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Samsung Galaxy S4 mini review

8.1/10 AVG.
RATING



8.1/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini currently has an Informr score of 8.1 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 21 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Comfortable to hold.
  • Good overall phone performance.
  • Bright, easy to read screen.

What's bad

  • 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.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.7 GHz
Screen Size
4.3"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Expert Reviews

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a perfectly competent mid-range smartphone, and its excellent battery life is definitely a bonus. However, it just doesn’t feel special enough. It loses out to the HTC One Mini for screen quality and operating system smoothness, and doesn’t have the Mini's g...

- Chris Finnamore, Expert Reviews
Android Community

For fans of the Galaxy S4 who want a smaller device, this is one to look at. We like the smaller profile, and think the size has a lot to offer those who are looking for it. It’s not the monster some tech enthusiasts like to see, but it does pack a bit of a punch. Web surfing, email checking,...

- Nate Swanner, Android Community
GSM Dome

We give this handset a 9 for design, a 7.5 for hardware and an 8 for OS and UI, for a final grade of 8.16 out of 10, of which we deduct a point for the exaggerated price and we get 7.16 out of 10. In most places this device is still priced higher than the Galaxy S III and it’s clearly not wort...

- James A., GSM Dome
SlashGear

The GALAXY S 4 Mini is a wonderful little cell phone, and is surprisingly reminiscent of the older Galaxy S 2, though bringing with it all the trimmings of a newer device. The smartphone sits well in one’s hand (the position of the power button aside), and is small enough to slip into just abo...

- Brittany Hillen, SlashGear
Phone Scoop

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini comes close to providing the full GS4 experience in a smaller package, but there are some notable omissions.The biggest disappointment to me is the screen. I understand that Samsung needed to reduce the size in order to shrink the phone's footprint, but it dialed the resol...

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop


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Quick view

Screen Size
4.3"

The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini's screen size is 4.3 inches with 540 x 960 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.7 GHz

There is a Krait Dual core 1.7 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 4.4.2 KitKat) operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1900mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1900 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 720 minutes, 660 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy S4 mini Specs

Overview
Release date June 28, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSPA+ 21.1
variations
SIM card size
Yes
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 4.4.2 KitKat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Krait Dual core 1.7 GHz
Internal Storage 8 GB
RAM 1536 MB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.33 W/kg
Body: 0.32 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1900 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 600 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 660 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 540 minutes
Talk Time Up to: 720 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 12.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black Mist, White Frost, Purple, Orange, Pink
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.5 x 6.1 x 0.9 cm (4.9 x 2.4 x 0.4 in)
Weight 107 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Pixel density 256 pixels
Size 4.3 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared Yes
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR, Sound & Shot, Exposure value
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MP3, OGG, WMA
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable (Dropbox, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini, Galaxy S IV mini

LTE model has 2GB RAM
A dual-sim version is also available
NFC is only available for LTE model

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Reviews
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