they won’t struggle to run Android. Speaking of which, they both run Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
The camera is one area where the HTC One Mini 2 comes out on top. It has a 13 megapixel snapper with an LED flash and various modes such as panorama and HDR. Picture quality is far from top flight but it’s above average for a smartphone. The front facing camera is moderately impressive too as it has a 5 megapixel sensor, making it great for selfies. The HTC One Mini 2 can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is equipped with an 8 megapixel main camera, with an LED flash and a selection of modes. It’s not bad by any means but the megapixel count is a fair bit lower, so images don’t fare so well when blown up. Its front facing camera also has a lower megapixel count at 2.1 megapixels, but like the HTC One Mini 2 it can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.
The HTC One Mini 2 has a 2110 mAh battery quoted for up to 556 hours of standby time or 16 hours and 10 minutes of talk time, which is a little above average and it should last you over a day of moderate use. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini has an almost identically sized 2100 mAh battery and while Samsung hasn’t released any stats on it yet we’d wager that its life will probably be pretty similar.
Both phones come with 16GB of built in storage but the HTC One Mini 2 has a slight edge here as it supports microSD cards of up to 128GB, while the Galaxy S5 Mini only supports cards of up to 64GB.
Both handsets support Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC but the Galaxy S5 Mini goes one better by also having an infrared port, which the HTC One Mini 2 doesn’t.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini and the HTC One Mini 2 are closely matched but they have some quite different strengths and weaknesses. In terms of similarities there’s little to choose in terms of screen or power, though the S5 Mini edges it in both cases. Battery life, connectivity and storage are all very similar too.
The HTC One Mini 2 is the vastly better looking of the two, but the Galaxy S5 Mini is more durable, the HTC One Mini 2 has a better camera and better speakers but the Galaxy S5 Mini has extra features in the form of a heart rate monitor and a fingerprint scanner.
Ultimately the Galaxy S5 Mini seems the better equipped of the two, with marginally better specs and features that you don’t expect from a mid-range handset, but it lacks the premium finish of the HTC One Mini 2. You could call it a choice of style or substance, but whatever you call it these are two well matched phones.
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