Galaxy S5 mini vs One mini 2 vs Xperia Z1 Compact

July 3, 2014

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Now that the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini has been revealed, it's time we took stock of the market. Most of the major manufacturers now have a "mini flagship" for this half of year and now we have to ask ourselves, which one between the Galaxy S5 mini, the HTC One mini 2, and the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact truly deserves the title of being small but adequately terrible.

We won't flood you with hardware specs, because keeping tabs on three devices is definitely a chore. But since a picture paints a thousand words, this pretty image below more or less summarizes the common specs between these three mini smartphones.


We can already see at a glance one that is emerging victorious, but for the sake of argument, let's dig deeper into each one's special features to see if there is more to them than just spec sheets.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini shares with its older brother many of the prime features that one would want in the flagship. That means IP67 dust and water proofing, heart rate monitor, and fingerprint sensor. The fact that the device also uses a Super AMOLED display means you can avail of the new Ultra Power Saving Mode, a.k.a. black and white mode. The smartphone surprisingly also has support for Cat4 LTE networks, so you get faster theoretical download speeds. Of course, you get to wrestle with TouchWiz on this one

The HTC One mini 2 looks pretty much alike the HTC One M8, but that is almost all that the two have in similar. Of course, there is also Sense 6.0 inside and BoomSound audio, but that's pretty much it. No UltraPixel Duo camera at the back and even the build has less metal and more plastic to it. Admittedly, it still looks pretty classy, which might be the one thing going for it, unless you also root for the software running on top and HTC's way of doing things.

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the oldest of these three and yet apparently it is also the most gifted. Sure it has a smaller 4.3-inch screen, but that only means it has a better pixel density at the same 720p resolution and a more manageable size. It doesn't have that high IP67 rating, but IP55/IP58 might be enough for most cases. And while it doesn't have an UltraPixel camera, the 20.7 megapixel sensor from a trusted camera maker might make up for it. An almost vanilla Android, plus a supported bootloader unlocking procedure, might also appeal to some people.

Smaller, beefier, and even cheaper, at least from Amazon. That's how the Xperia Z1 Compact wins the day. True, we still don't have the Galaxy S5 mini's SRP, but Samsung would most likely make it competitive with the rest, meaning around $400 as well. The wealth of sensors and Cat4 LTE support, however, might appeal to some. LG has yet to show it cards as well, so we don't exactly have a complete picture yet.. There is also talk of an Xperia Z3 Compact even while an Xperia Z2 Compact is nowhere to be found. For now, however, the small Xperia Z1 Compact stands tall as the king of the mini hill.

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  • ymppa

    Looking at what’s written here, “stands tall as the king of the mini hill” sounds very mildly put.

    Two entry level Android phones and one close to the best…

  • ShermCraig

    Why is it that these boneheads don’t understand that “mini” doesn’t mean the device should be any less powerful? I, for one would like a smaller version of the SGS5, but why must I sacrifice RAM, processing speed, etc? IT’S NOT THE SAME PHONE, SO STOP REFERRING TO IT AS “MINI”!!!!!

    • Juan Carlos Torres

      Let’s just hope that the LG G3 Beat isn’t the LG G3 Mini. It is less powerful in some cases (but 2 GB of RAM), but get this: 5.0-inch 720p display! How’s that for “mini”? 🙂

    • ok dog

      “omg candy makers i want my mini snickers to have teh same amount of chocolate as teh king size n00b stupid manufacto0rz”

      • ShermCraig

        Uhm, douche?

  • Lincoln Mah

    probably should have the moto x in this comparison too.

    • Juan Carlos Torres

      Based on specs and size, maybe. But the Moto X was never marketed as a “mini” member of a flagship brand like these three (we’re still missing an LG G3 mini). The Moto G might have been closer, but even that is on a level lower than these.

  • okydoky

    any news when z3 compact will hit the market? im planning to buy z1 compact soon..but i dont want to regret buying it when z3 comes out… :3

    • okydoky

      news or speculation when it will hit the market*

      • Juan Carlos Torres

        None yet. But if you can wait until September, that’s usually a time when a lof of these manufacturers make an announcement. We’ll post the latest Xperia Z3/Z3 compact leaks and rumors as they come, but please do note that they are, of course, just leaks and rumors.

  • Tessoro Desoto

    I disagree with the reviewer, when it comes to mini versions spec matter. Z1c the king.