LG unveils the G2 mini, reminds us why we hate ‘mini’ smartphones

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LG isn’t waiting around for Mobile World Congress to kick off and has unveiled details on the G2 mini ahead of its formal launch next week. The Korean company is continuing the tradition of manufacturers fitting mid-range specs inside devices carrying the name of their larger, flagship counterparts, a tradition that was temporarily turned on its head with the release of Sony’s small-yet-powerful Sony Xperia Z1 Compact.

The G2 mini carries the same design as the G2’s, including the rear-mounted buttons that have apparently been positively received by consumers, but that’s where the similarities end. The display on the mini has been downgraded to a 4.7-inch IPS unit with a disappointing resolution of 540×960, a trait shared by Samsung’s Galaxy S4 mini from last year. Meanwhile, the processor is now either a quad-core Snapdragon 400 or an NVIDIA Tegra 4i, both of which are chipsets aimed at mid-range devices and can simply not match the processing might offered by the Snapdragon 800 on the G2.

Users will also get a lesser experience in other aspects – the rear camera is now only an 8-megapixel unit, and internal storage has been reduced to 8GB (though there’s a microSD slot for expansion.) There are a couple of saving graces, however. The G2 mini has LTE connectivity for fast internet speeds and runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with many of LG’s unique software features, which should help in making the device feel less dated than it actually is, even for a “mini” handset.

The LG G2 mini will make its way to markets in March starting with Russia and neighboring countries, followed by a launch in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. Pricing info hasn’t been revealed, but with handsets like the Moto G offering quite the premium experience at almost dirt-cheap prices, LG will have to be pretty sensible if it intends to move a respectable amount of units off store shelves.

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