The HTC One Mini 2 and the Galaxy S5 Mini arrive even as the Android platform was thought to have left four inch screens in the rear view. The flagship phones from vendors like Samsung, HTC and Motorola are each at or near five inches. But even as Apple ponders upsizing its next iPhone to better compete in the marketplace, is the Android market suddenly downsizing?
The short answer is no, for the moment at least. These new “Mini” phones, while more powerful than some previous iterations like the Galaxy S4 Mini, still come up too short in the hardware specs department to be considered viable alternatives to the five inch flagship phones, for anyone but the most casual of users. But an uptick in sales of four inch Android phones would be a sign to vendors that they may be making their flagship phones a little too big.
A head to head comparison between the new HTC One M8 and the HTC One Mini 2 reveals that, aside from the fact that they both have names which read like license plates, there’s no comparison. The M8 is one of the most powerful pieces of Android hardware ever constructed; the Mini 2 has specs like something out of a bargain bin. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Mini doesn’t fare much better against the default Galaxy S5. But one has to wonder if these vendors are missing out on a market they’ve gradually stopped catering to.
The iPhone, despite not coming in a model bigger than four inches, still sells phenomenally well. Android vendors can point to the phenomenal sales of their five inch phones as evidence that they’ve guessed right when it comes to size. But the collective insistence on offering four inch phones that are cripples on the part of Android vendors continues to be puzzling. Isn’t there room in the market for a powerful Galaxy S5 and a powerful Galaxy S5 Mini?