Little wonder: sizing up the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini
30th Sep 2013 | 11:59
We put the smallest S4 under the microscope…
There are plenty of reasons you might want a Samsung GALAXY S4. Aside from being one of the most powerful phones around, the Full HD Super AMOLED screen is simply breathtaking and it's incredibly slender at just 7.9mm.
That said, it's a top-of-the-range powerhouse, with that class-leading 5-inch display. However, some users may prefer a slightly smaller smartphone.
If you fall into that category, the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini offers all the charm of its bigger brother with a fraction of the real estate. Want to know more? Here are 10 ways Samsung GALAXY S4 mini could be your perfect solution.
1. It's a mini GALAXY S4; surely that's enough?
It all starts with the design – the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini looks like its big brother made slightly smaller. This means it delivers a cohesive look and feel, without sacrificing on build quality or elegance.
With its 4.3-inch display, it also uses the same Super AMOLED screen technology as the GALAXY S4, and thanks to Samsung's TouchWiz inside, atop Android 4.2, it delivers an impressively high-quality experience.
This means the Samsung GALAXY S4's suite of applications is on board too, including Story Album, S Health and S Translate.
2. A screen that pops, without bursting your pockets
While 4.3 inches was flagship-size for smartphone screens a couple of years ago, the Samsung GALAXY S4 has introduced a 5-inch display to the Samsung GALAXY range.
This makes for the most immersive screen experience around while still being incredibly thin and lightweight.
But what if you're not looking for that large screen experience, but still want a high-end, high-quality phone?
Cue the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini. It couples qHD resolution with a 4.3-inch screen for a superb balance of size and quality. This means the phone also maintains the Samsung GALAXY S4's 16:9 aspect ratio – perfect for video on the go.
Thanks to its Super AMOLED screen technology, colours pop and blacks are incredibly deep, while its smaller footprint means the GALAXY S4 mini will easily fit in any palm, pocket or clutch bag.
3. Perfect for video
The 16:9 aspect ratio screen isn't wasted on the GALAXY S4 mini. In addition to the on-board video player – loaded up with codecs for maximum movie playback with minimum fuss – the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini supports all your favourite streaming services.
For TV buffs, there's BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD, while Netflix offers movies and box sets to subscribers. Your own movie files should also be supported by Samsung's video player – so load up the internal memory or microSD card for massive amounts of entertainment in a mini, yet mighty, package.
4. It's big on the inside
Yes indeed: that's a microSD card you see there, just waiting to add its memory to that of your smartphone. In fact you can complement the 8GB of internal memory within the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini with up to a further 64GB. So a potential of 72GB in total, plenty of room for all your photos, MP3s and videos.
How many? Around 55,000 photos, 18,000 MP3s, 100 standard-definition movies or 45 HD movies – so you need never be bored again.
5. Faster than your average phone
LTE, or 4G, delivers broadband internet speeds on the go. This is perfect for the intuitive web browser experience, vast array of apps on offer and the many streaming video services available.
So while most LTE phones come in larger packages and with larger price tags, the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini will leave you future-proofed without bursting your pocket, or breaking the bank.
6. Light camera action
Coupling a high-resolution 8-megapixel sensor with Samsung's famously intuitive user interface and a pocket-friendly form factor, the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini really does offer a great, but lightweight, package.
Eight megapixels is a perfect resolution to print images larger than A4 – or to get them printed out using Samsung Story Album – and it's easy to share your pics on Facebook or other social media sites.
The user interface is also incredibly intuitive, with traditional options such as shutter release and scene selection augmented by some of the new and improved Samsung GALAXY S4 shooting modes.
These include Sound & Shot, for images paired with audio for full sensory impact, as well as Rich Tone (HDR), for a little extra brightness and clarity in your snaps.
7. Android is taking over the world
There are plenty of advantages to having an Android phone, not least of all the Google Play store which provides access to more than 1,000,000 apps that will help enhance your smartphone experience.
But Google's Android marketplace doesn't stop there – and thanks to Google Play Movies, Google Play Books, and Google Play Magazines, Samsung's own entertainment offerings are beautifully complemented.
The Samsung GALAXY S4 mini also comes with S Voice, a voice assistant capable of pulling information from the web, opening apps, sending text messages and recording voice notes.
What you end up with is a fully holistic smartphone experience, powered by Google and refined by Samsung.
8. Dual-core, you say?
The speedy dual-core chip inside the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini is what powers this pocketable powerhouse.
Sharing its DNA with the same processor found in the Samsung GALAXY S4 – this version delivers everything you need for 3D gaming, HD video and smooth interaction with the user interface.
Clocking in at 1.7GHz, the dual-cores on board the GALAXY S4 mini strike the perfect balance between efficiency and economy, ensuring that its ample power lasts a full day.
9. Pocketable playtime
From fun finger-slicers like Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots (£1) through to reborn classics such as Sega's After Burner Climax (£1.50) whenever you need some downtime, your GALAXY S4 mini offers all the fun your fingers can take.
With plenty of exclusive offers and even the occasional free premium download, it's definitely worth checking out the Samsung Apps games section, whether you're a seasoned button-basher or a commuter in need of light entertainment.
10. Last step: accessorise
Just like its bigger brother, the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini comes loaded with a couple of accessories in the box, including a stereo hands-free kit and a microUSB cable for data and charging, but that's just scratching the surface.
For starters, you can pick up a spare battery that will give you an extra 1,900mAh of juice – perfect for a long weekend away, a camping trip, or just a little peace of mind in your backpack, suitcase or back pocket.
You can also swap out your wired stereo headset for a wireless Bluetooth receiver, such as the BHS3000.
Finally, the pièce de résistance is the Samsung GALAXY S4 mini S View Flip Case. On the surface it's a simple folio case for your mini adventures, but look a little closer and you'll see a clear window in the cover.
Activating a clock display when the phone is in standby, as well as offering in-window call options when someone rings you, the case couples Samsung trademark smarts and style perfectly.