Compact smartphones are a uncommon breed lately as corporations have a tendency to deal with massive shows since that is what’s in larger demand. Nevertheless, I nonetheless suppose there’s a marketplace for small telephones, or units just like the iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini would not exist. This bought me considering – what’s the finest compact smartphone within the Indian market at this time? Wanting round, we solely actually have two worthy contenders, the Apple iPhone 13 mini and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Each are flagship-equivalent choices from their respective corporations and though their goal audiences are a bit completely different, they meet the principle standards for at this time’s comparability completely. Another choices such because the Google Pixel 4a are additionally, technically, nice compact telephones however we’re searching for the very best, so our focus is just on flagship choices.
Pricing and variants
Most of us sometimes have a finances in thoughts earlier than we got down to purchase a brand new telephone. Curiously, the iPhone 13 mini and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 are equally priced in India. Neither is reasonable by any means, however then once more, excessive costs are to be anticipated in flagship territory. The iPhone 13 mini begins at Rs. 69,990 with 128GB of storage, and goes as much as Rs. 79,990 for 256GB and Rs. 99,990 for 512GB.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 then again is priced at Rs. 84,999 for the 128GB variant and Rs. 88,999 in order for you 256GB. You get 8GB of RAM throughout each variants of the Galaxy Z Flip 3, whereas the iPhone 13 mini has 4GB of RAM. On paper, the iPhone may seem like it is at an enormous drawback however it’s a must to keep in mind that the 2 telephones run on very completely different software program platforms, so the quantity of RAM will not be almost as essential on an iPhone as on an Android telephone.
When it comes to pure worth, the iPhone 13 mini takes the lead because it prices lower than the corresponding Galaxy Z Flip 3 variant. Apple additionally has a 512GB choice, which is good contemplating neither telephone has expandable storage. The iPhone 13 mini scores one other level for the number of colors it is out there in; 5 in complete, in comparison with simply two for the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Design and luxury
When it comes to sheer engineering prowess there is not any beating the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, but when I had been to guage each telephones purely on how small and compact they’re, then I might name it a tie. You may haven’t any hassle holding both the iPhone 13 mini or the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 in a shirt or trouser pocket. Each are very comfy to carry, and each are constructed with premium supplies akin to glass and aluminium.
The iPhone 13 mini is pretty slim, measuring 7.65mm in thickness and is extremely gentle at simply 140g. It is not as small because the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (when folded) but it surely’s sufficient to not be a trouble if you’re out and about.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is without doubt one of the most compact telephones in the marketplace at this time (the one different such design being the Motorola Razr 5G), at the least in its folded state, which is how you may be carrying it round. Whereas it’s shorter than the iPhone 13 mini by a superb margin, it’s twice as chunky when folded (as much as 17.1mm at its thickest finish) and noticeably heavier too at 183g. Its form does take some getting used to, however general I feel it is simply as transportable because the iPhone 13 mini, if no more so in some methods.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 pulls a simple win right here because of its massive 6.7-inch folding AMOLED show. This makes viewing and interacting with content material a bit bit simpler, particularly when you’ve got massive palms. One other ace up its sleeve is the 120Hz refresh fee, which provides a way of fluidity to scrolling and animations. Though that is the second technology of the Z Flip, the crease the place the show folds continues to be very seen at sure angles. You additionally get a secondary outer show for checking alerts, and many others.
The iPhone 13 mini’s 5.4-inch show does not fold, and it does not have a excessive refresh fee both, but it surely’s nonetheless certainly not dangerous. The dimensions undoubtedly takes some getting used to, particularly should you’re coming from a big-screen telephone, however the specs are nonetheless strong. It has a satisfyingly excessive brightness of 800nits, helps HDR playback, and has nice color accuracy plus Apple’s True Tone characteristic for computerized white steadiness adjustment. The notch does eat into the display area, and though Apple has diminished its width with this technology, it nonetheless appears huge on such a small display.
