With Android 4.2.2 out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is right on top of its game. That's the most recent version of Android, offering all of the platform's newest features, but in addition to that, Samsung has thrown in a whole bunch of goodies, which come included with the custom TouchWiz user interface. Among them are Group Play for sharing content between multiple Samsung smartphones, WatchON that turns the smartphone into a TV remote control with the help of the built-in IR blaster, and the S Translator, which does just what the name implies.

At the same time, it is a bit disappointing to see that some of the features found on the Galaxy S4 are absent. For example, both Air View and Air Gesture aren't present, meaning that one can't operate the smartphone by waving their hand above its screen. Smart Pause and Smart Scroll have not been included either.

Our thumbs got used to the on-screen keyboard rather quickly. We find it very comfortable to type on, be it in portrait or landscape mode. The keyboard comes with word prediction and over 50 different input languages to pick from.

Processor and memory:

Don't be fooled by its small size as the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini packs quite a punch. Processing power is delivered by a Snapdragon 400 SoC with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, Adreno 305 graphics, and 1.5GB RAM. That's enough muscle to handle even the most demanding of tasks with ease, which is why the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini stays responsive regardless of whether it is used for reading email or playing the latest 3D games. We find it strange, however, that the UI is sometimes choppy, especially when flicking through home screens loaded with widgets. Perhaps a little software optimization would have taken care of that.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuGLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini6783133413762 / 33fps2088 / 685
Sony Xperia SP7866164134970 / 44 fps2013 / 755
LG Optimus L7 II28236674

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus3833822821421558 / 425

As is often the case with Android smartphones, most of the internal storage available on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is occupied by system files. That's why in reality, out of the 8GB that are being advertised there are only 3.68GB available to the user, which is barely acceptable. Having a microSD card is a must for users who intend on storing their photos, music, or video files onto the device.

Web browser and connectivity:

The stock internet browser on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is fast, responsive, and perfectly suitable for casual web surfing. Even heavy web pages are loaded fast and scroll smoothly. But at the same time, we aren't presented with anything extraordinary in terms of features – just the usual set of tools is present, including Incognito mode, support for multiple windows, and playback of embedded YouTube videos.

While the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini unit that we're reviewing has a single SIM card slot only, there's a dual SIM variant of the device as well. Samsung will also release a 4G LTE-capable model in select markets. Connectivity features available on the smartphone include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC and FM radio with RDS support.

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