Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

The S4 gets shrunk and we put it through its paces

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As we said, a smartphone needs the ability to make phone calls to keep the smartphone title. Without it, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini would just be a smart, and that makes no sense. It also needs to be able to send messages of all varieties, otherwise it might as well drop the smart title.

We've come to praise many a device on its ability to send messages, especially Android devices, due to the sheer volume of options available. We'll cover the main ones in this section, but before we begin, we have to give a shout out to the keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Samsung Galaxy devices of old were never amazing - in fact we'd go so far as to say they were awful, with cramped keyboards tied together with inaccurate word predictions making things very difficult indeed. Thankfully things have changed with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and, as such, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

We were a little worried that the smaller screen on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini would prove a bit of a hindrance, and take us back to the Galaxy days of old. That didn't seem to be the case, though.

We can't say that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini's keyboard is the best we've ever seen, since there are some truly exceptional third-party offerings on the Google Play Store, but the key spacing and autocorrect are a lot better than previous Galaxy offerings.

The smaller screen size also makes it a lot more comfortable to use when typing in landscape mode, if a little stretched still, at least when aiming our digits at the middle keys.

SMS and MMS messaging is handled, rather unsurprisingly, in the Messaging app. The blue and yellow bubbles are out again in full force, with a little customisation of the colour and the shape of the bubbles. Small contact photos also sit next to the bubbles.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Samsung has thankfully taken a lick of paint to the email client that had appeared on previous Galaxy devices.

It is something that we commented on in our Samsung Galaxy S4 review, and we are glad that it is still present on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

The clean UI makes it easy to use, and the support for multiple accounts and an aggregated inbox makes it a lot more intuitive.

Google has also bundled its Gmail client in with Android devices. With the latest update bringing in contact photos and the ability to swipe to archive messages, the app is more packed and more intuitive than ever.

It also brings across all the features that have made the desktop client so powerful.


Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

ChatON is a feature that now graces every Samsung device. In essence, it is a WhatsApp / BBM / iMessage rival, that sends instant messages across to your contacts. You can also use it to send voice messages, as well as pictures.

As a platform, Samsung has clearly given it some thought, and it's rather good. Unfortunately, we don't see it catching on, since we have found that there are very few contacts online.

The rise of the cross-platform WhatsApp and the announced for iOS and Android BBM platform won't do ChatON any favours.

To call messaging a dream on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini would be somewhat of an overwhelming understatement. It is a large step up from previous Galaxy devices, one that Samsung really needed to make.

An improved keyboard and email client, paired with the decent Gmail app and functional SMS app, mean there is little to leave you feeling like it's wanting.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
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
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), Email, MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density256 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.9 Megapixel
Height124.6 mm
Width61.3 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time300 Hour
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 Address
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