If you’ve been following my articles since I’ve started at PhoneDog, you probably know that I am partial to small phones; I also have a personal vendetta against phones that are anatomically too big for my hands. As we progress and smartphone technology becomes faster, lasts longer, and holds more storage it seems like the only way to get these improvements is by making larger phones. While for the most part this may be true, as time goes on we also see that people are trying to make a push for smaller phones before our smartphones match the size of 7” tablets.
We’ve seen this regression to smaller phones happen recently with the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S 4. Unfortunately, it seems like most of the mini versions of the Galaxies share only two things in common with their progenitor – the name and the look.
Take the Galaxy S III for example. You’ve got an 8-megapixel camera, a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor, a 720x1250 HD display, and 2 GB of RAM. Compare that with the mini which has a 5-megapixel camera, a dual-core 1 GHz processor, 420x800 WVGA display, and 1 GB of RAM. The specs play out to be nothing like a Galaxy S III Mini – it’s more like a Galaxy S II Mini.
So Samsung tries again with the Galaxy S 4 and the Galaxy S 4 Mini. Let’s compare the two: The Galaxy S 4 features a 13-megapixel camera, a 1080x1920 HD display, 2 GB RAM, and a quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 or quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor. The Galaxy S 4 Mini features an 8-megapixel camera, a dual-core 1.7 GHz processor, 1.5 GB of RAM for the 3G version of the device (2GB for the LTE), and a 540x960 qHD display.
Basically you’ve got the same result. The Galaxy S 4 Mini resembles the Galaxy S III more than the actual Galaxy S 4. But would the device sell if they tacked last year’s model name onto the end of a device being released this year? Of course not!
But despite Samsung’s attempts at keeping the Mini versions of the Galaxy line relevant, HTC is doing what HTC has been doing best and following suit closely behind Samsung. In news today, the rumored HTC One Mini was leaked in a series of photos. The photos reveal that while the HTC One Mini isn’t really all that “mini” with a 4.3-inch display, it is a little shorter and a little narrow and more importantly, maintains a lot of the HTC One’s features that make it the “HTC One”.
Basically, it’s HTC’s chance to show that you can have a smaller version of a flagship phone without sucking all of the fun out of it.
The rumors surrounding the HTC Mini is that it will feature a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, the same 4-megapixel Ultrapixel camera, 2 GB of RAM, front-facing speakers, and Beats Audio integration. It's also assumed to run on a dual-core processor, but the speed hasn’t been noted.
If the rumors turn out to be true I will have a hay day with it. This is what a “mini” device is supposed to be (although perhaps ‘mini’ is being used in its loosest form here; losing .4 inches really doesn’t qualify as ‘mini’ to me. It’s more like the HTC One Not-Quite-As-Big rather than the HTC One Mini) It’s deserving of sharing the same name because it shares such similar qualities. This is what the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Mini should have been, especially after a flop like the Galaxy S III Mini.
I will say to Samsung’s defense that I'm starting to view HTC as the annoying little brother that follows Samsung around and proclaims “Me too!” regarding just about everything.
“Oh, the Galaxy S 4 is being released in stock? Me too! What? The Galaxy S 4 is releasing a mini version of the device? What a coincidence! So am I!” There’s even a rumor that's sparked that says that HTC plans to release a phablet version of the One to compete with Samsung’s larger devices in the Galaxy line. But again, that's just a rumor (and technically so is the ‘HTC One Mini’). Judging by HTC's follow-up to the Google Edition of the Galaxy S 4 plus the rumors and now leaked photos of an HTC Mini, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if the rumors turned out to be true. In fact, I kind of hope they are.
The HTC One Mini sounds like a pretty nice solution to the “larger” flagship phones. It likely wouldn’t be as great as the HTC One, but at least it’s not completely sporting last year’s specs. I would actually consider purchasing the HTC One Mini if it turns out to be a real device.
Readers, what are your thoughts on the HTC One Mini rumors? Would you purchase one if it turns out it’s a real device, or would you prefer to get the regular HTC One?
Photo via 9 to 5 Google, The Android Cop