The LG G2 mini is unlike any ‘mini’ phone we’ve seen so far first and foremost because of its size. While 2013’s minis featured 4” displays and yesteryear’s minis featured 4.3-inch screens, the G2 mini takes the ‘mini’ design to a new height with its large, 4.7-inch display.
Except for its not so miniature size, the G2 mini looks almost exactly like LG’s original G2 that came before it. Is the G2 mini just a smaller sized G2, or are there other compromises involved? We compared to the two right at MWC 2014, so let’s take a look.
Design-wise, the LG G2 mini has not changed much from the G2. In fact, save for the fact that the ‘mini’ is made out of matte plastic and the G2 is made out of glossy plastic, they are pretty much identical. Both feature the volume and lock buttons on their back, and both use on-screen buttons. This frees up more space for the screen up front that occupies a huge part of the G2 Mini and G2.
While the G2 mini has larger than the usual for ‘mini’ smartphones display, it measures merely 66mm wide and is still surprisingly compact and fitted for single-handed use.
The newest feature of the G2 mini is its not so miniature 4.7” display. The sheer difference in size between the 5.2” LG G2 and the G2 mini is really not that big, but fire up the screen and the difference becomes way more obvious. The G2 mini sports a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels (qHD) versus the much sharper, 1080 x 1920-pixel display on the G2. The lower resolution means that tiny text is harder to make out on the G2 mini and you could notice a slight pixelization in icons.
The LG G2 mini ships with the latest Android 4.4 KitKat, while the G2 is yet to get updated to KitKat. In reality, though, the interfaces on both devices look the same thanks to the Optimus UI custom Android skin used on both. Essentially, the G2 mini has the same colorful cartoony look and all the custom LG applications on board.
LG has just recently announced a few new features to its skin, though, that have not yet made it onto the LG G2. KnockCode is the most prominent one. An evolution over LG G2's KnockOn, it allows you to not just double tap on the screen to wake it up, but also blind-draw a pattern code to unlock the phone.
Processor and memory
While the LG G2 launched as a flagship featuring only top-shelf silicon like the Snapdragon 800 system chip, the LG G2 mini is a much less powerful smartphone. You could argue that’s because of the lower resolution, but fact remains that the G2 mini is sub-par when compared to the G2.
The ‘mini’ comes with either a 1.7GHz or a 1.2GHz quad-core system chip, depending on the market. Our first impressions are that it runs fairly smoothly, without any visible slowdown in operation.
We already said that the LG G2 mini will ship in different versions depending on the market, and those will also come with different camera modules. The first version sports a 13-megapixel shooter, while the second one comes with a lower-res, 8MP camera. Unlike the larger LG G2, the ‘mini’ does not support optical image stabilization.
We don’t have further details about the image quality just yet, but it seems logical to think that with all else downgraded, the G2 mini will not be able to match G2’s great image quality.
The LG G2 mini is a device that is a clear downgrade from the G2. It packs a much less sharper display, less powerful processor, and does not support optical image stabilization in the camera. Yet all this will without a doubt be reflected in a lower price. Question is - how much lower? We don’t yet know the answer to this question, and it will be key for the success of the G2 mini.
What we can say is that the G2 mini does manage to be a pretty miniature and compact handset, while having a not so mini display. If you value this over the latest cutting-edge specs, the G2 mini - if priced right - should not disappoint.
LG G2 mini vs LG G2: first look
LG G2 mini vs LG G2: first look