LG scales back on size and specs for the G2 Mini

Ahead of Mobile World Congress, LG has unveiled a new variant of its flagship G2 smartphone – the LG G2 Mini (via GSMinfo.nl). The G2 Mini scales the 5.2-inch original down slightly to 4.7-inches, but makes a lot of compromises in the process.
When I reviewed the LG G2 back in September, I noted that it was the fastest phone I had tested at that point, with a beautiful screen and a solid camera. I wasn’t a fan of the rear button placement or LG’s Android(s goog) software modifications, but I’ve read reader comments about the handset, and it’s clear that plenty of people are. To make a successful ‘mini’ version of that device, all LG had to do was reduce the size by an inch or so – and leave pretty much everything else alone. That is not what LG did.
The G2 Mini measures 4.7 inches, which is still pretty big in my book. I think 4.5 inches would’ve been closer to ideal, but that’s not really what I take issue with here.
The biggest problem is that the screen resolution has been reduced to 960 X 540, which is a sharp decrease from 1080p (the budget-priced Moto G, by comparison, features a 720p display). The processor is a significant step down as well, from a quad-core Qualcomm(s qcom) Snapdragon 800 chip in the G2, to either a quad-core Snapdragon 400 or Nvidia(s nvda) Tegra 4i chip. RAM has been reduced to 1GB and the camera to 8MP.

LG G2 rear button

The G2 mini has the same rear button controls as the original LG G2, pictured here

This technique of scaling down of specs for a smaller smartphone isn’t a big surprise. HTC and Samsung have both done the same thing with the One Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini, respectively. But it’s a trend I think needs to come to an end. Just because someone can’t quite wrap their hands around a 5-inch flagship doesn’t mean they don’t want a nice screen or lots of power.
On the plus side, the phone will ship running Android 4.4 KitKat, and its removable 2,440mAh battery should provide plenty of power given the reduced screen size and resolution. The rear buttons are also still intact for everyone that likes them. There’s no word on pricing or when the phone will reach the U.S., but LG will begin rolling it out in March in Russia, followed by Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Given the specs, I’m guessing this will be a lower-priced device. And that’s fine – I just don’t think it should be named after a flagship.