AndroidPIT got their hands on the Galaxy S4 mini. The Galaxy family just keeps on growing with other S4 versions like Zoom, Active, Google Edition and LTE-A. The S4 mini was made to give people something cheaper that still has almost the exact same look and feel as the flagship, the Galaxy S4. But will this new mini-me appeal to the masses? So far, our opinion is this: it's small and still costs an arm and a leg. Here we've made a hands-on video where we also took the Galaxy S4 mini to the streets to ask people which one they would buy: the Galaxy S4 or its mini-me version. The article below provides similar information which is slightly more in depth at your disposal as well.
In the UK, the S4 mini, which rolled out into stores on July 2nd , costs 350 pounds, the equivalent of 527 US dollars or 400 Euros. The S4 will cost British residents 435 pounds, equivalent to 656 US dollars/ 500 Euros. On the other side of the ocean in the US, the S4 costs 612 US dollars, while the S4 mini isn't available yet.
Here we have a typical Samsung smartphone: from the hardware buttons placed right under the display, to the chrome border, to the slightly embossed camera lens on the back side. The same goes for the ports and keys, which are all in their usual spots. The power button is easy to reach on the right side with either hand and it's the same story for the speaker controls. You can see its sleek, tight-looking craftsmanship and lack of rattling pieces. Again, Samsung went with the typical polycarbonate chassis which is susceptible to fingerprints and isn't to everyone's taste. The black version looks sort of like a disco ball with its shiny silver texture. Nonetheless, it has a good feel when held thanks to its slightly rounded back.
Samsung decorated its S4 mini with a super AMOLED 4.3-inch screen with resolution of 960x540 which actually isn't that much. Though this isn't noticeable for the most part, small text does look slightly grainy. At an angle, it still has great contrast and colors. In direct sunlight, the display was quite dark as expected.
The Galaxy S4 mini comes right off the shelf with Android 4.2.2 as well as Samsung's trademark TouchWiz user interface. One of the upsides of TouchWiz is the huge laundry list of software features that it brings to the table, like gestures and voice control. The Galaxy S4 mini has quite a few of these but are missing some too, like Air View and Smart Scroll. The quick settings are also present like in the S4 which can be attained via the notifications bar.
Processor and Performance
The S4 mini comes with a dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor from Qualcomm which ticks at 1.7 GHz, the same as many high-end smartphones like the HTC One and the Sony Xperia Z which have a quad-core processor. Playing games worked like a charm, like in our video with Real Racing 3. We only noticed a few lags when scrolling through the pages in the app drawer. But overall, the S4 mini worked quite smoothly, though not at lightning speeds like we are used to with the S4.
The S4 mini finds itself in the league of high-end smartphones with an 8 MP camera, however the picture quality wasn't that great. That being said, it does offer a whack load of camera features like the S4, such as Sound&Shot, Night Mode and Best Face as well as the usual Panorama and HDR modes. But again, the results weren’t that impressive. I would rather buy a cheaper S3 which has a great camera than get this miniature S4 sibling.
The 1,900 MAh battery on the S4 mini is nothing to get too excited about, but for a 4.3-inch phone with a dual-core processor, it’s more than sufficient to get you through the day. The S4 in comparison has 2,600 mAh for a 5-inch display.
Which one to buy? That is the question!
The Galaxy S4 mini can't be classified as a cheap smartphone, especially with Chinese versions out there which are much cheaper and have similar technical specifications. This makes us question the price/performance ratio. If you’re looking for a deal, which Samsung is trying to convey with the S4 mini (and it may be just false-advertisement), you might just be able to get something out there that has more bang for your buck. For the price of the S4 mini, you'll get great hardware and an extensive list of software features eslewhere.
The S4 mini is quite close to its Galaxy S4 sibling, though it has some weaknesses and pesky lags, as mentioned before, regarding the camera and only just satisfactory display. This leaves it trailing behind the pack of high-end phones. If you're looking for a smaller handset with the typical Samsung look and feel but don't mind chipping in several hundred extra along the way, then this could be your next smartphone.