Requires a lot from the S4 and packages it nicely – in addition to the technology up to speed doesn’t disappoint, although the CPU might judder sometimes.
Scaled down S4 design
Not full HD
No notification light
Awkward microSD port
It’s hard to say the Samsung Galaxy selection of smartphones without mentioning the sheer selection of devices that it covers, from the best end powerhouses including the Samsung Galaxy S4, completely to the wallet-friendly Samsung Galaxy Fame.
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The Samsung Galaxy S4 might not exactly be proving as popular as the Korean firm had hoped, yet that hasn’t stopped it extending the S4 range, equipping it with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and small Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini being reviewed here.
Being the infant of the S4 range, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini manages to slide in at a comparatively reasonable price point, according to where you look. SIM-free offerings have already been viewed as low as £360 (around AU$595), and you could get it free of charge on UK contracts starting at £21 monthly if you’re ready to quit having oodles of data.
This puts the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini right against the more developed Nokia Lumia 820, Sony Xperia SP, and the ageing, yet incredibly popular Samsung Galaxy S3. But its main competitor may be the HTC One Mini, the cut-down version of the world’s best smartphone.
However, it appears that as with the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini, the South Korean brand has sliced its handset down from the full-fat Galaxy S4 a lot more than its Taiwanese rival – that could make clear why it’s slightly cheaper to get at the moment.
We’re also left just a little confused by the necessity for a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, possibly something due to just how that Samsung’s family members rival, based out in Cupertino, handles things.
Apple hasn’t, up to now, released a lesser powered version of its flagship handset, instead counting on sales of a previous iteration, but rumours of an iPhone 5C, offered by a lesser cost, keep wandering around. This begs the question, does Samsung need the Galaxy S4 Mini, when it already gets the Galaxy S3?
This is a thing that we shall have a look at, but looked at totally alone, a dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz in conjunction with 1.5GB of RAM definitely sets the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini off to a decent start. A 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD display adorns the facial skin of the S4 Mini.
It is additionally vital to remember that the Mini name is approximately so far as Mini goes. The 4.3-inch screen is bigger than that of the iPhone 5, and the complete handset measures in with a smaller yet deeper frame compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4, at 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94mm (4.9 x 2.4 x 0.4 inches).
The plastic chassis is more fitting to a handset of the pricing and keeps the weight low of them costing only 107g (3.8oz).
Size of phones is a hot topic, with many persons feeling that modern flagships, and the rise of phablets, are simply too big. We were revealing the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini to friends, and one avid iPhone user commented that it had been a far nicer size compared to the S4, and a whole lot better to use, especially one-handed.
We’re not likely to dedicate a whole section to the screen in this review, like we did on the Samsung Galaxy S4 review. That isn’t to state that the screen is a letdown, because it’s leagues above the Galaxy S3 Mini screen.
There’s no super-fancy-super-charged-hover-over-the-screen tech involved like there is in the entire Samsung Galaxy S4, however the 960 x 540 resolution, without HD, is bright, clear and crisp.
That said, we discovered that we could actually operate the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with a set of gloves on, which gets it a thumbs up.
Behind that screen and the plastic frame sits all of the bells and whistles that you may expect, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC, 4G (confirmed for the united kingdom, with 3G variants in other markets) and an infra-red blaster. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini can be a TV remote.
Design-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini obviously follows in the footsteps of the larger Samsung Galaxy S4, and every Galaxy phone in recent memory. The massive screen occupies a lot of the front real estate, a sizable home button adorning the bottom, and the trunk and menu soft keys sitting either side.
The thinner bezel is vaguely similar to the iPad mini, then one that people thought was spectacular on both aforementioned Apple device and the Galaxy S4.
Long gone will be the days where phones and tablets had similar designs, square with chunky black bezels, with the curvier edges and almost edge to edge display making the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini feel just like a premium device.
Colour-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini comes offering the now standard black and white, with a metallic band wrapping around the edge of the frame. It really is something we’ve seen on other models, and it offers the S4 Mini a far more premium feel.
The plastic back wraps around the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, and just like the S4 and other Galaxy models, is removable. We were very disappointed with the trunk plate, however. There is pretty a lot of surrender the plastic, because of this of the thinness to keep carefully the depth and weight of the telephone down.
Saved is 1900mAh worth of battery, which again is removable. For strong users, this might end up being a bonus, since it means secondary batteries could be swapped easily. In every, we’re not overly fussed given how cheap lightweight USB charging packs are.
The microSD card is hidden behind the trunk cover as well, in another of the most awkward spots we’ve seen. It is not only hidden behind the battery (so not hot-swappable), it is also very fiddly to place the card in.
It certainly is been a staple of the Galaxy diet, but considering that Samsung devices have much media slant, it is rather important that the 8GB (around 5GB after putting the Android Jelly Bean OS at the top) is supported with up to 64GB external storage.
In conditions of photography, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini obviously doesn’t come near the prowess of the Galaxy S4 Zoom that was announced alongside the Mini and the Galaxy S4 Active.
That’s not to state that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is without that department, because it includes a 1.9MP front-facing snapper for all those pouty profile pictures, and an 8MP sensor on the trunk. The trunk sensor also posseses an LED flash, for improved nighttime photography.