Review: The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
How does it stack up against the full-size S4?
Thw Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini: a more compact alternative to Samsung’s latest smartphone
Unless you’ve living under a rock for the past few years, you might have noticed that mobile phone screens are getting bigger. Bigger screens to display all that multimedia content in high definition glory, or tackle work projects on the move.
Bigger screens means bigger battery suck though, and a more bulky phone overall, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Bringing in the Galaxy S4 Mini is a route Samsung has already gone done with previous Galaxy handsets, and one that had paid off for its brand. Not only do the devices tap into the demand for more compact devices, but they are also significantly cheaper than the full-size counterpart.
Out of the box, it’s obviously smaller than the Galaxy S4, but it is a little thicker; the smaller size doesn’t give it very much room to play with when it’s cramming advanced electronics into a compact package.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini comes with a 4.3 inch touch screen. That’s a little less than the 5 inch screen on the regular S4, but it doesn’t feel like you’re getting short-changed. The display is Super Amoled, which is Samsung’s way of saying it’s high definition.
The pixel density of the screen is slightly lower, at 256 pixels per inch compared with 441 for the full size S4. It’s also not full HD, but it’s high quality enough that this may not be the step down that it looks on paper. Colours are bright and vibrant, and although tiny details may be less crisp than with the full-size S4, it’s difficult to muster up much of an objection to the change.
If you have smaller hands, the S4 Mini doesn’t feel quite as much a stretch to carry out tasks one-handed. It’s easy to text, browse and generally interact with the phone without it being a two-hand job. While the full-size S4 isn’t the most taxing of phones to use in the same way, it is just a touch outside of my usual comfort zone after extended periods of use. The S4 Mini feels like you haven’t really lost out that much on screen size, but you’ve gained a lot more on comfort.
The mini version weighs in at 107g, to the regular sized S4’s 130g. Both are quite lightweight, although the S4 Mini obviously wins out here.
The slimmed down version of the S4 comes with a 1.7GHz dual core processor, which feels more than up to the task of what the average smartphone user would ask of it. It’s not noticeably slower than the S4, which has a 1.9GHz quad core chip, as long as you don’t try to ask too much of it.
Memory and storage
The Galaxy S4 Mini was obviously going to make cuts somewhere more important than screen size and camera. The RAM has been cut to 1.5 GB compared to the S4’s 2GB, while the internal storage is 8GB, about half of the Galaxy S4. The latter matters less when you realize you can still up it with a removable Micro SD card, up to 64GB.