Best mini smartphones: the top 5 to choose

That's just a bit too steep for the HTC One Mini 2 to claim the top spot in this list, but it does allow for a lower price point to be reached.

2. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony's first entry in this list makes a bold stand against the perception that a compact handset should come with cut down specifications. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact shares the same quad-core Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU with the Xperia Z1.

Sony has cut back in some areas. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact's 4.3-inch display has a 720 x 1,280 resolution with a 342ppi pixel density, a step down from the Xperia Z1's full high-definition 1,080 x 1,920 resolution and 441ppi pixel density - but it's still sharper than the iPhone 6.

The lower resolution screen benefits the Xperia Z1 Compact, with the GPU not having to work so hard in graphically intensive games. Crucially, you don't feel like you're missing out by choosing the Z1 Compact over the Z1, and Sony is one of the few brands to truly offer this functionality.

1. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the best mini variant on the market today, with Sony showing the competition that you don't need to cut too many features to make a smaller version of your flagship phone.

The specifications of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact are remarkably close to those of the Sony Xperia Z3. They share the same 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor along with an Adreno 330 GPU and very good 20.7MP camera.

However, like the Z1 Compact the screen resolution is dropped to 720p, despite the raise in size to a 4.6-inch display (that said, to not increase the footprint of the whole phone is really an impressive feat of engineering in only a few months).

Even the compromises that have been made (such as 2GB of RAM in the Z3 compact versus 3GB in the Z3, and the smaller screen and resolution of the Z3 Compact) don't prevent the Z3 Compact from being an excellent smartphone in its own right.

It can comfortably go toe-to-toe with not only its bigger version, but also most flagship smartphones, and Sony has done all this while keeping a much lower price point than most - the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is head and shoulders ahead of the rest as the best mini smartphone around.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.