Samsung Galaxy S4 mini hands-on

Sure, we all love big screens, but sometimes the trade-off between functionality and portability becomes too big. For many consumers out there, a 5-inch display is unnecessarily big, and a handset with a 5" display is simply too big. So, what are those customers supposed to purchase, if they want a snappy Android phone? Unfortunately, most of the middle-class Androids out there can't offer the necessary level of polish, or enough features in order to be appealing in the eyes of the demanding user. That's where the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini comes in. Not that it's necessarily a monster phone like the Galaxy S4, in terms of specs, but it does seem to pack quite a punch.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini retains an almost identical appearance to that of the Galaxy S4. It's made of the same plastic material, and even sports the same exact dotted pattern, which gives it a somewhat more interesting look. It's a glossy, non-slippery type of plastic, which we definitely like, though it does feel a bit cheap compared to glass or metal.

Samsung has bumped the screen size from 4" in the S III mini, to 4.3" in the S4 mini. It's an appreciated size increase, while the handset is still very easy to hold and operate with one hand only. Resolution is qHD, which means 540 x 960 pixels. It might be a bit disappointing for some that it's not HD 720p, but with a pixel density of 256 ppi, things are still pretty easy to read on the display. There might be some small jaggedness here or there, but it's nothing that could hamper the experience of using the phone.

In terms of OS, what you'll find on the Galaxy S4 mini is Android 4.2.2, so it'll be perfectly up-to-date right out of the box. Naturally, there's also Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX, instead of the stock Android UI, along with the full suite of proprietary services, such as S Voice, S Health, S Memo, S Planner, Samsung Hub, Samsung Apps and so on. Samsung-made features such as Smart View, Air View and S Beam are also on board.

So, let's stop here for now, because we'll first have to spend some quality time with the phone before we can say anything with regards to the user experience itself. Stay tuned for our Samsung Galaxy S4 mini review!

Related phones

Galaxy S4 mini
  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 1900 mAh(12h 3G talk time)



1. thethird

Posts: 72; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Better than the mini version of the S3! Now the price.....

7. Diego!

Posts: 874; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

I agree, it looks way better than the mini S3. Let's hope the price won't be sky high...

2. taikucing unregistered

still overpriced!

17. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

Perhaps not, dear fellow, lest we forget Sammy' has saved a few bucks on the screen panel and a few of the other innards. I think this will definitely be under $300 (if not $249). Remember, there are a lot of cheap-ass people out there who can't and won't justify a $700+ phone and, then, there's the other cluster of peeps' who just can't afford a $700+ phone (unless it's subsidized by Section 8). Therefore, me' [ :) ] thinks that Samsung has an opportunity here to capitalize by targeting these two groups and i Applaude them for it.

25. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

S3 mini launched at 360$ in amazon....I doubt this one will be less..maybe in some months it will drop to 300$

3. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

looks better than the real S4. even though identical

5. MCrapp

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 07, 2013

I don't think so!Big S4=small bezels and beautiful screen

12. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

you mean the top and bottom bezels? id rather choose s4 mini coz the screen size is balanced to the bezels and phone shape.

4. selena1000

Posts: 85; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

i would rather wait for the mid/low range iphone than this :-(

6. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

I'm all for personal choice...but why...just why?

26. Furbal unregistered

why would you want a full prices 3gs?

8. papss unregistered

Okay so they took what I found as important in a Galaxy and kept what was terrible.. Great job SS, I'm sure you will sell a buttload to the masses

9. damokles unregistered

In soviet russia, smartphone reviews you!

10. jlim33

Posts: 18; Member since: May 30, 2013

This is a good phone but the sad thing is it will be getting a low resolution screen and the speed,performance and the camera. I highly recommend getting the big s4 if money isn't your concern and if you want the full s4 experience. ( In my opinion)

11. donjunior

Posts: 50; Member since: May 28, 2013

Blazingly Fast S4's Kid.

13. red_fox unregistered

Not bad it's looks good but I guess price will decide its fate.

14. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

4.3 inches? Hmmm this would be the first galaxy I would buy.......but then again the xperia SP would be a better look

15. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

Then, why make billions when you can make MILLIONS!!!??

18. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

What are u. Saying Dorothy? Getting an xperia is "going forward" compared to getting a Samsung......that would be "making millions" lol

20. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

I'm sorry but, I'm a bit of a size queen and until Sony can give me a good 5.5+ inches I'm not interested.

16. szaboagoston

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 28, 2012

Ray, I like and respect your work, don't want to be rood, but please put the phone down on the table when you make a video. One get's crazy of you shaking it in your hand all the time, it doesn't give a professional impression.

19. sonisoe

Posts: 440; Member since: May 06, 2009

S4 is laggy compared to s3 based on my hands on...and seems more reviewers ageee... i had s3 before switching to samsung nexus recently....

21. me0613

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

Way better than the Galaxy S3 Mini

22. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I think theyre doing a marketing mistake by calling it a Galaxy S4 Mini. Most people will expect the same experience from it aside from the big screen. Most people are stupid enough not to do their research. The Galaxy S lineup is one if their top tier and even though this is a great phone it still doesnt sport the specs of currect Galaxy S. Which will leave your grandmother disappointed once she sees your Full HD Galaxy S4. It would probably be ok to use inferior specs, but the specs are just to far apart.

23. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1245; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Where's that mini HTC One? This phone wont come with all the GS4 software features so I feel like the HTC will be a much better midrange phone.

24. Ajmal14121 unregistered

does it have led notification?

27. me0613

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

Does it use Mini-SIM or Micro-SIM?

28. JMartin22

Posts: 2371; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

I don't know why Samsung has to skimp so bad on their midrange devices. HTC does midrange with better quality, I think.

29. illiad

Posts: 132; Member since: Feb 07, 2012

you geeks forget, the big S4 is for you, the mini is for your GF! better for the handbag, and more for calls than other stuff!!

30. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

If it's priced around S3's price then S3 is far better option than this.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.