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Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
Introduction:

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has been selling by the millions and is currently one of the hottest smartphones this side of the universe. It is pretty, powerful, and loaded with exclusive features that can be found only on Samsung devices. However, the company's flagship isn't exactly the smallest smartphone around. In fact, with its 5-inch screen, it is among the larger smartphones out there, which might be a dealbreaker for a number of potential buyers.

These are the people that the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is made for. The smartphone packs a number of features found on the S4, but tucked inside a smaller, more portable package. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini comes with a 4.3-inch display and it is big enough to be operated with a single hand. But with the smaller size come the inferior specs. The processor of the Galaxy S4 mini is a dual-core, 1.7GHz chip of the Snapdragon variety, the screen's resolution has been brought down to just 540 by 960 pixels, and the main camera has been downgraded to 8 megapixels.

But overall, there's a lot to love about the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. Join us as we walk you through all you need to know about it!


In the box:
  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Wired stereo earphones with in-line microphone and volume control



Design:

It's like the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been zapped with a shrink ray! We sure hope that the moon isn't about to get stolen. Jokes and movie references aside, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini has adopted nearly all of the design features attributed to its bigger brother – from the glossy plastic construction and choice of colors to the super-slim screen bezel and the convenient placement of the physical buttons. The only thing missing is the RGB notification light, which the S4 has in its upper right-hand corner, but that's something we're pretty sure many can live without.

The glossy plastic housing of the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini feels just like it does on the S4 - Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
The glossy plastic housing of the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini feels just like it does on the S4 - Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
The glossy plastic housing of the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini feels just like it does on the S4 - Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review

The glossy plastic housing of the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini feels just like it does on the S4



Unsurprisingly, the glossy plastic housing of the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini feels just like it does on the S4 – not as premium as other fancy materials like glass or metal, but not terrible by any means. Actually, the phone looks very presentable for something made of plastic, although we wouldn't give it anything beyond the “okay” rating. However, we have to admit that we dig the diamond pattern that Samsung has applied as it gives a lot of character to the Galaxy S4 mini.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Dimensions

4.91 x 2.41 x 0.35 inches

124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94 mm

Weight

3.77 oz (107 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches

136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

Sony Xperia SP

Sony Xperia SP

Dimensions

5.14 x 2.64 x 0.39 inches

130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

LG Optimus L7 II

Dimensions

4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches

121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm

Weight

4.07 oz (116 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Dimensions

4.91 x 2.41 x 0.35 inches

124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94 mm

Weight

3.77 oz (107 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches

136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

Sony Xperia SP

Sony Xperia SP

Dimensions

5.14 x 2.64 x 0.39 inches

130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

LG Optimus L7 II

Dimensions

4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches

121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm

Weight

4.07 oz (116 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page




We are genuinely impressed by how light, thin, and extremely portable the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is considering the fact that it packs a 4.3-inch screen and a 1900mAh battery. (In fact, we dedicated a whole post to that.) The phone slips easily into any pocket and its presence in there can be barely felt. At the same time, we find it perfectly usable with a single hand as our thumb easily reaches even the furthest corners of its screen.

We have the typical for Samsung button arrangement, with a physical “home” key and capacitive “back” and “menu” keys situated below the screen. The volume rocker is on the left side while the on/off button is on the right. All of these buttons are responsive and well within reach.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
The control keys on the front - Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
microUSB port is on the bottom - Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
The on/off button is on the right - Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
Volume rocker can be found on the left side - Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
The 3.5mm headset jack is on the top of the device - Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review

Display:

The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen that is outfitted on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is just okay and nothing more. While it has a resolution of 540 by 960 pixels, which is perfectly acceptable, a 720p screen would have been a lot more suitable for a smartphone bearing "S4" in its title. Nevertheless, the dispay gets the job done in any every-day scenario we can think of. Its capable of delivering a sufficient level of detail with its 256ppi pixel density and non-PenTile sub-pixel arrangement.

Its color reproduction, however, could have been better. Even after setting the display mode to the most natural-looking setting (called Professional Photo), colors are still a tad exaggerated. Most users won't find that annoying at all, although perfectionists are likely to notice the slight color oversaturation.

The brightness output of the screen may be average at best, but the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is still usable outdoors to some extent. That's not only because the display reflects only a fraction of the sunlight that hits it, but also because it has a low tendency of collecting fingerprints.

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77 Comments

dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

i'll just wait to see the HTC M4 or the HTC One mini

TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Even the S2 is much better than this scrap. Pathetic midrange device*®

EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

Less than 4GB user-available storage =.=

Raymond_htc

Posts: 430; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Quit whining :[) My Optimus L5 is the lowest end phone i ever used and its 2.5 gb mem is enough.

EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

Im just puzzled how much space Samsung's extra stuff took up. 8Gb memory means around 7.2Gb available, and still almost half is taken up by the OS. 16Gb is barely enough for me, unless i dont install any higher end games. For songs alone, I have over 600 songs in my phone. At least 320K MP3 or 256K M4A. I avoid FLAC and WAV (only reserved for home use) or 32Gb wont be even enough.

buccob

Posts: 2942; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I agree, I have the Xperia Acro S and I haven't even think about switching to a newer model because most come in 8GB of internal memory... 16 GB is barely enough... but mainly because of Pictures... songs can be place in external SD card along with movies... but pictures are a bit delicate, specially in a crime-prone country... Anyway I think my next phone will also have 16GB that seems to be the norm for high end Sony...

lovefist unregistered

uhh.. he's not whining. he's just stating a fact. I know less than 4gb storage sucks. my galaxy mini has less than that and when I upgraded to gs2 I know that 4gb wouldn't cut it.

panda123

Posts: 27; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

That's not really a big problem... Samsung just released an update for the S4 that allows you to move apps to SD card. So this feature will probably be in the S4 mini as well. You also have the up-to-64GB microSD card slot.

me0613

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

You get a micro-SD card slot.

Carlitos

Posts: 621; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

I don't think that not having a 720p should be a con. Otherwise it would just be better than the GS3 in every aspect (except screen size for some or storage). The S3 is still selling like hot cakes.

tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

See? When its a samsung device it heaps praises. Oh it has a great processor! While for the lower-priced xperia l the processor was supposed to be inadequate although it uses the same soc (for non-lte version at least)

TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Who are you trying to fool? The Xperia L uses S4 Plus MSM8230, while the Galaxy S4 mini uses Snapdragon 400 MSM8930! That means: Xperia L: 1 GHz Krait 200 S4 Mini: 1.7 GHz krait 300 It nearly doubles the performance! Qadrant: Xperia L - 4300, S4Mini - 6800 Antutu: Xperia L - 9800, S4Mini - 13400

tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

The s4 mini 3g uses msm8230. That's why i pointed out non-lte versions at least. And this is uspposed to compete with the sp. I don't see how it is any better yet it gets a higher mark

lovefist unregistered

dude you should also check the video capture of the xperia L at gsmarena's site, it sucks 100% compared to s4 mini's video recordings.

TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I seriously doubt what you are telling. Do you have link that proves S4 mini 3G uses MSM8230? I´m asking cause I have seen a couple of sites that confused the MSM8230 with the MSM8230AB, whihch is the equivalent of Snapdragon 400 MSM8930 with no LTE! So you (or the site where you checked) are confused. It even happened here in PA.

tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

Apparently you are correct, i just found out that the article here was updated. Still, 8.5 compared to other phones in its bracket is pretty high.

TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Yes, in that article there was one user (G4Mini) correcting the authors. And I was in the middle of the conversations, that´s how was so sure about the SoC used.http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-confirms-its-Galaxy-S4-mini-uses-Snapdragon-400-chip_id43630/comments

Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The SP is big and this is mini...

yudi.nemesis

Posts: 1127; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

SP and S4 Mini is not to much different in size

yudi.nemesis

Posts: 1127; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

you are so cluless both Xperia L or S4 Mini uses Snapdragon 400 and both of them also S4 Plus Snapdragon 400 processors include the following part numbers: 8926, 8030AB, 8226, 8230, 8230AB, 8626, 8630, 8630AB, 8930 and 8930AB MSM8930 and MSM8230 are S4 Plus source QUALCOMM

TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Only S4 mini is not using MSM8930, but Snapdragon 400 8930AB, the one with krait 300, not krait 200. So it´s NOT S4 Plus, but a real Snapdragon 400. There is no S4 plus using krait 300. The Xperia L uses a MSM8230, with krait 200, so S4 plus. Who is the clueless one now? And if you are goigng to use sources, please put a link...

thunderising

Posts: 232; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

Ha, Phonearena will be Phonearena. 8.5 for this piece of junk, really?

GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

Weaker CPU than Xperia SP, smaller and low res screen than Xperia SP, cheaper materials, worse camera than Xperia SP........Higher score than Xperia SP......this people at PA are so obvious....

lovefist unregistered

I agree with the cpu and lower screen and res along with build materials and you also forgot to mention.. battery. but camera, i have to disagree. sony's digital cameras and slrs are good.. but on their xperia phones.. washed out, just horrible.

kurtdean99

Posts: 79; Member since: Jun 02, 2013

The camera and screen can be fix by firmware update just like the Z new firmware but u can't fix low resolution screen and cheap plastic build lol

MCrapp

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 07, 2013

Sorry but sony use this same cheap plastic, and they use cheap glass on xpiria Z + free screen protector!!!lol

maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

but got the fastest update from samsung , got removable battery , great non pentile super amoled than wash out screen even though 720p from sony , xperia sp camera better than this one?? you must be joking dude!! sony never had a good result with their cameraphone.. much more feature rich or you may say "gimmick" than the sp but hey it actually there and it works fine if you need it.. you don't need it?? just turn off.. so it obvious it got higher score than the sp...

EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

Scores will probably be more consistent if everything is reviewed by the same person, but we know that that is impossible.

tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

I agree. So i checked the sp review and it was by the same person

Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4764; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

I don't see myself buying this rather than the XSP. I bet this will cost a l'le close to the SIII, either lower or higher. SP sounds much better and more appealing (battery, resoluton, GPU and CPU) Cute is what i can say of this little S4.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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)

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