8 of the best "mini" smartphones
Unlike the best compact smartphones, or the greatest handsets with screens under 5 inches, the devices that we're presenting below aren't necessarily compact. Even more, a few of them don't feature displays under 5 inches, despite the fact that all have the word mini in their names. Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 mini S
That's quite a long name for a mini smartphone, but we'll forgive Alcatel for this, because the Android-based OneTouch Idol 2 mini S is a looker that's partially made out of aluminum. It's not really impressive when it comes to specs, though, offering a 4.5-inch display with 540 x 960 pixels, LTE, 8 MP rear camera, 2 MP front-facing camera, quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of expandable internal memory. The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 mini S isn't available in the US, but you can find it in Europe for less than $200.
Huawei Ascend P7 mini
There's one very interesting fact about the Huawei Ascend P7 mini: it was announced a bit earlier than the regular Ascend P7. At 7.8 mm, the Ascend P7 mini is one of the thinnest mini handsets released until now. It, too, has a 4.5-inch display with 540 x 960 pixels, as well as LTE connectivity. But it's got some pluses over Alcatel's Idol 2 mini S, including a 5 MP front-facing camera, and a Snapdragon 400 processor. You can buy an unlocked Ascend P7 mini from Amazon for $220.
HTC One mini 2
Here's another mini smartphone that sports a 4.5-inch display. However, this one offers a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution, which partially explains its higher price. Launched last year, a few months after the HTC One (M8), the One mini 2 features BoomSound speakers, a Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of expandable storage space. Also notable are its 5 MP front-facing camera and 13 MP rear camera. Just like its bigger brother, the One mini 2 has a unibody aluminum chassis. The handset can be bought for less than $400 unlocked.
Motorola Droid Mini
Motorola's Droid Mini was launched in the summer of 2013, being the oldest handset on this list. However, it remains a decent option - especially knowing that it's going to be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop in the near future. The Droid Mini features a 4.3-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixels, LTE, 10 MP rear camera, and a 2 MP front-facing camera. Powered by a dual-core 1.7 GHz Motorola X8 processor, the handset further offers 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of non-expandable internal memory. The Droid Mini is exclusively available at Verizon Wireless for free on contract, or for $349.99 off contract.
Oppo N1 Mini
This smartphone is called "mini" only because the original N1 is a huge, 5.9-inch device. At 148.4 x 72.2 x 9.2 mm, the Oppo N1 Mini - which sports a 5-inch 720p display - is taller than some handsets with screens larger than 5 inches, like the Galaxy S5 (142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm). Similar to the larger N1, the Oppo N1 Mini features a 13 MP rotating camera, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal memory. It's quite pricey if you want to buy it in the US: about $530.
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
The Galaxy S5 mini is the only water-resistant handset on our list. It's essentially a shrunken Galaxy S5, featuring a 4.5-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 400 or Exynos 3470 processor, 8 MP rear camera, 1.5 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal memory, and microSD card support. The handset costs around $360, unlocked.
ZTE Nubia 5S mini
Initially released in Asia, the ZTE Nubia 5S mini can be bought in the US from Amazon, being one of the few Nubia-branded smartphones available Stateside. This is another Snapdragon 400-powered handset with a 720p display (4.7 inches). Other features include a 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of expandable storage space. An unlocked Nubia 5S mini costs $260, and you can get it from Amazon.
ZTE Nubia Z7 mini
Another mini from ZTE? Well, yes, but this is a high-end smartphone, and it's a mini only if we compare it to the regular Z7 (which has a 5.5-inch screen). The Z7 mini is equipped with a 5-inch 1080p display, and is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor. The list of features also includes a 13 MP rear camera, 2 MP front-facing camera, 2 GB of RAM, microSD card support, and 16 GB of internal memory. Unfortunately, the Nubia Z7 mini seems to be available only in Asia.