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Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Mid-range smartphone outperforms some of its high-end competition
Fri Aug 02 2013, 15:41

Product Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
Website Samsung
Specifications 4.3in 540x960 Super AMOLED touchscreen, dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage with microSD card slot up to 64GB, 8MP rear camera, 1.9MP front camera, GSM/3G/4G, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, Samsung Touchwiz UI, 1,900mAh battery, 125x61x8.9mm, 107g
Price £380 SIM-free


KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini smartphone is, as its name suggests, a smaller version of its flagship Galaxy S4.

The handset, which at £380 sits at the top-end of the mid-range spectrum, sees Samsung looking to further expand its dominance in the smartphone market and trying to steal the HTC One Mini's thunder.

Design
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini holds few surprises when it comes to design, featuring a scaled-back version of the Galaxy S4's polycarbonate chassis.

While we weren't fans of the Samsung Galaxy S4's design, as its creaky casing seems a little cheap compared to the HTC One and iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini has managed to win us over. The plastic casing seems more suited to a mid-range smartphone such as the Galaxy S4 Mini, and its smaller dimensions make the metal trim around the phone seem more prominent than on its high-end sibling, giving the handset a more luxurious look.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini design

The Galaxy S4 Mini isn't actually all that mini, since it's 4.3in screen is larger than the display found on Apple's iPhone 5. That said, it's very comfortable in the hand, measuring 125x61x8.9mm, and tipping the scales at 107g. We'd have preferred that there was a bit of texture to the handset's rear however, with the glossy plastic proving slippery in hot weather.

Our only other gripe is that, like most white phones, the Galaxy S4 Mini can quickly go from clean and shiny to covered with smears and fingerprints. However, the handset is also available in black for those with particularly grubby mitts.

Screen
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini features a 4.3in 540x960 Super AMOLED display, with a pixel density of 256ppi. While that sounds like quite a downgrade from the 5in 1920x1080 screen found on the flagship Galaxy S4, the Super AMOLED technology makes things look crisp and vibrant, and the HD 720p display offers detailed images and crisp text on a par with some high-end phones available on the market.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini screen

Outdoing most high-end phones, the Galaxy S4 Mini screen is almost edge-to-edge too, keeping the device compact. However, it struggles when it comes to viewing angles, with the screen almost illegible when the phone is used in bright sunlight.

Next: Performance, operating system.

 

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