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Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs. HTC One Mini: What to Expect

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Later this year, both Samsung and HTC are thought to be releasing smaller versions of their two respective flagships, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. Currently, the devices are known as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini or HTC M4 and here, we take a look at what consumers should expect from the match up between these two “miniature” devices.

Last year, in the months after its Samsung Galaxy S3 launch, which took place in May, the company introduced a smaller version of its flagship device, dubbed the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, a device that mimicked the Galaxy S3 from a design standpoint, featured similar software but had lesser hardware and was of course, smaller than the flagship.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 next to what is evidently the Galaxy S4 Mini.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 next to what is evidently the Galaxy S4 Mini.

Samsung-Galaxy-S4-mini-431x5752

The device went on sale in several markets around the world as an alternative to some of the cheaper Android phones that we’ve seen flood the market in recent years. Samsung clearly hoped to capitalize on the Galaxy S3 name that resonated with consumers around the world. Oddly, the device launched under different names in the United States, but it still was a cheaper alternative to the flagship.

The Galaxy S3 had enough success to provoke Samsung into building another Galaxy S smartphone which arrived just a few days ago in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S4. And apparently, the Galaxy S3 Mini did so well that Samsung is planning another mini version of its flagship, a device currently dubbed the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

This is thought to be the HTC One Mini or HTC M4.

This is thought to be the HTC One Mini or HTC M4.

The Galaxy S4 Mini has been rumored for many weeks now and Samsung has confirmed its arrival for some point after the Galaxy S4. And while it appeared not to have any big name rivals, today, we learned that HTC might be following Samsung’s lead with a smaller version of its new flagship, the HTC One.

Last year’s HTC One X did not have a mini version but it appears that HTC is prepping a smaller HTC One Mini, currently called the HTC M4, which is thought to be coming some time later this year to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

Both devices remain in the shadows, but we still have enough to compare them and see what consumers should expect from this likely clash between the HTC One Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

Summer Release Dates

The Galaxy S4 Mini will likely arrive this summer.

The Galaxy S4 Mini will likely arrive this summer.

While HTC and Samsung remain light on the details in regards to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC M4/HTC One Mini, several reliable sources have chimed in with information about their upcoming releases.

In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, we’ve heard that device will be making its way to shelves in July. No specific date has been mentioned but one report put the release date somewhere between the days of July 15th and July 21st. Samsung has not confirmed that timing so it must be taken with a grain of salt.

Given the sources, we imagine that it will arrive at some point this summer, a few months after the Samsung Galaxy S4 touches down across the globe.

Rumor has it, the HTC One Mini will arrive sometime in the second quarter with the reliable @evleaks pegging it for an arrival in the late second quarter. The second quarter spans from April until June which means that a June release date is a possibility.

We imagine that HTC will want to give the HTC One release some space which it can do by releasing it in June or perhaps, even later in the summer. In any event, we expect both of these phones to collide head on with release dates within a few weeks of each other, kind of like the battle between the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Not Android 5.0/4.3

While these phones might carry the brand names of HTC’s and Samsung’s flagship devices, they are not flagship devices, and won’t get flagship treatment, especially when it comes to their stock software.

There is no way that HTC or Samsung would trump the current models when it comes to stock software so don’t expect either the HTC One Mini to be rocking Android 4.3 or Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, its version is uncertain, when they arrive. Especially since the HTC One is still on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the previous version.

In fact, both devices are currently pegged as having Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, something that seems to point to an HTC One Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update happening before the second quarter is over. Again, it would be extremely odd to see the Mini version of a flagship trump the flagship in any way.

Slower Updates for Both

Again, neither of these handsets will be a flagship handset. It’s also probable that neither will be as widely adopted as their larger counterparts. Both of these things will contribute to a much slower update pace for owners which means slower bug fix updates and slower major Android releases.

Don't believe the latest rumor that Android 5.0 is delayed.

These phones will be slower than their larger counterparts to big Android updates.

As we’ve pointed out numerous times, companies like Samsung and HTC, in combination with carriers, typically update the big name devices, the ones with the most users, before they turn their attention to the smaller, less adopted devices.

This doesn’t mean that the HTC One Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini won’t get support or see longevity, it just means that owners of the larger versions should get their updates in a more expedient manner.

U.S. Carriers

Expect U.S. carriers to have these devices on hand.

Expect U.S. carriers to have these devices on hand.

Despite only hearing one carrier rumor in regards to a U.S. release, we fully expect both the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini to arrive in the United States.

Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini touched down on T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular and we expect either them, or other smaller carriers looking to make a bit of a splash, to offer the Galaxy S4 Mini at some point. Someone in the U.S. will opt to carry this device.

As for the HTC One Mini, it’s a little more certain. For one, @evleaks says it will be coming to AT&T. That doesn’t mean it’s confirmed, but it does mean there is a good chance of it happening. We tend to believe him for this reason.

Last year, HTC launched the HTC One series which included not only the HTC One X but also the mid-range HTC One S and HTC One V. This year, it only has announced the HTC One so the HTC One Mini is a great addition to a 2013 lineup that is void of much choice.