The iPhone 13 mini and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 each characteristic current-gen flagship SoCs. The previous makes use of Apple’s personal A15 Bionic whereas the latter makes use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. Each telephones help 5G and different quick wi-fi connectivity requirements that you simply’d anticipate in a 2021 flagship. You additionally get stereo audio system, wi-fi charging, dual-SIM help (bodily + eSIM) and biometric authentication for safety. There are some variations between the 2 telephones although, that are price noting.
The iPhone 13 mini has an IP68 ranking for mud and water resistance, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is just IPX8 rated. Whereas it is nonetheless spectacular to see a folding telephone that is secure from publicity to liquids to some extent, the very fact is that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will not be dust-proof so you may have to be cautious together with your utilization. One other distinction lies with safety. The iPhone 13 mini solely has face recognition, whereas the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will get that plus a fingerprint sensor within the energy button. The latter additionally has the power to wirelessly cost different Qi-compatible units like earphones and telephones, however you possibly can’t do that on the iPhone.
That is going to be subjective as everybody may have a distinct utilization fashion, so I am simply going to level out a number of the constructive and detrimental issues that I seen when utilizing each these telephones. I personally discovered the iPhone 13 mini loads much less anxious to reside with, primarily as a result of all my content material was readily accessible the second I took it out of my pocket, because of the usual candybar kind issue. It’d look dainty however the inner elements and the show are all properly protected towards the weather. The excessive brightness of the iPhone 13 mini’s show additionally made content material very legible even underneath direct daylight. What I loved most although is that I may simply work together with buttons wherever on the display, with only one hand.
The flipside to having such a compact telephone is, in fact, that not all interactions are simple to carry out. The keyboard feels very cramped for two-thumb typing, and that can be a much bigger problem when you’ve got massive fingers, though the ‘Slide to sort’ characteristic does ease a number of the ache. The video watching expertise is not pretty much as good as it’s on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 both, purely due to the smaller display and the notch. Lastly, unlocking the iPhone 13 mini is a chore when you’ve got a face masks on, as Face ID doesn’t work. You may circumvent this downside when you’ve got an Apple Watch paired with the telephone, however it could have been good to have had Contact ID within the energy button as a failsafe.
Shifting on to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, the bigger show makes watching video an infinitely higher expertise than on the iPhone 13 mini. Remember the fact that most movies may have thick black bars on both facet as a result of panel’s taller facet ratio. Samsung additionally provides a neat software program trick that it calls ‘Flex mode’ to reap the benefits of the folding show in a number of apps. Typing can also be a lot simpler, though nonetheless not as comfy as utilizing a telephone with a standard facet ratio. Lastly, I like that this telephone has face recognition in addition to a fingerprint sensor, which makes unlocking it a lot simpler when carrying a masks.
As cool because the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is to make use of, a few of its novelty options can rapidly turn out to be annoyances, the largest being the folding show itself. Whereas it is an excellent dialog starter, folding and unfolding the show turns into a chore fairly rapidly as it’s a must to open it to carry out any type of significant interplay. This would not have been so dangerous should you may flip it open with one hand or use the outer show for menial duties, however you possibly can’t do both. Though the outer show is bigger and extra responsive than the one on the first-gen Z Flip, it nonetheless lacks essential performance, and it is a misplaced alternative for Samsung, in my view.
It is also price noting that the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s show is not as legible underneath direct daylight because the iPhone 13 mini’s, and neither is it as properly protected. It’s good to be sure to do not apply any undue strain or let any sharp object close to this panel, because it may simply get broken.
