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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs. HTC One Mini

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs. HTC One Mini

Samsung and HTC have been the kings of having mini versions of their flagships devices and now Sony has thrown its hat into the ring as well with the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. With the unveiling of their tiny powerhouse at CES 2014, we now have a trifecta of flagship devices packed into a smaller package. So which is the best? We take a look at the Galaxy S4 Mini, the HTC One Mini, and the Xperia Z1 Compact and compare them.

xperiaz1compact s4mini onemini
The mini versions of great flagships side by side: Z1 Compact (left), S4 Mini (Center), and One Mini (right)./ © Manufacturer/AndroidPIT

First Samsung, and then HTC

Samsung was the first manufacturer last year to put a smaller version of its flagship device on the market, the Galaxy S4 Mini. The S4 Mini was a little lackluster in our initial testing, mostly due to much different lower end specs than the original Galaxy S4. HTC seemed to learn the lesson that Samsung incurred and when putting their HTC One Mini to the market, made the technical gap between their two devices much lower. Again, however, some compromise had to be made between their flagship device and their “mini” device.

Sony enters onto scene

Sony has made the gap even smaller with their announcement of the Xperia Z1 Compact: their mini device is ridiculously close in technical specs to the original Xperia Z1 it is almost ridiculous. With its release, Sony has definitely made a mark on the mini market and sets the bar just a little bit higher. If the trend continues, could we expect LG to point the shrink ray at their G2 smartphone in the near future?

Until then, let’s take a look at the current “mini” smartphones that are available on the market:

  Xperia Z1 Compact Galaxy S4 Mini One Mini
System Android 4.3 Android 4.2.2, Update to 4.3 Android 4.2.2
Display 4.3-inches, 1280 x 720 Pixel (342 ppi) 4.3-inches, 960 x 540 Pixel (256 ppi) 4.3-inches, 1280 x 720 Pixel (342 ppi)
Processor Snapdragon 800, Quad Core, 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 400, Dual Core, 1.7 GHz  Snapdragon 400, Dual Core, 1.4 GHz
Memory 2 GB 1,5 GB 1 GB
Internal Storage 16 GB + microSD (expandable to 64 GB) 8 GB + microSD (expandable to 64 GB) 16 GB
Connectivity LTE, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, NFC LTE, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, NFC, Infrarot-Sender LTE, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0
Camera 20.7 MP (Main camera)
2 MP (Front camera)
8 MP (Main camera)
1.9 MP (Front camera)
4 MP (Main camera)
1.6 MP (Front camera)
Battery 2300 mAh, permanently installed 1900 mAh, replaceable 1800 mAh, permanently installed
Dimensions 127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.9 mm 132 x 63.2 x 9.3 mm
Weight 137 g 107 g 122 g

The clear winner

In the direct comparison between the three devices, it’s clear on how each company took a little bit different approach when it comes to the design of their minis. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact wins in pretty much each category listed above: it has a greater advantage when it comes to processor power. It wins when it comes to the camera. Even the battery is bigger than the rest. Plus, it incorporates the same dust and water resistance that the Xperia Z1 has.

On paper, the Xperia Z1 Compact is the clear winner.  Tests might reveal something different, but we don’t think that will be the case.

What do you think of the Z1 Compact? Did Sony get it right? Or is all that hardware in such a small package just too much? 

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  • The HTC One mini does not feature a removable cover, while the HTC logo is engraved in the middle of rear panel accompanied by Beats audio branding, towards the bottom of the phone.