One of the biggest match ups right now in the smartphone world is the one between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, the two 2013 flagships that launched within weeks of each other. There is, of course, another Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One battle brewing, only this one is between two smaller devices, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the rumored HTC M4, also known as the HTC One Mini.
Last year, Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S3, its flagship model that supported it all the way up until April of this year when it released the Samsung Galaxy S4 unto the world. What many people might not know is that the company also released a smaller version of the Galaxy S3 dubbed the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini which arrived to compliment the Galaxy S3 with a cheaper price tag.
The device caught on on several carriers around the globe, including T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular where the device arrived under two different names, Galaxy Exhibit and Galaxy Axiom. While the device didn’t see the type of success that the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note series did, it apparently did well enough to warrant another go-round.
In April, the Samsung Galaxy S4 arrived to great fanfare. Most recently, the device emerged for Verizon’s massive 4G LTE network, completing the major carrier launches in the U.S. Verizon’s Galaxy S4 wasn’t the only Galaxy S4 to arrive recently though. No, Samsung also announced the heavily rumored Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, a smaller version of its Galaxy S4.
While much of the Galaxy S4 Mini is now public knowledge, there are still a few things that Samsung has left to the imagination, specifically pricing, release date and carriers.
So while it may be official, it’s still a bit of a mystery, just like its rumored competitor, the HTC M4, a device that is thought to be called the HTC One Mini.
These two devices, as we’ve mentioned, are on a collision course that while maybe not as big as the larger devices, is a collision course nonetheless. Here, we take a look at the latest and most important information that has surfaced in regards to the upcoming match up of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini.
Release Date Rumors Point to Summer
Despite issuing a press release, Samsung has refused to disclose a release date for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. That leaves it in a similar boat as the HTC One Mini. That said, both of these phones should arrive to battle sometime this summer.
In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, we expect that Samsung failed to mention a release date so that it had something to promote at its June 20th event in the United Kingdom. What would be the point of the event if there wasn’t something to announce? So perhaps, the release date will emerge that day when Samsung finally shows off the device in the flesh.
Previous rumors suggested that the device would emerge for real in the month of July so it’s entirely possible that we’ll see a July release date announced in late June.
The HTC One isn’t official yet though rumors point to the device as launching in late June or July with a release possibly coming in August, a bit behind the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. No date is mentioned but considering that the device just leaked out in the flesh for the first time today, its looks like HTC is getting closer to a date.
Consumers interested in these devices should know that they will likely be out this summer but it could be a bit of a wait.
No One Said They Were Going to Be Free
When consumers think Mini, they probably think that these devices are going to be extremely inexpensive. Indeed, they will likely be cheaper than their larger counterparts but they’re not going to be free.
As we’ve seen with the initial pricing of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, it’s probably going to be about half the price of the larger Samsung Galaxy S4. That likely means a price somewhere in the vicinity of $99 on-contract. For a smartphone with some of the software of the Galaxy S4, a capable processor, what appears to be a solid camera, and Android 4.2, that’s a decent price. Whether it resonates with consumers or if that price sticks is impossible to say.
It’s possible that it could arrive for less, say $50 on-contract, but at this point, there is nothing that says it will be cheap. And if the Galaxy S4 Mini isn’t cheap, the HTC One Mini likely won’t be cheap either. It has a better display and better build quality than the Galaxy S4 Mini and it’s possible that it will have an Ultrapixel camera sensor on board as well.
So while the HTC One Mini may be smaller, its price tag may not be as small as some people might think. Something to know ahead of its eventual arrival on shelves.
Display Difference is Major
One of the biggest things that consumers will want to know is that the two devices very likely will have a major difference when it comes to their displays. The screen sizes are going to be the same with the HTC One Mini said to have a 4.3-inch display and the Galaxy S4 Mini officially having a 4.3-inch display. However, in terms of resolution, there will be a big difference.
While the Galaxy S4 has a display sporting qHD resolution, something that the phones of 2011 had, the HTC One Mini looks like it will have a higher resolution 720p display.
For those that consume a lot of content on their phone, whether it’s through the web, through the Google Play Store or so on, the resolution is really going to make a difference.
It’s not official yet since the HTC One Mini isn’t official but those who are interested in the devices will need to start thinking about how this difference could play into daily usage.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is going to come with an 8MP rear camera which likely will be on par with the Galaxy S3’s 8MP sensor. The device isn’t official yet but that’s an educated guess. That means that it likely won’t be as good as the camera found on the Galaxy S4 and perhaps, not on the HTC One Mini either.
Rumors suggest the HTC One Mini will have the same 4MP Ultrapixel camera that’s found on the HTC One. While it has a low mega-pixel count number, the sensor can take in quite a bit of light thanks to the pixels being larger, something that makes for better looking photos, particularly in low-light areas. There is no telling how well the Galaxy S4 Mini sensor will perform but if it’s anything like the Galaxy S3 sensor, it will likely suffer when lighting isn’t good.
Throw in the fact that the HTC One Mini will likely have Sense 5, which means it should have the heralded HTC Zoe camera function, and it’s looking like the HTC One Mini could have a distinct advantage in the camera department as well.
It’s too early to draw a conclusion but based on the information at hand, HTC seems to be going for broke.
Finally, consumers should know that neither device has an official carrier as of yet. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is official but thus far, no carrier has confirmed it for arrival. Rumors do suggest that AT&T will be one of the carriers in the United States, likely supporting it on its 4G LTE network, but so far that’s all that has emerged.
The HTC One Mini remains even more mysterious. Rumors suggest that, at the very least, Verizon won’t have it at launch though that doesn’t rule out other carriers. An international version has been mentioned so it could be that the device only becomes available unlocked. That of course would mean a steep up front price tag.
At any rate, consumers should know that neither of these devices seems destined for a launch on a wide swath of carriers in the United States and more likely, will arrive on just a handful. In the world of smartphones, choice is king, and unfortunately there likely won’t be a lot of choice when it comes to the Galaxy S4 Mini and HTC One Mini.