- Awkward microSD card location.
- Low screen resolution.
- Small onboard storage.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is not just a smaller version of the company’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S4. While it does share many traits with the S4 - such as the polycarbonate structure and camera and button locations - there are in fact more differences than similarities.
The most noticeable difference of course is size. The S4 Mini is shorter, thicker and not as wide as the S4. Engadget’s Brad Molen notes that this difference leads to “more rounded edges and a stronger grip” as a result.
In terms of hardware, reviewers agree that while the specs are a general downgrade from the S4, the phone still performs well. The Mini comes with a 1.7gHz dual-core processor, 1.5MB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. However, all reviewers found the 8GB of storage to be extremely low with PC Advisor noting that most of the memory is filled up by the operating system and Samsung’s heavyweight software. They go on to note that “Samsung now clearly states that the Galaxy S4 mini has 5GB available to the user.”
Despite the lack of onboard storage the S4 Mini does have an expandable microSD slot. Unfortunately, Thomas Thorn of TechRadar mentions that the location is awkwardly hidden behind the battery and the card itself is “very fiddly to put...in.”
Many reviewers were also not overly impressed by the screen resolution, although PC Advisor notes that a 540 x 960-pixel resolution and 256ppi pixel density is now “quite acceptable.” Despite the low resolution, the screen itself is reasonably sharp and easy to read, including at full brightness in direct sunlight.
Despite some issues, expert consensus is that the S4 Mini is a solid phone. Perfect, Engadget says, for consumers “who love the GS4 design and firmware but are looking for a lower price point.”