LG recently announced the G2 Mini and we had a chance to check it out up close and personal at Mobile World Congress. We also compared it to the G2 — while the two phones look similar, they are also very different. LG told TechnoBuffalo that the main focus of the G2 Mini was the mid-range market and that it didn’t see the demand to simply create a smaller version of the G2. Sony did the exact opposite, of course, cramming high-end specs into its Z1 and the smaller Z1 compact.

The G2 mini has a textured back panel, instead of the glossy back you find on the G2. Its 4.7-inch display takes up just about the same amount of space as the screen on the G2 does, meaning the bezel size about the same as well. Also, it has the volume and power controls on the back, a feature first introduced on the original G2. The display quality is indeed lower, with a 960 x 540-pixel resolution, but that’s in an effort to keep the price down for the mid-range market that LG is targeting. Additionally, you’ll find either a Tegra 4i processor in it (for Latin America) or a 3G/4G Qualcomm processor. Depending on the market, the G2 Mini also ships with an 8-megapixel or 13-megapixel camera, the latter similar to the G2 though without OIS.

We love the size of the G2 Mini, but we love that LG adds Android 4.4 KitKat and all of the other software features found in the high-end G2, including QSlide and QuickMemo. You’ll find that it supports LG’s new Knock Code technology as did the G2, which lets you tap different parts of the screen to unlock the phone (it seems to work well) and a Guest Mode option so you can lend the device to your kids without worrying too much.

The G2 Mini is definitely a compelling device, but it’s not the “high end” smartphone some had hoped it would be. That was never LG’s intention, however. So far there aren’t any plans to launch the phone in the U.S., at least public ones, but we’ll let you know if that changes. For now, enjoy the hands-on video and the gallery.

LG G2 Mini vs. LG G2 Hands-On Comparison Gallery