Plastic vs. Metal

From the looks of things, both companies will be mirroring the designs of the larger devices. That means that when they arrive on shelves, the Galaxy S4 should be made of plastic and the HTC One Mini should be made of metal. This of course means more than just a difference in material, it likely means that consumers are going to have to make some sacrifices.

The unibody metal design of the HTC One means that it comes without a removable back and without a microSD card slot. That means that owners can remove the battery and that they can’t expand beyond the internal storage. It does however mean that they have an extremely good looking design, one of the best in existence.

The HTC One and iPhone 5 are both made of aluminum and glass, leaving plastic to the competition.

The HTC One Mini will evidently feature a metal design. The Galaxy S4 Mini? Plastic.

The plastic design of the Samsung Galaxy S4 means that it does come with a removable back and microSD card slot, two things that should be on board the Galaxy S4 Mini. Those luxuries come at the expense of a cheaper feeling design.

This is likely how HTC will position its HTC M4/One Mini against the Galaxy S4 Mini and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it become its biggest selling point.

Cheaper Prices

We still aren’t sure how much carriers or retailers will be charging for the miniature versions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 but there is one thing that consumers can expect, the prices will be cheaper.

Carriers in the U.S. that offered last year’s Galaxy S3 Mini offered it for $99 on-contract, a steep price for a phone of its caliber, but still, the price was less than the $199.99 starting price of the Galaxy S3.

That could wind up being the starting price of both the HTC One Mini and the Galaxy S4 Mini though we could also see one or both of them venture into the $150 arena.

No Delays

The Galaxy S4 and HTC One faced delays. These likely won't.

The Galaxy S4 and HTC One faced delays. These likely won’t.

Finally, consumers should expect the devices to be released without the delays that hampered the launches of both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One in the U.S.

HTC will likely have ironed out its manufacturing issues completely by the time it arrives and Samsung will likely not face the same type of demand for the Galaxy S4 Mini as it saw with the Galaxy S4.

We expect both of these devices to go on sale without any issues which means that once a date is given, both should be up for sale and available on that date.

20 Comments

  1. G-Banga

    05/01/2013 at 6:19 pm

    HTC IS A BETTER QUALITY PHONE OVERALL SHAME HOW PEOPLE FALL FOR SAMSUNGS MARKETING SCHEMES MOST OF THE S4′s FEATURES ARE A GIMMICK & WILL NEVER BE USED ENJOY YOUR PLASTIC S3 OH YEA SORRY ITS CALLED A S4 NOW LOL’

    • Fact

      05/02/2013 at 4:02 am

      The S4 is significantly more powerful aside from all the beneficial features such as the pedometer and S Health. Blinkfeed is a gimmick (one that you can’t turn off). The S4′s features can all be managed. Good luck settling with second best.

      • G-Banga

        05/02/2013 at 5:32 am

        Fact you obviously no nothing & are a samsung fanboy did you see the pro’s & cons of the S4? second best you say? One if the cons of the S4 is that it has terrible call quality & is laggy & noisy as hell do your research it is a phone after all right? So why would u buy a phone for its features while it fails to deliver what a phones supposed to do such as provide good call quality & not lag as the S4 does do your research & you will learn a thing or two The HTC ONE comes out on top end of story.

        • jonagenius

          05/02/2013 at 7:40 am

          Why would you lie because you’re HTC funboy? Samsungs call quality is the best among the Iphone and HTC one. If truly you tested it, then I’ll presume u have ear problem. Samsung galaxy S4′s picture quality is the best in well lighten areas, however, very bad in insufficient lighten areas among the Iphone and HTC one. Iphone 5 is also the best in low light areas. Somehow the HTC one performs well in low light areas. Learner, the features of Samsung galaxy supersedes the HTC one a million times.

          • G-Banga

            05/02/2013 at 4:43 pm

            It’s just one of many of the cons of the S4 is that its call quality is poor your probably burning @ the fact that the truth hurts & you have the device & no this or your another paid student on SAMSUNGS payroll to make them look good anyone can see the advantages & disadvantages of the S4 & no I’m not a HTC fanboy I’m just telling it how it is i would of got the S4 if it actually performed as a phone with crisp call quality judging by your name your far from a genius tech experts agree the S4 is just a modified S3 & they threw everything at it but forgot about the phone itself it burns doesn’t it you seem really passionate but oh no truth hurts its to late u bought one & have to defend what u have samsung fanboy i have none but tested both & if i was too upgrade from my iphone it wouldn’t be the S4 Homie!

  2. jonagenius

    05/01/2013 at 6:48 pm

    Hmmmmmmmm. Some folks are getting over excited about their sentiments. Whether, Samsung produces ‘gimmicky’ phones or ‘mimics’, it’s all depends on the choice of the consumer. Any short-sighted person will only consider the design of a phone without much reasonable assessment. Undoubtedly, Samsung galaxy s4 is the latest and best innovation ever made in history. The phone serves the purpose for all walks of life. I think some people detest innovations and would like to stick to their old fashion way of life. Hmmmmm ……….. It’s ridiculous!

