Battery life

A smartphone is only as good as its weakest elements. It would be impossible to have an amazing phone with only enough juice in the battery to power it for 10 minutes. Take a look at our HTC One review, for instance, to see that it only achieved the 5-star status after getting an update to address battery problems.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

The problem with writing this section of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review is that just about every user of every device will be utilizing it for different reasons. That said, we reckon that the 1900mAh that is packed behind the battery cover is more than sufficient.

The dual-core innards go some way to keeping the battery life under control. The larger quad-core processors tend to drink a lot more juice, so thinking that the smaller 1900mAh battery won't cope as well would be a mistake. The smaller screen also uses a lot less power.

Battery life is an area that Samsung has really given some thought to. The quick settings that sit in the notifications bar have been around for as long as we can remember. They really help save the battery life, giving you the ability to turn off battery-draining services such as Wi-Fi and GPS.

We threw the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini through its paces, and we were pleased to say it lasted on a standard day. Checking emails occasionally, and sending the odd text message, as well as taking quite a lot of photographs, we were glad to see that by bed time we still had more than 30% left.

Even our standard battery test proved quite decent, with our 90 minute HD video only draining the battery by 19%. It might seem like a lot, but we have seen a lot worse.

Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

When it comes to connectivity, modern smartphones are getting more and more connected. Even the entry-level handsets that we have used are coming with things such as NFC.

Being a mid-range phone, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini comes with all the standard bells and whistles that you might expect. Wi-Fi, GPS and GLONASS, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G. Yes, double yes, yes yes.

Having 4G onboard also puts it square against the Sony Xperia SP, with 4G slowly making its way to the mid-range smartphones. It's nice to see that fast mobile internet technology is making its way down to cheaper devices, because this will only increase the number of users taking it up and also push the technology further.

Wi-Fi is supported to a/b/g/n standards (as well as Wi-Fi Direct onboard), and Bluetooth 4.0 and A2DP support are also available.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

DLNA streaming is also built in to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, as we mentioned earlier. We also mentioned the IR blaster earlier, which turns the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini into a remote control.

We should also mention in this section that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini includes what Samsung has termed Group Play.

It is an app that connects the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini to other modern Galaxy smartphones, so you and your friends can turn your phones into a sort of surround sound system, with music being played through all the external speakers.

Connection to the PC is done via a micro USB port, which also doubles itself up as the charging point, as it always has done on Galaxy devices. This sets the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini up as an external drive, meaning that the usual drag and drop features on the desktop are still present.

Samsung also has its proprietary Kies software, which the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini can connect to via the micro USB cable, or via Kies Air (if both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network).