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Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Posted: , by Nick T.


Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Review
Call quality:

Phone calls made with the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini are of above average quality. The earpiece, in particular, sounds nice and clear even when it isn't set at the maximum volume level. If needed, its volume output can be pumped up with the tap of a button, although doing so takes a toll on sound quality. Our voice sounds a tad artificial on the other side of the line, but it is still loud enough to be easily understood.

Battery life:

The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini packs a 1900mAh removable battery – a capacity that is above the average considering the smartphone's class. Its manufacturer has yet to reveal any specific ratings as to how long the phone should last on a single charge, but our testing shows that it has a very decent longevity. A day of average usage is guaranteed.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is a remarkable mid-range smartphone that brings power and portability under one roof. It is fast, responsive, and surprisingly capable, but at the same time it is easy to operate and fits perfectly in pockets of any size. Sure, the smartphone may not be as feature-rich as its bigger brother – the Galaxy S4 – but when we take its petite proportions into account, we'd gladly take the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini as it is.

Drawbacks? Well, we were hoping to see a 720p screen on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and not a qHD panel. Not that the display chosen by Samsung ins't usable, but we think that something better should have been picked for a smartphone that has “S4” in its title. Also, perhaps the low amount of on-board storage is worth noting. However, that's not too big of a deal since the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini offers a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

Overall, users who need an average-sized Android smartphone that doesn't skimp on specs and features would be extremely pleased with the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. Those who are on the looks for a decent dual-SIM handset should go try it out as well.

Software version of the reviewed unit:

Android 4.2.2
Build number: JDQ39.I9195XXUAME1

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Video Review:


  • Impressively light and portable
  • Built-in IR blaster
  • Easily runs even the latest 3D games
  • Model with dual-SIM support coming too


  • Less than 4GB user-available storage
  • 720p screen would have been more fitting for such smartphone
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
8.418 Reviews

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posted on 04 Jun 2013, 09:53 16

1. dickwyn (Posts: 621; Member since: 07 May 2012)

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

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 20:21 2

49. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

Even the S2 is much better than this scrap.

Pathetic midrange device*®

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 09:59 14

2. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

Less than 4GB user-available storage =.=

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 10:48 5

13. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)

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

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 10:55 2

14. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 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.

posted on 30 Oct 2013, 15:30

77. buccob (Posts: 2732; Member since: 19 Jun 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...

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 11:39 3

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.

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 18:35

67. panda123 (Posts: 27; Member since: 18 Jan 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.

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 09:05

70. me0613 (Posts: 10; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)

You get a micro-SD card slot.

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 09:59 10

3. Carlitos (Posts: 557; Member since: 23 Oct 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.

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 10:07 6

4. tadaa (Posts: 267; Member since: 18 Apr 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)

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 10:57 12

15. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1543; Member since: 16 Feb 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

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 11:38

22. tadaa (Posts: 267; Member since: 18 Apr 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

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 11:41

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.

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 12:13 2

29. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1543; Member since: 16 Feb 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.

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 12:28

33. tadaa (Posts: 267; Member since: 18 Apr 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.

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 14:31

39. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1543; Member since: 16 Feb 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.

posted on 05 Jun 2013, 07:10

54. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

The SP is big and this is mini...

posted on 15 Jun 2013, 04:19

72. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

SP and S4 Mini is not to much different in size

posted on 15 Jun 2013, 04:14

71. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 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


posted on 16 Jun 2013, 14:45 1

73. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1543; Member since: 16 Feb 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...

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 10:09 16

5. thunderising (Posts: 232; Member since: 25 Nov 2011)

Ha, Phonearena will be Phonearena.

8.5 for this piece of junk, really?

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 10:59 15

17. GTR722 (Posts: 270; Member since: 20 Oct 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....

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 11:46 6

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.

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 12:25 4

32. kurtdean99 (Posts: 79; Member since: 02 Jun 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

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 16:29 3

43. MCrapp (Posts: 318; Member since: 07 Apr 2013)

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

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 18:10 3

44. maccess (Posts: 742; Member since: 16 Jan 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...

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 11:06

20. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

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

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 12:30 3

34. tadaa (Posts: 267; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)

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

posted on 04 Jun 2013, 14:11 5

37. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4319; Member since: 07 Mar 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.

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PhoneArena rating:
Display4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera8 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core, 1700 MHz, Krait 300 processor
1.5 GB RAM
Size4.91 x 2.41 x 0.35 inches
(124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94 mm)
3.77 oz  (107 g)

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