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Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 363
inc VAT

A cheaper, more compact Galaxy S4 with amazing battery life, but the S4 Mini doesn’t stand out compared to the competition

Specifications

Processor: Dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Screen size: 4.3in, Screen resolution: 960×540, Rear camera: 8-megapixel , Storage: 8GB, Wireless data: 4G, 3G, Size: 125x61x8.9mm, Weight: 107g, Operating system: Android 4.2.2

We’ve got Samsung to thank for the miniaturisation craze. It started with the Galaxy S3 and its cut-down S3 Mini, so it wasn’t at all surprising when Samsung announced it would also be shrinking the Galaxy S4.

However, just like the S4, the S4 Mini is now pretty old news as far as miniature smartphones go. You can still buy one for around £160, but these days you can get a much better smartphone than the S4 for the same price.

The Moto G4 would be our top choice, but that’s also got a large 5.5in display, so it’s not exactly a great fit for those after something smaller. Instead, I’d recommend the Samsung Galaxy J5, which has a 5in screen. That’s still a lot bigger than the 4.3in S4 Mini, but nowadays you’d be hard-pushed to find anything smaller.

However, if you’re really desperate for a tiny Android phone, then by all means read on and see what our original S4 Mini review said about this teeny handset.

First impressions are reasonable. The Galaxy S4 Mini looks like a small Galaxy S4, with its squared-off top and rounder bottom edge. It’s not a particularly exciting design, but it’s certainly comfortable to hold for a long phone call. The phone is all plastic, but it’s fairly soft-touch and feels tough. However, the HTC One Mini’s silver and white chassis is certainly smarter and more interesting to look at, and we love the HTC’s metal rear.

Like the One Mini, the Galaxy S4 Mini has a 4.3in display, but instead of 1,280×720 pixels, you only get 960×540. The difference is immediately obvious when you put the two phones side by side. While it’s easy to read web pages when fully zoomed out on the HTC One Mini, the S4 Mini’s lower resolution makes this much more of a struggle.

We can’t argue with the S4 Mini’s vibrant colours and wide viewing angles, which we’ve come to expect from AMOLED displays, but we’re not convinced by its colour accuracy. Large areas of white on the HTC One Mini’s screen were pure and white, but on the S4 Mini they have a blue tinge. The S4 Mini’s screen also has a slight grainy texture, and feels rougher to the touch than the super-smooth HTC display.

Samsung Galaxy S4 MiniWe’re not particularly enamoured by the AMOLED screen, but it does give the S4 Mini fantastic battery life

The low-power AMOLED screen helps give the S4 Mini one big advantage, though; it has seriously impressive battery life. In our video playback test, which involves playing a video file on loop, the S4 Mini lasted an amazing 13h 3m. That’s one of the best scores we have ever seen, and four and a half hours more than the LCD display-equipped HTC One Mini. This is definitely a phone with all-day life, even if you’re a heavy user.

When it comes to performance, too, the Galaxy S4 Mini pulls ahead of HTC’s handset. Its dual-core processor may have half the cores of the full-size Galaxy S4 and indeed most high-end smartphones, but those cores run at a very quick 1.7GHz. This showed in the Sunspider JavaScript benchmark, where the S4 Mini completed the test in just 1,008ms – even quicker than the Galaxy S4’s 1,100ms. The S4 Mini couldn’t keep up with the full-size S4 in the 3DMark graphics benchmark, but a score of 5,549 is still up there with moderately powerful phones such as the HTC One X+ and Samsung Galaxy Mega, and is around 700 points more than the HTC One Mini managed in the same benchmark. We found 3D games such as Beach Buggy Blitz ran smoothly enough. Continues on Page 2

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Hardware

Main display size4.3in
Native resolution960×540
CCD effective megapixels8-megapixel
GPSyes
Internal memory8192MB
Memory card supportmicroSD
Memory card included0MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 850/900/1900/2100, 4G 800/850/900/1800/2100/2600
Wireless data4G
Size125x61x9mm
Weight107g

Features

Operating systemAndroid 4.2.2
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord, Excel, PowerPoint
FM Radioyes
Accessoriesheadphones, data cable, charger

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review
Mobile phones

A cheaper, more compact Galaxy S4 with amazing battery life, but the S4 Mini doesn’t stand out compared to the competition

363 inc VAT