Review of the petite and powerful Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.
We knew it was coming, and now it’s here: the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, the small but mighty midrange brother of the flagship Galaxy S4 superphone. The Mini play Robin to the S4’s Batman, making it the perfect little sidekick for those looking for a phone that is small in size but not in features. If you need a phone that gets the job done without being overly expensive or bulky, this may be the one for you. Here are the details on the Galaxy S4 Mini.
At first sight, you know it’s a Samsung, all right. If the plastic cover doesn’t give it away, the familiar rounded edges do. The S4 Mini is surprisingly light, weighing in at only 3.8 ounces. While it is similarly sized to the iPhone 5, it boasts a larger 4.3 inch screen. The display will not break any records, but the 960 x 540 pixels are clear and bright. The small stature of the S4 Mini makes it very easy to operate and hold with one hand, and this is a big plus for a lot of users. The phone has a removable rear cover which houses the battery and the unfortunately positioned microSD slot (under the battery), and while it is nice that the cover is user removable, it is incredibly thin and flimsy.
Under the Hood
Inside the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, you will find the typical Bluetooth, 4G, GPS, and Wi-Fi, as well as a surprising extra with the infrared blaster – perfect for controlling your television without using the remote. The 1900mAh battery is a decent performer, lasting the whole day without a recharge needed. Internal memory is fairly limited at 8GB, but the microSD slots allows users to expand up to 64 GB additionally for maximum storage. The dual core processor is a bit disappointing.
In the camera department, the Galaxy S4 Mini gets the job done, with 8 megapixels on the rear camera and 1.9 megapixels in the front. The LED light helps with lowlight performance, and the feature set on the camera applications is easy and intuitive. For the most part, the S4 Mini takes great pictures that will beat most of its competition in this price range.
Samsung users will be familiar with the tried and true TouchWiz that is present on this device, and while it is not for everyone, it is easy to use and friendly. If you are not interested in all of the “extras” that Samsung adds on to its devices, consider downloading a custom ROM for a more stock Android experience.
For the most part, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a good little phone, and the price is right – get it for free at Sprint right now with a new two year contract or for only $49.99 at Verizon. Unlocked versions of the phone are available but not cost effective, so if you are wanting an S4 Mini for use on T-Mobile or AT&T, it may be in your best interest to go a different route. I mean, this is a good phone, but it’s certainly nothing worth paying several hundred dollars for.