The Samsung Galaxy S4 is currently dominating the flagship Android segment just like its predecessors. However, it might not be the best option for all users as it isn’t the most comfortable device to handle, especially if you have small hands, and it comes with a big price tag. That’s the reason; Samsung has launched the Galaxy S4 Mini – a phone that offers the flagship experience in a smaller, more compact and less expensive package.
Build and Looks:
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini rolls out with a measurement of 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.9 mm and a light weight of 107 grams. Most of the design aspects are lifted directly off the flagship Galaxy S4, so the Mini looks quite identical to its big brother with the only major differentiator being the size. Its plastic body is slightly curved at the back, which makes it fit nicely into your hands. However, the glossy finish makes the phone a fingerprint magnet which somewhat reduces its attractive appearance. In terms of control keys, you’ll find the three standard capacitive keys at the front below the display whereas the rest of physical keys sit on the edges. On the left side, you’ll find the volume rocker while the right edge houses the power key. On the top, you get the 3.5 mm headphone jack, IR blaster and the secondary microphone whereas the microUSB port and the main microphone are accommodated on the bottom edge. On the whole, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the compact size, premium feel and handling of the S4 Mini.
The phone sports a 4.3″ Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels, backed up with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass protection. It uses a RGB matrix layout which offers superior sharpness and image quality over Pentile screens. Other aspects of the display include 16M colors, multi-touch support and a pixel density of 256 ppi. It offers punchy colors, deep blacks and infinite contrasts which results in a very good image quality compared to its competition. It also has wide viewing angles and excellent sunlight legibility, so you’re assured of a top class viewing experience in any environment.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini adorns an 8 megapixel back-facing camera and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera. The former can capture stills of 3264 x 2448 pixels as well as record videos of 1080p@30fps whereas the secondary camera supports 720p HD video recording and still images of 1600 X 1200 pixels. The camera interface is inspired from the company’s Galaxy Camera interface, which means you get plenty of options and features to tinker with. These include HDR mode, Metering, ISO, Anti Shake, GPS tag, face detection, Smile Shot, Best Shot, Beauty Face, Sound & Shot and much more. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use both cameras at the same time, which is possible on the Galaxy S4. Nonetheless, the quality of images and videos captured with the main camera are pretty good.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is driven by a Snapdragon 400 chipset with a dual-core 1.7 GHz processor, 1.5 GB of RAM and Adreno 305 GPU. Though not the fastest package around, the phone’s hardware provides all the power you’ll require for a smooth, efficient and glitch-free performance. Users can perform multi-tasking, web browsing and other tasks without experiencing any slowdown in the speed and performance of the device. As for the storage space, you get 8 GB of flash memory and a microSD card slot for expansion of up to 64 GB.
Operating System and User interface:
The S4 Mini offers a software package comprising of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz Nature UI. The lockscreen features multiple panes, a personal message, new Jelly Bean widgets and wallpapers from TripAdvisor. As far as the homescreen is concerned, you get a maximum of seven different panes which can be filled up with apps and widgets. The TouchWiz user interface provides excellent functionality and is easily customizable according to your requirements. The phone also has some of the innovative features like Smart Stay, Group Play, Smart Sound and Adapt Sound, but it missed out on the key ones like Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, Air View and Air Gestures. For added functionality on top of the usual Android apps, Samsung has included a host of its exclusive apps like S Translator, Story Album, Samsung WatchON, S Health, S Travel and Samsung Link.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini’s 1900 mAh battery offers a long-lasting performance which enables users to get the best out of the phone at all times. A single charge provides up to 13 hours of 3G talk time, 300 hours of stand-by time and web browsing of up to 10 hours. Additionally, the battery is accessible and can be replaced with a spare unit easily in case you want to keep the phone running for longer durations.
The S4 Mini follows in the footsteps of its big brother by delivering a strong performance without compromising much on the functionality. It’s loaded with rich features, amazing hardware and has a compact design, making it one of the best mid-range phones in the market. The only concern is the pricing of the device, which seems to be slightly on the higher end as the company’s previous flagship – the Galaxy S3 which has a superior package is available for a slightly lower price.
In the United Kingdom, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is available off-contract for a price of £366.00. Users can also check out http://www.samsunggalaxys4minicontracts.com/ to get UK’s best contract deals for the phone. To get the latest pricing details and availability in your country, please contact your nearest Samsung store or a reputed retailer.