I’ve been using an iPhone as my primary mobile device since I stepped away from my HTC Fuze (Touch Pro) several years back. In the time since, I’ve had two iPhone’s, the 3GS and now the 4S. (Can you tell, I’m not often an early adopter?) Both devices have performed up to my expectations, neither needed to be rebooted often, I can make calls, receive texts, and most importantly, I am able to access the web and run apps at my leisure. Very infrequently have I had major complaints with either of these devices and while I’ve been keeping an eye on the releases of Android Devices, I hadn’t really spent much time with them.
That all changed a few weeks ago when I got my hands on Motorola’s Android Mini. It’s one of the smaller Droid’s on the market, but its size, weight and screen size make for a very easy transition from using an iPhone. By having a similar form factor, there was no transitional discomfort to deal with when sliding it in and out of my pants pockets. There are often times that I carry both devices simultaneously, one in each pocket, and I barely notice they’re there. That is attributed to just how light the Droid Mini is, with a 10gram difference, I had to be careful not to smack myself in the face while making a call, a-la Dwight Shrute.
The Mini’s screen is in a word, spectacular. I didn’t really notice just how impressive it was until I ran the Madden 25 app on both devices. While the iPhone felt cramped while attempting to control the players, everything was easy on the Droid and I rarely felt that my fingers were getting in the way of the action. That’s an experience I have missed out on by using the iPhone. Other features, such as how the Droid Mini turn’s on its screen when it feels vibrations, fluidly moving notification screen, and the shake-to-camera option, are all executed quite well and help make the device intuitively easy to use on day one. Also, even though it weighs less, the Droid Mini doesn’t instill the fear and worry I have of dropping and shattering my iPhone 4S. While the back is plastic, it never feels as though it’s going to slip out of my hand or slide off my desk, which is handy since it’s where I spend most of my time.
I did and still do however, still have an issue with the location of the volume buttons on the side of the Droid Mini. I understand why they aren’t in the same place as the iPhone’s. I also think that the Mini has their volume buttons in a far easier to reach location than they are on the iPhone, but I’ve become so accustomed to sliding my fingers to the top left of the iPhone’s screen, that I often find myself squeezing on non-existent buttons when using the Mini.
While many of the similarities between the iPhone and the Droid Mini make for an easy transition from iOS to Android, some of the similarities between the two have made me feel like I’m missing out on some things that are inherently attributed to Android. The fact that the device is sealed like the iPhone and, prevents you from being able to access the battery makes the Mini seem inferior to the larger Droids. Also, the lack of expandable storage is a slight to everyone. The Mini only comes with 16GB of storage space, my 4S has 64GB, there’s no way I’m transferring my music library to it. Yeah, yeah, Google Play is the answer I keep hearing, but not everyone has an unlimited data plan.
All in all, my first impression of the Motorola Droid Mini is that it’s a fine device. The OS is stable, the hardware performs exceptionally, and if you’re coming from an iPhone 4S or earlier, you’ll have few difficulties getting used to the Droid Mini. Just as long as you realize and accept that you won’t be receiving the full Android experience. The bigger screen will make navigation, games and browsing easier and more pleasant, and the 2GB or RAM will surprise you with how quickly apps respond. However, at the time of this writing, I don’t see the Droid Mini doing too well in the market. While it is comparable to the older iPhones, the hardware just doesn’t match up to the price. I’d get this for a teenager or as a free/cheap upgrade, but as of the time of writing this, I wouldn’t recommend purchasing this as a stand-alone.
|Motorola Droid Mini||iPhone 4S|
|Size||2.41(H) x 4.77(W) x 0.35(D) inches
61.3mm(H) x 121.25mm(W) x 8.9mm(D)
|4.5(H) x 2.31(W) x 0.37(D) inches
115.2mm(H) x 58.6mm(W) x 9.3mm(D)
|Processor||Dual-core 1.7 GHz Krait||Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9|
|Memory||2GB DDR RAM||512 MB RAM|
|Storage||16GB storage||8/16/32/64 GB|
|OS||Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean||iOS 6-7|
|Weight||130g – 4.58oz||140g – 4.94oz|
|Connectivity||WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100, CDMA 800/1900, GSM 850/900/1800/1900, LTE Band 04/13, HSDPA 42.2 Mbps (Category 14), HSUPA 5.76 Mbps, CDMA EV-DO Release A, GPRS Class 12||UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz)
|Camera||Rear: 10MP, 1080p HD video (30 fps)
Front: 2 MP
|Rear: 8MP, 1080p HD video (30 fps)
|Wifi||802.11 b/g/n||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Price||$399.99 No Contract||$249.99 No Contract|