  3. G-Banga

    05/01/2013 at 7:11 pm

    Totally agree with you on it being the consumers choice the S3 oh sorry s4 isn’t a bad phone but in my opinion its still a s3 with a few more features & as stated previously most of the features on the s4 are pointless they are marketing the phone based on features but who has the better screen? HTC-which phone has better sound quality both for music & call quality HTC-what phone is better built HTC-i have tested both these phones & like them both but HTC is the better phone both have decent photo quality with HTC winning the round again with true real colors & better low light pics the s4′s pic quality is good but over saturated unrealistic photos down side for HTC is there is no micro sd input don’t care if it doesn’t have a removable battery neither does my iphone but all in all still tossing up between the HTC & The S4 for my upgrade both are great but both are different surprisingly the s4 does have lag as reported while there was no lag experienced with the HTC hover feat on the s4 is useful & i think its great other gimmicky features tested & they actually struggle to work like the eye recognition scroll pause crap along with other pointless unusable features both devices batt life are neck & neck but don’t expect great batt life on either device thanks for reading.

    • cg

      05/01/2013 at 7:50 pm

      Please use punctuation. S4 > HTC. I have both.

  4. G-Banga

    05/01/2013 at 7:59 pm

    You used a full stop without beginning a new sentence & added another full stop next to it?maybe you should learn what punctuation is you do-gooder I’m not writing a book if you can read then that’s all the ability you need to understand my comments thank you for your input.

    • jonagenius

      05/02/2013 at 5:31 pm

      I totally understand your point of view. Truth is like a mirror, it reflects what it sees that’s why humans hate it by Shakespeare. However you’ve clearly, but not truthfully stated the cons of the Samsung galaxy S4. Though the screen isn’t sensitive as the Iphone 5, the internal memory isn’t up to the specified capacity, its big single speaker can’t be compared to the HTC one two speakers in terms of sound quality , however, its removable battery, its 4.2 Jelly Bean, its call and recording quality and other reliable features surpass the HTC one and Iphone 5. In a nutshell, the HTC one, Samsung galaxy s4, and the Iphone have their various pros and cons. That is the truth and fact that you must come to understand. This is a medium many people look up to. It’s better to avoid any form of misconception. I agree I’m a Samsung galaxy fanboy, but I wouldn’t deny the fact to mislead people on my sentiment.

      • G-Banga

        05/02/2013 at 5:44 pm

        Humble mature comment agreed, both have pros & cons of there own just saying when it cones to a phone as a whole the HTC One has better call quality & external sound both have great screens but HTC has a higher ppi & is not as dim as the S4 if your buying a phone strictly for features then the S4 is the one for you.

  5. Sam

    05/01/2013 at 9:38 pm

    Why would you get a fingerprint catching piece of plastic when you can get a brushed piece of aluminum.

    • Fact

      05/02/2013 at 4:04 am

      If material thats going to get covered in a case any determines you missing out on the best phone on the market (S4), then so be it.

      • G-Banga

        05/02/2013 at 5:39 am

        This weezel Fact says the S4 is the best (phone) on the market everyone do a quick search by tech experts about the poor call quality your best phone on the market provides? I personally have tested both phones i like the S4 maybe as a tablet i can play around with & let my kids have a laugh but if you want a good phone with good features smooth lag free & excellent call quality cause after all it is a phone go for the HTC ONE GAME SET MATCH the only Fact is that Fact talks rubbish & i can smell his shit from here good luck people.

  6. laurel

    05/04/2013 at 7:31 am

    galaxy note ii-iii > than your phone! I believe I have settled this argument rationally and logically to the satisfaction of all.

  7. G-Banga

    05/04/2013 at 7:37 am

    Being wrong doesn’t settle anyone’s satisfaction take a walk Laurel make me a sandwich will you cheers.

  8. jonagenius

    05/04/2013 at 12:09 pm

    I think some people haven’t learnt the best way of life. Hmmmmm, the Samsung galaxy S4 is the best. I can easily replace a dead battery with a charged one, I can also add a memory card(SD card) to 64GB, I can just hover and I pick a call, I can easily and reliably scroll anythinh readable with my eye while reading, I can transact business reliably with the approved Knox in Samsung galaxy S4 which other latest phones with the exception of BlackBerry can perform, I can equally simultaneously snap, video, open browsers ooooooh, what else do I need to do again with my Samsung galaxy S4. Folks, don’t allow the scam guy say any other latest phone is the best for now apart from the Samsung galaxy S4. If u doubt, let me be informed.

  9. G-Banga

    05/04/2013 at 5:41 pm

    I just got a free S4 to stop talking sweet thanks all.

  10. G-Banga

    05/06/2013 at 6:03 am

    Enough said all the tech experts worldwide say the HTC One has taken the number 1 spot you petty bastards can talk all you want every expert review has put HTC at the top sorry samsung fanboys maybe next year, ignorant idiots proof is on every phone website worldwide not 1 expert chose the S4 over the one that’s why the S4 will remain second best have a nice day & if you wanna talk it up take it up with the experts cause some of you will just defend the phone u got not seeing the bigger picture sure the S4 is a good phone but its not a great phone that’s why it’s a runner up!!!

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