The iPhone 13 mini and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 ship excellent efficiency as you’d anticipate from any flagship telephone. iOS 15 runs nice on the iPhone 13 mini, and though it lacks the 120Hz show refresh fee of the Galaxy Z Flip 3, it does not really feel sluggish or laggy in any respect. Video games run very properly, and even when enjoying taxing 3D video games, warmth is distributed properly alongside the steel physique so there are not any uncomfortable scorching spots when holding it. Contemplating its measurement, the audio system on the iPhone 13 mini sound excellent, with nice element and readability. In addition they get a lot louder than those on the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 handles One UI like a champ. In video games akin to Asphalt 9: Legends, the 120Hz show makes gameplay really feel smoother than on the iPhone 13 mini. Steady gaming does make the Galaxy Z Flip 3 run fairly scorching, however the warmth is contained throughout the prime half of the telephone, which will get a bit uncomfortable to carry after some time.
The iPhone 13 mini and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 each have extensive and ultra-wide cameras on the again, and a single selfie digital camera. After capturing stills and movies side-by-side with each telephones, I might put my cash on the iPhone’s cameras as a result of it captures higher element and extra pure colors in stills, and has much better stabilisation for movies than the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The ultra-wide cameras on each telephones are comparatively weak, particularly in low gentle. For selfies too, the iPhone 13 mini captures extra natural-looking pores and skin tones and higher particulars. Low-light selfie efficiency with Night time mode can also be fairly spectacular on the iPhone, and all of this works intuitively, which isn’t all the time the case with the Samsung.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 can seize some fairly gorgeous images too, and these look nice on the telephone’s show. Nevertheless, most of its images are inclined to have an overprocessed look with boosted colors. For those who’re into that fashion, you may want the output of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 over the iPhone 13 mini.
The iPhone 13 mini and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 each have smaller batteries than normal form-factor flagships, and understandably so. Apple and Samsung make related claims for the way lengthy every telephone ought to final on a single cost, however in actuality, the iPhone 13 mini simply outlasted the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in my testing. To make this a good comparability, I loaded related apps on each telephones, and every had an lively 4G SIM in it.
With each telephones’ batteries absolutely charged, I began with an hour of streaming video, adopted by half an hour of gaming (Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG: New State). This was adopted by some digital camera testing and one other hour of watching movies. I did take some breaks in between to permit the telephones to chill down after some actions like gaming, however background processes akin to Slack and Gmail had been working all through. After roughly 19 hours, of which the screens on each telephones had been on for about three and half hours, the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s battery was at 22 %, whereas the iPhone 13 mini’s battery was at a strong 45 %.
The smaller show on the iPhone 13 mini, in comparison with the Galaxy Z Flip 3, is certainly one of many causes it has such good battery life, which is why I feel Samsung ought to have gone with a better battery capability for the Z Flip 3 even when it could have meant making it barely thicker and heavier.
Each telephones are able to quick wired and wi-fi charging. The iPhone 13 mini helps as much as 15W wired charging and as much as 12W wi-fi charging should you use an accredited MagSafe charger. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 helps as much as 15W wired charging and as much as 10W wi-fi charging. You have to applicable adapters to attain these speeds as each telephones solely ship with a Kind-C cable within the field.
For those who’ve been following the comparability up to now and have not skipped on to the decision, you might need guessed which of those two telephones I am leaning in direction of. If I had to decide on one, I might go together with the iPhone 13 mini. It is tiny and rugged, and it has glorious efficiency, nice cameras, and superb battery life for a telephone its measurement. Plus, the truth that it is a bit extra inexpensive than the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a pleasant bonus. With the iPhone, you can even be assured of well timed software program updates which ought to hold issues recent for years to return.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a powerful contender too, and is a superb compact flagship in its personal proper. The novelty of folding it’s onerous to match, particularly if you see peoples’ reactions. Nevertheless for me, it is a little bit of a double-edged sword because it rapidly turns into a chore. Additionally, flipping it open or closed is a two-handed affair, which is the precise reverse of what I would like from a small telephone. The opposite kicker is the battery life, which even for my average every day use, falls brief.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 nonetheless provides one of the best flaunt worth, however the iPhone 13 mini simply makes higher sense as a every day driver. I am curious to know your ideas about this. Which of those two compact telephones would you choose?