It has become a common practice these days for a manufacturer to release a “mini” version of their current flagship at some point. This brings in more customers who want to get a taste of the new device everyone has been talking about, but just don’t have the pocket for it. The mini version usually implies that not only the dimensions, but also the specs have been reduced considerably. Today we’re looking at two devices that count as the smaller versions of their original selves, the Sony Xperia Z1 and the HTC One. Let’s see if the tuned-down specs of the One Mini still pack enough of a punch to stand against the Xperia Z1 Compact, which unlike other mini versions, kept most of the high-end specs its big brother has, and literally just shrunk in size.
The HTC One Mini stays true to the design of the HTC One and showcases a aluminum unibody that just screams out “premium”. The sleek look and curved back of the device take your eyes off the plastic edges that comes as an addition, and rather making them a positive touch than a negative, as they give the phone a cleaner aspect. The front panel houses a pair of speakers placed above and below the display, just like the HTC One has.
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is right there next to the One Mini in terms of appearance, as it also comes wrapped up in an aluminum body that gives it a premium look, especially if you’re going to consider the Dragontrail glass covering both the front and back panels of the device.
Both devices make use of soft keys on the bottom of the front panel to navigate throughout the phone’s screens, but while Sony stuck to the basics with the regular 3-button combination, HTC opted for the not-too common 2-button combination, separated by the brand logo between them.
The Z1 Compact comes with the IP55/IP58 certified water and dust protection, picked up from its larger variant.
The premium casings that come with the devices also have some flaws. Although they look great when you get the out of the box, you will soon find out just how slippery the One Mini is, and how print-attracting the Z1 Compact can be. The One Mini will most likely slip right out of your hand or off a surface if you’re not careful, while the Z1 Compact will retain all your fingerprints, and you will have the phone full of prints and smudges within minutes of opening the box.
The displays on both devices are very similar, as the One Mini houses a smaller screen than the regular HTC One due to the regular approach to “mini” phones, whereas Sony complied here because they couldn’t possible fit the regular sized screen in a smaller phone.
The HTC One Mini brings a 4.3 inch display that uses the Super LCD 2 technology at a 1280 x 720 resolution and a pixel density of 342 ppi. This screen will give you bright, sharp images that are accessible from a variety of angles.
Sony is using its X-Reality and Triluminous technology on the Z1 Compacts’s 4.3 inch TFT screen. The display features a 720p HD resolution, as Sony believes a display of this size doesn’t need a bigger resolution that that. You can expect contrast and natural colors from this device’s screen, although some feel like the overall image is a bit washed up.
For the processor, Sony added the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip with four cores, clocked at 2.2 GHz that you can find in the regular Xperia Z1. Other specs include the Adreno 330 GPU and 2 full GB of RAM.
The HTC One Mini, on the other hand, follows the standard “mini” directions and comes with a downgraded processor. The unit is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with Krait 300 architecture. The dual core chip is clocked at 1.4 GHz and uses 1 GB of RAM. For graphic support, there’s the Adreno 305 GPU.
Both devices come with 16 GB of included storage space for your files and data, but unlike the HTC One Mini, the Xperia Z1 Compact can boost that up to 64 GB by using a microSD card. On the multimedia side, there are pros and cons for both devices. For starters, the Z1 Compact might be more suitable for you if you want to use your phone a lot for music and movies, since you can use a microSD card to store all your files and not overload your phone’s internal memory. However, although that’s not possible with the One Mini, it comes with a feature that balances things off. I’m talking about the Beats by Dre for the BoomSound speakers on the front panel. This will make the device very loud, and the audio quality will be great.
Full standard connectivity options can be expected from both handsets, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, GPS, along with a few others.
Battery and Camera
The batteries are lower than what you would get out of the regular version of the devices. The Z1 Compact will give you 2300 mAh worth of juice, while the One Mini offers only 1800 mAh.
The camera manages to remain the same for the One Mini, as it features the same 4 ultrapixel configuration as its big brother. It comes with a lot of features, with LED flash and OIS among them.
However, it’s not enough when compared to the Z1 Compact’s 20.7 MP lens, capable of recording 1080p. The unit is an Exmore RS lens by Sony and it also comes with features such as LED flash, and also a BIONZ image processor. Both devices support Google’s Android Jelly Bean without a problem.
Both devices can be acquired from Amazon.com, where the One Mini is around $350, and the Z1 Compact will set you back about $400
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