Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Review

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Think Twice

The S4 Mini doesn't deliver the performance or features of its larger sibling, and its screen isn't quite as sharp as the competition. This is not a bad phone, but it's hard to settle on a model like this when you can get a premium phone for a penny.

If you expect this phone to be simply a shrunken version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini reviews warn you'll be sorely disappointed. The processor isn't as fast, the camera isn't as well-equipped, and the smaller display brings non-HD resolution. That's not to say the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (starting at 1 cent, Amazon) isn't a solid handset. A reviewer from PC Mag found the call quality excellent, with no distortion and crystal-clear voices. The 1,900 mAh battery can power the phone through nearly 12 hours of talk time and PC Mag's Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review lists battery life as a pro. The camera can take some pretty good photos in daylight, according to the reviewer, but the photo quality suffers in low light.

An expert writing for Digital Trends likes that the S4 Mini takes a more compact, manageable form than the S4. This reviewer, like the one from PC Mag, managed to take very good, colorful photos in bright light, but low-light photos looked fuzzy. In testing the phone showed some occasional lag when launching apps or performing other tasks.

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The display on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini measures 960 x 540 pixels and 4.27 inches, quite a bit smaller than the 5-inch monster on the S4. The phone relies on the Android 4.2.2 operating system and a 1.7 GHz dual-core CPU, compared with the 1.9 Ghz quad-core processor on the S4. The rear camera resolution is 8 megapixels and the phone has a 1.9 MP front camera. The S4 Mini incorporates 16 GB of internal memory and offers a microSD card slot to expand the memory by up to 64 GB. As you'd expect, the phone supports 4G LTE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini lacks the panache and power of its full-size counterpart, but it is quite a bit more compact, which will certainly appeal to some users. In terms of performance and features, the S4 Mini feels like a middle-of-the-road model. It's not bad, but there are plenty of fancier and more powerful phones available for little or no cost with a two-year contract.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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