Latest 'mini' phones that offer users the max
WHAT do most of the latest smartphones have in common? They're all over five inches in size. For workaholics who rely on their phones for email, messaging and web browsing, this is great.
But there are plenty nonplussed by giganto-phones, with many simply wanting their handsets to be the preserve of light online usage when necessary, but only when necessary.
This is where 'mini' smartphones come in. They're styled in the same way as the full-size models but are smaller (though many are now 4.5 inches in size, which is about 15 per cent bigger than existing iPhones). Here are four 'mini' phones on the Irish market.
HTC One mini 2
This stupidly named handset is one of the nicest looking phones around. Its unibody metallic styling is the kind of thing you'd expect Apple to come up with if they were restyling the iPhone from scratch.
While its 4.5-inch display stretches the definition of the word 'mini', it's a nice bright screen that handles beautifully. Its processor and memory power (1GB) are weaker than its sibling anchor handset, the One M8. Nevertheless, it won't struggle to do the everyday stuff that most businessfolk look for.
For leisure time, the One mini 2 leaves out the bigger model's 'ultrapixel' camera in favour of a more conventional 13-megapixel snapper.
Samsung S4 mini
Samsung will probably launch a Galaxy S5 mini (even if that is not what it is called) in coming weeks. But in the meantime, its official high-end 'mini' handset carries the S4 tag.
Anyone who is familiar with the Galaxy handsets will instantly know their way around this phone, which skimps a little on specifications (dual-core chip, 1GB of Ram and 8GB of internal memory) compared with some rivals, but is priced very competitively.
One advantage to the S4 mini is that there are more accessories available for it than for other 'mini' smartphones. It is also 4G compatible.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
While Sony has moved on to its Xperia Z2, its 4.3-inch Z1 Compact remains a really decent mid-size phone with more power in it than most of its 'mini' rivals. This means a quadcore processor, 4G compatibility and 2GB of Ram, backed up by 16GB of internal storage and room for more via a memory card slot. It also includes its big brother's 21-megapixel camera, which is the best on the market.
It's also a little more nicely styled than either the Z1 or the Z2, with rounded-off edges instead of the angular style.
Apple iPhone 4S
For those who just want the same thing they've always been used to, Apple continues to offer its diminutive 3.5-inch iPhone 4S on the Irish market.
While it's getting a little long in the tooth, the 4S can do 90 per cent of what an iPhone 5 is capable of for up to €500 cheaper.
While weak points include a so-so battery life and lack of 4G, its pluses are an app ecosystem second to none and continuity with post-BlackBerry corporate systems that, in Ireland, are increasingly based around the iPhone more than any other smartphone system.
Sunday Indo Business