I thought I would try something new, so I made a video of this review. The written one on this page is a little more detailed, but the video shows real live footage of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. What’s a person to do? Either way, Sprint wants to give you one of these babies, so you’ll want to leave a comment at the end of this post which will enter you into our drawing. All you have to do is tell us what kinds of posts you want to see from us in the future. Ahem, on with the review.
When I opened the box, my first reaction was a gasp. How cute is this phone? Very. Especially since I’m used to looking at my jumbo size phone. I know if you are looking for a manly man’s phone, cute is probably not the first thing you would want to people to think when they see the phone you’re packing, but don’t write it off just yet. Especially if you are looking for a great phone that will fit into small places, like, your pocket for example. Remember how phones used to fit in our pockets? Those were the days.
Anyway, it looks exactly like the S4, but smaller. Hence the “mini”. Although, “mini” is apparently relative. It still has a 4.3″ screen. I think it would be better to think of it as the “mid-size” S4. That’s pretty much the story with everything else about the phone.
|Battery||15 hrs talk time||11 hrs talk time|
|Screen||5″ 1080×1920 Super AMOLED Plus||4.3″ 960×540 Super AMOLED|
|Camera||13 MP||8 MP1.9 MP Front Facing|
|Processor||1.9 GhzQuad Core||1.7 GhzDual Core|
|Memory||16 GB internal2 GB RAM||16 GB internal1.5 GB RAM|
When comparing it to the Galaxy S4—its full size counterpart—the S4 Mini’s battery has a little less juice, the processor-a little less punch (dual core instead of quad, but clocking speeds are only .2 Ghz behind), the memory-a little less space, the screen-a little less crisp—but all of that adds up to a phone that is cheaper by $200 or thereabouts. And it’s small enough to populate your pocket once more.
It’s a pretty decent phone, especially for the price. I never had any problems playing moderately graphic intensive games such as Temple Run. And let’s be honest, if you mostly use your phone for texting, calls, music, or watching YouTube every now and then, you don’t really need anything more.
It still has most of the bells and whistles that its full size sibling boasts, like: HDR camera mode, recording a snippet of sound with the photo, and functionality to use the phone as a remote, tap to share, and other such Samsung staples. Although I should note, the camera is 8 MP vs. the S4’s 13 MP. I know, megapixels aren’t everything, but they do count for something. Just don’t expect your pictures to be as clear. And it doesn’t do front and back pictures at the same time either. Not that I was really excited about that anyway.
And because it’s a Samsung it comes replete with the regular Galaxy apps and widgets. If that is something that makes you happy, then you will very much enjoy turning this phone on for the first time. It’s a real app party. They’re everywhere.
One of the widgets is a Samsung app that unites your social media into one platform. It kind of reminds me of the root screen on my HTC One. It’s a collage of stuff from your Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and whatnot, plus news feeds from different genres of interest, which you get to choose when you set it up.
Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of my phone being crowded, so I’m happy to report that you can remove the widgets and uninstall some of the apps.
One small bother for me is that it has bouts when it disconnects from the Wi-Fi for no apparent reason. I prefer the Wi-Fi to the 4GLTE because it is loads faster, and it doesn’t use up my data. Anyway, for some reason The S4 Mini is a bit finicky about connecting and staying connected to the Wi-Fi even though none of my other devices have that problem, not even on the other side of the house. I’m not sure if this is a S4 Mini thing, or if I just got a lemon.
Anyway, besides that small hiccup, there are a ton of other connectivity options available. There’s the 4GLTE plus, NFC (tap to share), S Beam (NFC except through Wi-Fi Direct instead of Bluetooth, allowing for faster transfer speeds), Wi-Fi Direct, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth capability that is not only faster, but doesn’t devour your battery like previous Bluetooth functionality), Screen Mirroring. The works.
You can upload or download media directly to Google Pics, Dropbox, Google Drive, Email, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Picassa, YouTube and more with your 4GLTE and Wi-Fi where it is available.
In a Nut Shell:
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a great phone that won’t strain the seams of your pockets. And it will help you on your way to straining the seams of your wallet instead, because it costs $200 less than the full size S4. It’s got enough bang for the buck that it’s definitely worth the price. But hang on, what about the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini giveaway, you ask?
Well, it is just how it sounds. Sprint wants to give one of our lucky readers an S4 Mini for free! This is a $400 phone! And it’s just in time for the roll out of Sprint’s new Framily plan. And no, that was not a typo. Framily is akin to the family plan, but extends to friends as well. And everybody is responsible for his or her own bill, so you don’t have to worry if someone else defaults on payment. Here’s a link if you want more details. The more the merrier, literally, because the more people are on your plan, the more you save.
Anyway, to enter your name into the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Giveaway just follow the two step process below.
1. Leave a comment at the bottom of the post telling us what product/software/app reviews, how to’s, or tutorials you want to see more of in the future.
2. That’s it. Just tell us what you want us to write about. This is your chance to make requests people, and win something while you’re at it!
The drawing will go down on Friday February 21st. That’s a week from today.
ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED
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I’m a technological enthusiast with a completely unrelated degree in English Literature. I’ve also been known to dabble in photography and DIY furniture refinishing, with occasional stints of fitness sprinkled among all of the above.