Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review


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 Standard AnTuTu GLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD) Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 6783 13341 3762 / 33fps 2088 / 685
Sony Xperia SP 7866 16413 4970 / 44 fps 2013 / 755
LG Optimus L7 II 2823 6674

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus 3833 8228 2142 1558 / 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.



1. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

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


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

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

2. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

Less than 4GB user-available storage =.=

13. 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.

14. 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.

77. buccob

Posts: 2981; 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...

23. 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.

67. 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.

70. me0613

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

You get a micro-SD card slot.

3. Carlitos

Posts: 693; 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.

4. 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)

15. 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

22. 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

25. 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.

29. 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.

33. 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.

39. 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.

54. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The SP is big and this is mini...

72. yudi.nemesis unregistered

SP and S4 Mini is not to much different in size

71. yudi.nemesis unregistered

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

73. 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...

5. thunderising

Posts: 232; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

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

17. 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....

26. 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.

32. 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

43. 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

44. 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...

20. 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.

34. tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

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

37. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; 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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