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Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini smartphone review

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s4minireview2Samsung has downsized the bestselling Galaxy S4 to a size to make it an option for users looking for a similar product without the bulk of a larger screen.

The Galaxy S4 Mini has a 4.3-inch screen – down from its big brother’s display size of 5-inches.

And even with a 4.3-inch display, the S4 Mini still outsizes the screen on the iPhone 5 despite the Samsung product being a few millimetres shorter than Apple’s device.

DESIGN

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is truly just a shrunken down version of the Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy S4 Mini has a 4.3-inch screen

Anyone who has ever complained the Galaxy S4’s screen is too big for them now have no other excuses.

The S4 Mini is a comfortable size that has inherited most of the larger S4’s attractive features.

Size wise the S4 Mini is obviously smaller (61.3mm x 124.6mm) and slightly thicker than the full-sized S4 8.94mm thick (the big brother S4 is 7.9mm thick).

The S4 Mini has a rounded back panel that feels good in your hand and comfortable to hold.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with its big brother the Galaxy S4

Volume up/down is on the left, on/off/lock button is on the right while the headphone jack is on the top edge and the microUSB charge port is on the bottom.

The back panel is also easily removable so users can get easy access to the sim card slot, the microSD card to expand the device’s 8GB internal memory and, of course, the battery.

FEATURES

While the S4 Mini has most of the features of the Galaxy S4 the obvious difference is not only screen size but also screen quality.

The S4 has a full high definition 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED screen while the S4 Mini’s resolution is significantly lower at 960 x 540 and 256 ppi (pixels per inch) on the qHD sAMOLED display. The larger S4 has 441 ppi.

The shape of the screen is long and narrow and still offers plenty of room for apps, comfortable web browsing and email.

Despite being slightly noticeably smaller, the S4 Mini’s screen still looks sharp and clear.

The back panel of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

It has a dual-core 1.7Ghz processor so it is quite fast and responsive and also packs in 1.5GB RAM.

It also has an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. Not the 13-megapixel shooter you’ll find on the Galaxy S4 but certainly no slouch.

The S4 Mini takes very impressive images not to mention full high definition videos.

And there are most of the same camera features and modes including beauty shot, best photo, burst mode and panorama.

And all of your favourite apps and features can also be found aboard the Galaxy S4 Mini.

These include S Translator (translating app), S Voice (for voice control), Smart Stay (which can pause a video when you look away from the screen) along with Group Play (to sync multiple devices to play the same song).

The S4 Mini screen is still bigger than the display on the iPhone 5S

Not all of the gesture controls seen on the Galaxy S4 have made their way to the S4 Mini.

Air Gestures is one omission but there is still motion control where you can call a contact simply by moving the device to your ear along with palm motion that lets you mute incoming calls and pause media by touching the screen with your palm.

PERFORMANCE

Don’t mistake smaller size for lack of power with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

The device is satisfyingly fast thanks to the 1.7Ghz dual-core processor so getting to the various features on board and to your favourite apps happens almost instantly.

The S4 Mini is also running the latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system.

On the battery side, the S4 Mini is more than up to the job even for heavy users.

The S4 Mini has inherited most of the features of the larger Galaxy S4

We easily got more than a day’s usage on a single charge.

The onboard 1900mAh battery might be smaller than the one aboard the Galaxy S4 but is does have a smaller screen to power so the differences almost cancel each other out.

VERDICT

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is one of the most popular smartphones on the market and it was a clever move to offer a smaller version to give the model every opportunity in this competitive market.

The result is the S4 Mini which would have to be one of the capable devices in this size.

It has the power and features of its big brother but in a smaller convenient form factor.

They say good things come in small packages – the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a great example.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is available now from Mobicity.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Price: $469.95 from Mobicity

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