TODO alt text

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

The S4 gets shrunk and we put it through its paces

Our Verdict

Takes a lot from the S4 and packages it nicely - plus the technology on board doesn't disappoint, although the CPU might judder at times.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 12 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 540 x 960
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Scaled down S4 design
  • Bright screen
  • Excellent camera
  • 4G

Against

  • Not full HD
  • Only dual-core
  • No notification light
  • Awkward microSD port

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Like every Android Jelly Bean device before is, the internet capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is handled with either the native internet browser or via Google Chrome.

We can keep commenting on our confusion over this, given that they do the same thing in almost identical fashions.

As to which you wish to choose, you might as well flip a coin. We would suggest that Chrome is slightly better at managing bookmarks and tabs, and moving between devices, especially if you have your bookmarks synced to your Google account, since the Samsung browser no longer draws them in from the cloud.

We do some benchmarking tests with every review, one of which is the Peacekeeper browser test. Using this, we were a little surprised to find that the benchmark results for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini were in line with the full fat Galaxy S4. This was also reflected while browsing, with there being little slow down over Wi-Fi.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is also 4G-enabled in certain territories, such as the UK.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Unfortunately at the moment, the roll out of 4G is limited to EE, which has yet to cover the whole of the UK.

For the immediate present, 4G is only going to appeal to a smaller audience, but it helps keep it future-proof, with all the major networks hoping to have 4G signals across the country by the end of the year.

Other countries, such as the US, already have a strong 4G service, so 4G phones have more appeal there.

Looking back at the browser, Samsung's offering has some nifty features. Tabbed browsing and incognito browsing are available in both browsers, but making new bookmarks in Samsung's own browser is slightly easier than in Chrome.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Hitting the star-shaped icon in the upper-right corner brings up the Add Bookmarks option, and then you can choose where to save that particular bookmark.

It is also possible to turn off image loading, in order to save data. Given that we expect most Samsung Galaxy S4 Minis to be sold on contracts, at £25 and above, we don't expect that limited data will be a massive problem, but you never know.

One nifty feature that has been missed out on the Galaxy S4 Mini, and all Samsung Galaxy devices, is text reflow.

Double-tapping text will zoom the text to a certain level, but there is no custom level of zoom, no matter how we tried. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini will zoom in, but it will not reflow.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Both desktop and mobile sites can be enabled, and the Super AMOLED qHD screen is very bright, making reading text very easy.

The 4.3-inch screen size makes it a little less appealing for extremely long periods of browsing, but those who are likely to do that will be using tablets or phablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is more than sufficient for using while commuting, and for a light to moderate browsing experience.

Again, we have to say that the S4 Mini's screen is leagues above the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini's, with the added size and resolution making browsing a far greater experience.

Elsewhere, functionality-wise the Samsung browser seems to have borrowed more elements that we had noticed in Chrome before. One of these is a little magnifying pane that pops up when you tap a hyperlink that is right next to another, while zoomed out, to make it easier to select the correct one.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Flash is also missing from the browser. We know Adobe pretty much killed Flash last year, but with it being offered as an optional plug-in on HTC devices, its omission is rather noticeable.

In general, we miss mobile Flash, so it's not just the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini that we have commented upon that makes us miss it.

Just a side note to Google Chrome, that we touched upon earlier. We found that we tended to lean towards it, if only because of the way it handles bookmarks and tabs better. It still syncs across all the bookmarks that you have attached to your Google account.

The three default Chrome home pages enable you to choose those bookmarks, your most recently visited/most popular pages, as well as the most recent tabs opened across all your devices, be it desktop or other mobile devices, including Chrome on iOS devices.

No matter what you choose, we find little that would leave you disappointed while web browsing on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. It is far better than the Galaxy S3 Mini, and comes with two feature-packed browsers. The dual-core innards also keep everything plugging along nicely.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+, UMTS
SAR Value0.33 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy S4 Mini
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 850, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite Frost
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time12 Hour
Product ModelGT-I9195
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution540 x 960
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)107 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), Email, MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density256 ppi
Height124.6 mm
Width61.3 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 400
Product LineGalaxy S4 Mini
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Magnetometer, Health Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I9195ZWABTU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing InformationThe Galaxy S4 Mini is a powerful, compact version of its bestselling smartphone, the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 Mini delivers the superior performance, intuitive ease-of-use and sleek design of the Galaxy S4 in a portable chic and compact design.

With a 4.3" qHD Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy S4 Mini offers stunning images and content. At just 107g, the lightweight and compact design enables you to carry and use the device easily with one hand. The Galaxy S4 Mini also boasts powerful performance, equipped with a 1.7GHz dual core processor and supports many of the same intuitive features as the Galaxy S4, designed to enhance different aspects of life.

Capturing Memories
The Galaxy S4 Mini allows you to capture important moments in life with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera as well as a 1.9-megapixel HD front-facing camera. Special features include Sound&Shot, which stores sounds and images together, Panorama Shot which allows you to take a full view of what you are seeing, and Story Album, which automatically arranges photos in a smart format - photos taken by Galaxy S4 Mini are automatically gathered and saved according to your timeline, geo-tagging information or specific event, to create a photo album. You can also receive travel assistance and information services through the S Travel preloaded app which can even recommend a new trip and provide destination guides.

Sharing and Connecting
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini means you can share content with others around you easily. Simultaneously listen to the same music and play the same games as your friends with Group Play, and chat with multiple friends with animations, video and voice recording added to messages using ChatON.

Environment Features
The Galaxy S4 Mini features S Translator, for instant translation using text or voice on applications including email, text message and ChatON. You can also control your environment through WatchON's IR remote which transforms the device into a remote to control your home entertainment systems including TV, set-top box and DVD player. Content available includes live TV, cable TV and VOD based on the information provided EPG (Electronic Program Guide). In addition, Samsung Link* will help you share content across multiple Samsung digital devices. *Available in select countries. Previously called AllShare Play.

Wellbeing Features
The Galaxy S4 Mini keeps you up to date with health and wellbeing information. Downloadable from Samsung Apps, S Health enables you to monitor your calorie balance. It can calculate each step taken daily, monitor sleeping patterns, calculate weight and share real time heart rate information**. Adapt Display provides an optimal viewing experience, customised for each type of application, and Adapt Sound offers an optimal level and type of sound, personalised for each user. ** Functionality such as monitoring weight, heart rate and sleeping patterns is possible through the use of fitness accessories which are sold separately.
Limited Warranty2 Year