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HTC One Mini 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: What’s the difference and which should I buy?

If you’re looking for premium smartphone goodness in a smaller package, then both the new HTC One Mini 2 and the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact have you covered.

HTC One Mini 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Design

The most obvious reason to throw these two handsets into the arena with each other is how they look. Both draw on premium materials and boast excellent build quality, but come with distinctly different styling.

The HTC favours metal – it’s got a gorgeous milled aluminium body that wraps around at the edges making it comfortable to hold and reassuringly solid. The front also features HTC’s distinctive BoomSound speakers, which can pump out decent audio quality with a little more depth than the Z1 Compact’s loudspeaker can muster at full volume. The trade off is that it makes for a pretty tall handset with the added bulk.

1M2 VS Z1C

The Z1 Compact is marginally smaller all round, featuring a more squared aesthetic. There’s a sturdy metal frame sandwiched between strengthened glass on the front and a scratch resistant back. What’s more the Z1 Compact is fully waterproofed, particularly impressive for such an attractive handset. The SIM, microSD and USB ports are all surrounded by rubber seals, so make sure they’re properly closed if you plan on taking yours for a dunk.

The One Mini 2 may look and sound better, but the accident-prone might want to side with the Z1 Compact in this instance.

HTC One Mini 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Screen

Both handsets rock a 720p HD display, the Z1 Compact’s is a little smaller at 4.3-inches (the One Mini 2 has a 4.5-inch panel), but that means pixel density is that little bit higher, making for a sharper image.

1m2 vs z1c

Despite great viewing angles, the Compact’s IPS panel loses out to the HTC One Mini 2’s Super LCD 2 tech, which is brighter and doles out more vivid colours too.

HTC One Mini 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Performance and battery

Perhaps the clearest difference between these two phones is what’s going on, on the inside. The HTC One Mini 2 serves up a slick user experience in Sense 6 on top of Android KitKat, handled by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM.

In real-world use it doesn’t seem any less responsive than the Z1 Compact. It’s happy pushing out 3D games and plays back HD movies too, but there are definite reasons why the more powerful hardware of the Compact might be more your style.

1m2 vs z1c side

Sony’s pint-sized powerhouse boasts a newer, more powerful, faster Snapdragon 800 chip and extra RAM to boot. It also serves up a smooth Sony user experience, but that extra grunt also means it’s future-proofed for intensive apps going forward, not to mention it helps power the crazy camera packed into the phone’s back.

Battery life is also a plus too. The Z1’s chip is more efficient and tied to a larger battery, so whilst the HTC will see you through a day on a charge, the Sony can last nearly almost twice as long thanks to its 2300mAh cell.

HTC One Mini 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Camera

Unlike the top HTC One (M8), the One Mini 2 adopts a more conventional 13-megapixel snapper, but despite the large size, it isn’t quite as impressive as it’s bigger brother, or the Sony. It’s a pretty well rounded camera with a nice range of editing tools too.

HTC high contrastHTC macroHTC low light

Sony high contrastSony macroSony low light

Grabbing shots in natural light, especially macro snaps, look really good, but low light breeds noise and image stability can be a little hit and miss. The Z1 Compact meanwhile packs the largest sensor of any Android smartphone right now at 20.7-megapixels and boasts some really unique camera modes including augmented reality shooting and unprecedented manual control for both stills and video.

HTC One Mini 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Verdict

The trick here is that Sony has snuck what is essentially a fully-fledged flagship phone into a market of mid-rangers. If you want the best in the business, then the Xperia Z1 Compact is still the one to beat, particularly with its powerful internals and killer camera experience.

1m2 vs z1c

The trade off is that for the added performance, you also get a bigger price tag. The HTC One Mini 2 is more affordable and will still serve you well for most of the things that you’d ask of the Sony. What’s more it’s better looking. We’d go for power over looks, but that’s just us.

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