The HTC One Mini 2 has the top cameras and videography in our shootout, but Galaxy S5 Mini wins with its fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, and water and dust resistance.

Samsung’s just announced its Galaxy S5 Mini, a smaller version of its Galaxy S5 that’ll go on sale in just two weeks. The HTC One Mini 2 has been out for a few weeks, so it’s already had a debut that the Galaxy S5 Mini is waiting for.

With these two “mini” smartphones, we want to compare the specs to see which smartphone should be your mini smartphone of choice if you’re thinking about picking one of these up soon. Keep in mind, however, that the HTC One Mini 2 is already available, while the Galaxy S5 isn’t yet ready for consumer purchase. If you’re the nervous type who can’t stand to wait, you’ll likely pick up the HTC One Mini 2. With that said, depending on what the spec war reveals, you may want to wait a little longer before parting ways with your dollars.

Now, on we go.

Display

The Galaxy S5 Mini features a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED display with an HD resolution of 1280 x 720p. The HTC One Mini 2 has a 4.5-inch, liquid crystal display (LCD) with an HD resolution of 1280 x 720p. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini provides 1080p video recording, just like HTC One Mini 2.

Samsung does’ve a Super AMOLED display in the S5 Mini as opposed to the LCD screen of the HTC One Mini 2, so it seems as though both phones have something that makes them stand out. In the end, screen preference may prevail, but we’re giving the edge to Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Mini due to its bright display that’ll make colors pop. Also, LCDs tend to require a backlight to power the display, which further drains battery. AMOLED screens don’t need a backlight since the screens themselves are light-emitting. Finally, Samsung’s videography has been rated at the top of the Android market currently, and we’ve no doubt that the 1080p video recording of the Galaxy S5 Mini will likely suffice for most individuals.

Processor and Battery

The HTC One Mini 2 features a 1.2Ghz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, whereas the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini features a 1.4Ghz quad-core Exynos 3470 SoC. Qualcomm Snapdragon processors have proven to be reliable, but Samsung’s Exynos processor has also proven to be a formidable quad-core processor. Samsung’s Exynos processor in the Galaxy S5 Mini is clocked slightly higher, but the difference in performance will prove to be miniscule in terms of speed.

Speed is one thing, but overall performance is another. HTC wanted to keep the HTC One Mini 2 affordable with a Snapdragon 400 processor, but the 400 processor is now about three or four years old. It is the same processor (and the same clocked speed) that Motorola has placed into the Moto G experience. While it’s likely that apps may indeed open faster on the HTC One Mini 2 than the Galaxy S5 Mini (the Moto G apps opened faster than the Galaxy S5 in recent tests), Samsung’s Exynos processor is younger than the Snapdragon 400.

With that said, however, there’ve been reports that Samsung’s Exynos quad-core processor doesn’t run as fast as its newer Exynos 5 Octa-core processor, for example. With Samsung’s software additions, as cherished as they are among Samsung fans, the processor tends to run slower because it must work harder to process the software operations when you use Air View or Air Gesture, for example. The HTC One Mini 2, however, doesn’t come with Samsung’s software innovations and matches Sony in its similarity to a vanilla Android experience. With fewer software additions, it’s likely that the Snapdragon 400 will outpace the Galaxy S5 Mini.

The processor category should be given to the Galaxy S5 Mini for its newer processor with a higher clocked speed. For those who’ll choose the HTC One Mini 2, you must ask yourselves whether or not you want software additions in your experience. If you want software additions, the HTC One Mini 2 – for all its fast speed – won’t be an option for you.

Battery

The Galaxy S5 Mini has a 2,100mAh battery, while the HTC One Mini 2 has a 2,100mAh battery. In the battery category, however, you’d think that both the HTC One Mini 2 and the Galaxy S5 Mini tie with equal battery life.

However, this isn’t the case. We don’t know if the HTC One Mini 2 comes with the Extreme Battery Mode that’s present on the HTC One M8, but we know that Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Mini will come with both 1) Power Saving Mode and 2) Ultra Power Saving Mode. We’ve reviewed the Galaxy S5 and noted the usefulness of these two battery saving modes; at the same time, however, it’s been said that, even without them, the Galaxy S5 can provide up to 27 hours of average usage. The Galaxy S5 Mini has a smaller battery than the original Galaxy S5 (2,100mAh vs. 3,200mAh, respectively), so it’s unlikely to get 27 hours of moderate usage on a single charge. Still, the Power Saving and Ultra Power Saving modes should allow you to get not only additional hours, but extra days of juice on a single charge.

HTC’s battery saver has its effectiveness in conserving battery life, but Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving Mode puts the user in control of how he or she chooses to conserve his or her battery life. HTC’s battery saver mode works like LG’s battery optimizations on the G3; unfortunately, you’ve to depend on HTC and LG to know what’s best for your battery.

Samsung allows you to select the applications you want to use and allows you to power down (not just with a gray screen mode) the applications you’re not using and don’t need. The result is that you’re able to power down the light coming from the screen and background applications. HTC and LG’s devices will allow you to save battery life, but they don’t provide a gray scale mode, and they don’t allow you to power down the backlight that’s helping illuminate the display.

In the end, our tests with the Galaxy S5 hold out hope that the Galaxy S5 Mini, though matching the HTC One Mini 2’s battery life, will more than win in the area of battery life.

