Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs Galaxy S3 Mini

In the battle of the cut down flagships, which will win?

TODO alt text

If you're stuck looking for a new phone, you will likely have stumbled across many-a-Samsung handset, including both the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini. Both handsets are still proving incredibly popular, so which one should you choose?

Samsung began the rewriting of the mid-range handset market in 2012 with the launch of the Galaxy S3 Mini, a cut down version of its immensely popular Galaxy S3 flagship. This was to be followed a year later with the launch of Galaxy S4 Mini to accompany the upgraded Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy S3 Mini and S4 Mini are handsets born of the same idea, with stripped down specs from their bigger brothers, but equally both come with a much smaller and more palatable price tag.

If you're going to tie yourself into a contract for the next two years, or fork over your hard-earned money for a new device, you're going to want to make sure you've got the right device. Thankfully, we've created this handy guide to give you a run through of the key features of Samsung's baby flagships.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs Galaxy S3 Mini

Design

It should be of no surprise that both the Galaxy S3 Mini and S4 Mini follow in the same design natures that were begun with the full fat Galaxy S3 and S4 flagships.

Samsung completely overhauled its mobile design with the Galaxy S3 removing the hard industrial edges of the ageing S2 and replacing them with a curvier nature-inspired pebble design.

This was a design continued and shrunk down with the Galaxy S3 Mini resulting in a more diminutive handset that sits nicely in one hand whilst leaving no hard edges that can make holding a phone a little more unpleasant.

Samsung's curvier design nature was also carried forward the to the Galaxy S4 flagship and consequently the Galaxy S4 Mini.

Measuring 121.6 x 63 x 9.9m, the Galaxy S3 Mini tips the scales at 111.5 g allowing it to sit in the pocket relatively unnoticed. More elongated than the Galaxy S3 Mini, the Galaxy S4 Mini measures at 124.6 x 6.3 x 8.9mm and also weighs only 107g.

Both handsets provide a nice alternative to their larger brothers, sitting more comfortably in one hand than their larger-screened equivalents.

Screen

One of the reasons for the larger footprint of the Galaxy S4 Mini is that it packs a slightly larger screen. Where the Galaxy S3 Mini comes with a 4-inch screen, the Galaxy S4 Mini comes with a 4.2-inch display and also packs an increased resolution; 540 x 960 compared to 480 x 800.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs Galaxy S3 Mini

Despite the extra screen space, this gives the Galaxy S4 Mini a slightly increased pixel density of 256ppi to the 233ppi of the S3 Mini and gives it the edge for watching YouTube videos and browsing the web.

On the whole, both the Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini come with relatively similar screens as they both pack in the Super AMOLED technology that has made Samsung handsets so popular.

Neither handset is ideal for those that plan on watching a wide range of films, the lower screen resolutions certainly don't lend themselves to HD movies, but both are more than sufficient for texting and web browsing.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs Galaxy S3 Mini

Camera

One of the more noticeable differences between the Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini is the size of the camera sensors that adorn the rears of the mini devices, as well as the forward facing sensors that capture those all important selfies.

Samsung fitted the Galaxy S3 Mini with a smaller 5MP offering, cut down from the 8MP Galaxy S3 although still allowing it to capture decent images.

Where the Galaxy S4 took an upgrade from 8MP to 13MP, the Galaxy S4 Mini also took an upgrade in size, shipping with an 8MP sensor.

On the front of the Galaxy S3 Mini comes a VGA snapper, again smaller than the 1.9MP offering of the Galaxy S4 Mini. If you're really into Snapchat or sharing self portraits via other social media, the added pixels on Galaxy S4 Mini will eventually prove to be invaluable.

The Galaxy S4 Mini also benefits from a whole new camera app that brings a whole raft of features that take a lot of the complications out of snapping a candid image. Samsung has given the S4 Mini the Auto, Best Photo, Continuous Shot, Best Face, Sound & Shot, Rich Tone (HDR), Panorama, Sports and Night modes found in the Galaxy S4.

That's not to say that the Galaxy S3 Mini misses out, coming with its own tricks. Equipped with Smile Shot and Buddy Photo Share, these allow you to capture an image as soon as the subject smiles, as well as instantaneous capture and tagging of friends photos to make social sharing that bit easier.

For video recording, both the Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini are able to record HD images, although this is 720p on the S3 Mini as opposed 1080p on the S4 Mini.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs Galaxy S3 Mini

Inside, colours are warmer and increased levels of detail are noticeable, especially on the label.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs Galaxy S3 Mini

Colour reproduction is much more impressive on the Galaxy S4 Mini, with much higher contrast levels and more detail in the leaves.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs Galaxy S3 Mini

Again, colours appear richer on the shot taken by the S4 Mini. There is noticeably more detail in the background too, rather than disappearing into a bright patch.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs Galaxy S3 Mini

Colours appear richer with greater contrast, with the Galaxy S4 Mini capturing more detail in the brick work.