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Motorola DROID Mini Review

Motorola DROID Mini

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Motorola DROID Mini Review
This is a small review of the Motorola DROID Mini, as it shares many of the same features that are on the DROID Ultra, which you can read about here.

Introduction


Just as the Motorola DROID Ultra is this year’s replacement for the DROID RAZR HD, the new DROID Mini takes the place of the DROID RAZR M in the line-up. In fact, both the DROID Mini and DROID Ultra share similar features, such as the 1.7GHz Motorola X8 SoC, 10MP Clear Pixel camera, and Kevlar construction. With the Mini, all is coming in a smaller package for those not looking for a massive smartphone.

Included in the retail package is the Motorola DROID Mini XT1030, wall charger with microUSB cable, and user guides.


Design


As the name implies, the Motorola DROID Mini is a smaller version of the DROID Ultra. In fact, it is almost the same size and weight as the DROID RAZR M, which makes it quite compact and comfortable to hold. Even though the DROID Mini is slightly thicker than the DROID Ultra, this doesn’t take away from the overall appearance.

The Motorola DROID Mini is quite compact and comfortable to hold - Motorola DROID Mini Review
The Motorola DROID Mini is quite compact and comfortable to hold - Motorola DROID Mini Review
The Motorola DROID Mini is quite compact and comfortable to hold - Motorola DROID Mini Review


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Both the DROID Mini and DROID Ultra share the same Kevlar construction, allowing for it to be tough and durable, but at the same time we’re not a fan of the glossy backing that is a fingerprint magnet. We believe a better choice would have been the soft-touch coating, which is used on the DROID MAXX.

Front - Motorola DROID Mini Review
Capacitive control buttons - Motorola DROID Mini Review
Front camera - Motorola DROID Mini Review

Front

Capacitive control buttons

Front camera


Motorola has decided to bring back the dedicated capacitive control buttons (back, home, and recent apps) under the display, instead of using the on-screen buttons. Most likely this was done to make better use of the screen real-estate, while above it is a 2MP camera for self pics or video chatting. On the right edge of the phone is the power/lock key and volume rocker, which are raised-up and have a nice texture to them so they are easy to find. Up on top is a 3.5mm headset jack, with the microUSB port on the bottom, and the camera with LED flash and external speaker on the back. If you are wondering about the SIM card slot, it is actually part of the volume rocker. All you need to do is get your finger nail (or a small pin) under the center part, push up and pull out. This is an interesting way to make use of all available space, instead of having a separate SIM slot.

Right side - The sides of the Motorola DROID Mini - Motorola DROID Mini Review
Top - The sides of the Motorola DROID Mini - Motorola DROID Mini Review
Left - The sides of the Motorola DROID Mini - Motorola DROID Mini Review

Right side

Top

Left

Bottom - The sides of the Motorola DROID Mini - Motorola DROID Mini Review
Back - The sides of the Motorola DROID Mini - Motorola DROID Mini Review
Rear camera - The sides of the Motorola DROID Mini - Motorola DROID Mini Review

Bottom

Back

Rear camera




Display


Even though the DROID Ultra received a larger display this year, the DROID Mini remains at 4.3”, though instead of using Super AMOLED technology, the DROID Mini is sporting an LCD display with a resolution of 720x1280 pixels. When looking at the DROID Mini next to the DROID Ultra, the Super AMOLED on the Ultra does have more “pop” to it, but the LCD on the Mini still looks great. In fact, due to the higher pixels-per-inch, both text and images look a bit sharper on the DROID Mini. The only downside is that DROID Mini’s LCD screen doesn’t have as wide of viewing angles, and is not as bright and visible when viewed in heavy sunlight.

Also on board is the Active Display notification feature, which we’ve seen on the Moto X and DROID Ultra. Basically what it does it allows you to nudge the phone, and only the center of the display will turn on showing the date and time. Then if you get any notifications, such as a new message or a missed call, only that part of the display will turn on. This way, the device will conserve power since it does not have to turn on the entire display.

Motorola DROID Mini 360-Degrees View:



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Motorola DROID Mini

Motorola DROID Mini

OS: Android 4.4.4 4.4 4.2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
Display4.3 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (342 ppi) LCD
Camera10 megapixels
Hardware
Motorola X8, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
2 GB RAM
Size4.77 x 2.41 x 0.35 inches
(121.25 x 61.3 x 8.9 mm)
4.59 oz  (130 g)

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