Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2 comparison review

As usual HTC and Samsung have pumped out smaller and cheaper versions of their flagship smartphones. So here's our Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2 comparison review. Also see: The best smartphones 2014.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2: Price

Price, as ever, is important in any purchase and the HTC One mini 2 is the cheaper here available at the time of writing at around £320. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini will set you back £350 – a little less than the launch price of £389.

So the HTC is off to a good start but what you get for your money is key so read on to find out.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2: Design

Recent HTC phones have all been pretty tall and so the One mini 2 is a little bigger than the Galaxy S5 mini. It's also thicker and heavier at 10.6 mm and 137 g compared to 9.1 mm and 120 g. However, this isn't a massive difference and the One mini 2 wins hands-down in terms of look and feel.

The device, like the HTC One M8, has a premium brushed metal case, albeit with a small amount of plastic, which feels very premium and desirable. The Galaxy S5 mini on the other hand is fully plastic and doesn't feel particularly luxurious. On the plus side, it is dust- and water resistant with an IP67 rating like the Samsung Galaxy S5.

A small design element difference is that the HTC takes a nano-SIM while the Samsung uses the more familiar micro-SIM size. Read: What's the best HTC smartphone: HTC One mini 2 vs HTC One M8.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2: Screen

Typically, mini versions of flagship smartphones have 720p screens compared to 1080p Full HD and these two fit into that category. They also have the same screen size at 4.5in so they both have a pixel density of 326ppi – synonymous with the iPhone's Retina display.

So they're identical in this area apart from the fact that the HTC One mini 2 uses a Super LCD2 panel while Samsung uses is usual Super AMOLED. The latter has popping colours and excellent contrast however, some users may find it a little too much. HTC's screen is easier on the eye with a more natural look.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2: Processor and memory

The HTC One mini 2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 mini are similar in this area with similar quad-core processors. HTC uses a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 while Samsung uses its own 1.4 GHz Exynos 3 Quad 3470. The Galaxy S5 mini does have slightly more RAM at 1.5 GB compared to 1 GB, though.

Both phones benchmark with very similar results with the Galaxy S5 mini taking Geekbench 3 and Sunspider and the HTC One mini winning in GFXBench. However, in real-life we found the Galaxy S5 to be a little worse off as it displayed more lag when opening apps, mainly the camera and S Health, plus playing demanding games.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2: Storage

It's pretty much a tie on the storage front with 16 GB of internal capacity available not matter which device you opt for. However, if you're planning on using a memory card then it's worth noting that the HTC One mini 2 can accept up to 128 GB via its microSD card slot while the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is limited to half this.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2: Other hardware

Core specs are one thing but many consumers will expect additional features when buying a mid-range or high-end smartphone. On the whole mini versions like these two are lacking the headline perks of the full-size model, partly to make the device cheaper and partly to give you a reason to spend more on the flagship.

However, Samsung has retained many of the Galaxy S5's extra features on the mini version including the fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and IR blaster. The latter is something which is missing on the HTC One mini 2 compare to the M8 but it does have HTC's BoomSound front facing stereo speakers so it's not all bad news here.

Neither has 11ac Wi-Fi or wireless charging but you do get NFC and 4G LTE support. It's slightly strange that the Galaxy S5 mini doesn't support DLNA or MHL which the HTC One mini 2 does.

HTC One mini 2

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2: Cameras

The HTC One mini 2 has a higher resolution main camera at 13 Mp but we're disappointed with the results on both the photo and video front with a lack of detail when you look closely. They're perfectly fine for sharing with friends though and are no worse than what the Galaxy S5 mini offers with its decent 8 Mp camera. Both can shoot video in up to 1080 p at 30fps.

If you're into selfies then the HTC One mini 2 is more suited to your needs with a 5 Mp front camera compared to the Galaxy S5 mini's 2.1 Mp shooter.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2: Software

With both smartphones running Android 4.4 KitKat it might not seem like there's any difference here but since HTC and Samsung apply customised user interfaces, skins, overlays or whatever you want to call them there is a big difference.

We suggest you try out both to see which you prefer but overall we find HTC's Sense 6.0 to be more stylish and user friendly when compared to Samsung's TouchWiz. Some elements, such as the BlinkFeed news and social aggregator won't be for everyone but you can simply switch it off if it's not your cup of tea.

Samsung does have its advantages but whether or not they appeal to you is another matter. They include features such as S Health and Kids Mode.  

HTC One mini 2: Specs

  • 4.5 inch, HD 720p, 326 PPI
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, quad-core, 1.2GHz
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense 6.0, HTC BlinkFeed
  • 16GB internal storage
  • microSD (up to 128GB)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 3.5mm stereo audio jack
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX
  • dual-band Wi-Fi
  • A-GPS
  • micro-USB 2.0 port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL)
  • HTC BoomSound - Dual front stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
  • 13Mp rear camera with AF and LED flash
  • 5Mp front
  • Video recording up to 1080p
  • nano-SIM
  • Up to 4G LTE
  • 8Wh non-removable battery
  • 137 x 65 x 10.6mm
  • 137g
  • 4.5 inch, HD 720p, 326 PPI
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, quad-core, 1.2GHz
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense 6.0, HTC BlinkFeed
  • 16GB internal storage
  • microSD (up to 128GB)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 3.5mm stereo audio jack
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX
  • dual-band Wi-Fi
  • A-GPS
  • micro-USB 2.0 port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL)
  • HTC BoomSound - Dual front stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
  • 13Mp rear camera with AF and LED flash
  • 5Mp front
  • Video recording up to 1080p
  • nano-SIM
  • Up to 4G LTE
  • 8Wh non-removable battery
  • 137 x 65 x 10.6mm
  • 137g

OUR VERDICT

It's a close call here with two very similarly kitted out smartphones. However, the HTC One mini 2 pips it for us with its superior design, cheaper price tag and better software. We'd understand if you wanted to spend the extra for the Galaxy S5 mini's fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and IR blaster, though.

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