Memory

The HTC One Mini 2 has 16GB of internal memory storage (and 1GB of RAM) with a microSD card slot that provides an additional 128GB of memory storage. In the other corner, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini also has 16GBs of onboard memory storage (and 1.5GB of RAM) with 64GB memory microSD card slot for expansion. The Galaxy S5 Mini will provide slightly more multitasking to be accomplished, but we wouldn’t worry too much about the differences in random access memory. Both devices will feature 16GBs of storage and allow you to expand your memory with the purchase of a microSD card.

In the category of memory, then, we’re giving the win to Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Mini – even if it doesn’t defeat the HTC One Mini 2 by much of a margin.

Cameras

The HTC One Mini 2 features HTC’s classic 5MP front-facing camera (found on the HTC One M8) as well as a 13MP rear-facing camera. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini, on the other hand, comes with a 2.1MP front-facing camera and an 8MP rear-facing camera.

HTC’s 5MP “selfie” camera leads the way this year in top cameras, and the HD experience is second to none for those who never get enough of taking self portraits. Samsung’s front-facing camera could use some improvement here, seeing that the company is notorious for plastering a 2.1MP front-facing camera on all its devices within the last two years (at least). We’d love to see Samsung do something more with its front-facing camera. If the latest rumors come true, Samsung’ll place a 3.7MP camera on the front of its upcoming Galaxy Note 4. Hopefully, the 3.7MP camera will arrive on the Galaxy S6 next Spring.

galaxy-s5-mini-vs-htc-one-mini-2

As for the rear-facing camera, HTC’s 13MP on the One Mini 2 defeats the Galaxy S5 Mini’s 8MP camera in terms of specs. In terms of performance, however, HTC’s 13MP camera (without UltraPixel technology) performs worse than the overexposed 4UMP camera does on the HTC One M8 – which doesn’t provide much hope in this contest in which we’d expect the HTC One Mini 2’s back camera to beat out Samsung’s 8MP experience. At the same time, however, neither camera has optical image stabilization (OIS), so both cameras are likely to experience noise on some level.

Even with photo noise and motion blur, we’ll give the edge to Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Mini for its back camera. Samsung knows how to make good cameras, and the Galaxy S5’s Mini couldn’t do any worse than HTC’s 13MP camera that’s been stripped of all its top photography technology. Looking at specs alone, however, the HTC One Mini 2 wins this category with both cameras beating out the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini in terms of megapixel count.

Dimensions

We’ve compared a number of features between the HTC One Mini 2 and the Galaxy S5 Mini, but at the end of the day, consumers also want to know how the devices will feel in hand. The HTC One Mini 2 has dimensions of 137.43 x 65.04 x 10.6mm and weighs 137 grams. In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini has dimensions of 131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1mm and weighs 120 grams. The Galaxy S5 Mini is thinner than the HTC One Mini 2 (9.1 vs. 10.6mm) and lighter (120 grams vs. 137 grams).

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 wins the day here in terms of being thinner and lighter than the HTC One Mini 2. While thinness and lightness don’t necessarily a better smartphone make, some consumers devoted to ergonomics and aesthetics find thin and light comparisons to be worth their salt.

Conclusion

Which smartphone is the one for you: the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini or the HTC One Mini 2? While we can’t decide for you, we can tell you that the Galaxy S5 Mini and HTC One Mini 2 have the same-size displays, battery life (with the exception of battery saving modes), memory storage and microSD card slots, quad-core processors, and run Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. The HTC One Mini 2 edges out the Galaxy S5 Mini with its 5MP front camera, 13MP back camera, and 1080p video recording. Does this give the HTC One Mini 2 the win?

Not exactly. Just when you think Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Mini takes the “L,” it comes back with water and dust resistance. Some critics have said that HTC smartphones can float in the water for some time, but they don’t come with the same IP67 certified water and dust protection rating that you’ll find on the Galaxy S5 Mini. Samsung also has a heart rate monitor and fingerprint scanner; these will prove effective for those who want a more protected web browsing experience and care about fitness and how to integrate their smartphone into their daily workout schedule.

In the final analysis, we’ve to give the win to the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini. It not only protects consumer web data and personal accounts, but also aids in fitness and durability. The Galaxy S5 Mini, like the original Galaxy S5, is too much of a “life companion” to fall before HTC’s valiant effort.

Key Specifications:

Phone Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini HTC One Mini 2
Display 4.5” HD (720 x 1280) Super AMOLED 4.5 inch, HD720
Processor Quad Core 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1.2 GHz quad-core
OS Android 4.4 (KitKat) Android with HTC Sense
Memory 1.5 GB RAM + 16GB Internal memory
microSD Slot (up to 64 GB)
1 GB RAM+ 16 GB Internal memory
microSD Slot (up to 128 GB)
Micro SD support Yes Yes
Size 131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1mm, 120g 137.43 x 65.04 x 10.6 mm, 137 g
Cameras Rear: 8.0 MP,
Front: 2.1MP
Rear: 13MP, Front: 5MP
Video Recording FHD@30fps FHD@30fps
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, NFC (LTE ver. only), Bluetooth v4.0 LE, USB 2.0, A-GPS + GLONASS, IR Remote 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, NFC1,
Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX enabled, Wifi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz),
DLNA for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer,
HTC Connec
micro-USB 2.0 port
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital compass, Gyro, Proximity, Hall, Ambient light,
Fingerprint, Heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer
Battery 2100 mAh 2100 mAh
Water and dust resistance IP67 Dust and Water Resistant No

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