Battle of the Benjamins: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs. Droid Mini, HTC One Mini, iPhone 5C

It's a $100 handset showdown -- CNET stacks Samsung's GS4 Mini with Motorola, HTC, and Apple's own mid-range versions of their flagships.

Although you can't deny the popularity of flagship handsets, manufacturers aren't shying away from offering devices that are just one notch down from their highest tiered smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, for instance, recently landed on Verizon and Sprint (with plans to reach AT&T and U.S. Cellular customers soon). It costs $99.99 on contract, though with temporary rebates and deals, Sprint is offering it for free to new customers only. The device features many of the things users love about the Galaxy S4, but in a smaller, slightly less powerful package.

Likewise, Motorola released a mid-range version of its Droid Maxx, known as the Droid Mini, and HTC retained the One's stylish construction for its Mini variant as well, but lowered its price, along with a few key specs. Lastly, back in September, Apple unveiled the iPhone 5C, which was the company's first foray into providing a cheaper alternative to its flagship iPhone that's also current at the same time.

All these handsets cost about $100 with a carrier agreement, so to see how they compare with one another, check out our chart below. Then you tell us -- when it comes to dominating the beta phone realm, what do you prefer?

Editors' note: This piece was originally published on September 11, 2013 and included the Nokia Lumia 520. The device has since been replaced with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.
Samsung Galaxy S4 MiniMotorola Droid MiniHTC One MiniApple iPhone 5C
Dimensions4.91 x 2.41 x 0.35 inches; 3.77 oz.4.81 x 2.41 x 0.34 inches; 4.59 oz.5.2 x 2.5 x 0.36 inches; 4.52 oz.4.9 x 2.33 x 0.35 inches; 4.65 oz.
Display4.3-inch QHD sAMOLED; 540x960 pixels4.3-inch HD; 1,280x720 pixels4.3-inch HD; 720p; 340ppi4-inch Retina Display; 1,136x640 pixels; 326 ppi
Operating systemAndroid 4.2.2Android 4.2Android 4.2.2iOS 7
4G LTEYesYesYesYes
Wi-Fi802.11 a/b/g/n802.11 a/b/g/n802.11 a/b/g/n802.11 a/b/g/n
NFCYesYesNoNo
Bluetoothv4.0v4.0v4.0v4.0
Rear camera and recording8-megapixel; 1080p HD video10-megapixel; 1080p HD video4-UltraPixel; 1080p HD video8-megapixel; 1080p HD video
Front-facing camera1.9-megapixel; 720p HD video2-megapixel1.6-megapixel; 720p HD video1.2-megapixel; 720p video
Processor1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon 4001.7GHz dual-core Motorola X8 system1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400Proprietary A6 (32-bit)
Capacity16GB16GB16GB16GB and 32GB
Expandable memoryUp to 64GBNoNoNo
Battery life1,900mAh removable: 12 hours talk time; 12.5 days standby time2,000mAh embedded: 28 hours usage time, 14 days standby time1,800mAh embedded: 21 hours talk time; 21 days standby timeEmbedded: 10 hours talk time; 10 days standby time
CarriersVerizon and Sprint; AT&T and U.S. Cellular coming soonVerizonAT&TAT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and global
Pricing$99.99; $399.99 off contract$99.99; $449.99 off contract$99.99; $429.99 off contract$99 for 16GB; $199 for 32GB; $549 for 16GB off contract
Available colorsBlack and whiteBlackSilver and blackBlue, green, pink, yellow, white

Credit: Lynn La/CNET

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