Samsung’s Galaxy range of smartphones is expanding quicker than ever this year, and one of the latest additions to the line up is the Galaxy S4 Mini, which looks to be a smaller, more compact version of the Korean phone maker’s 2013 flagship, the Galaxy S4.
The S4 Mini Could Be A Bit Pricey!
The company is set to show off a range of new handsets, including the S4 Mini, at a major event in London next week, but it’s already facing criticisms after a number of major online retailers revealed their S4 Mini price plans, which pitch a SIM-free version of the handset from £389 upwards.
If these figures prove to be true it’ll certainly be an expensive little number – a brave move by Samsung considering the current competition on the mid-range market, from the likes of Nokia, BlackBerry and HTC.
Put the two handsets side by side and they look very similar, sporting the same shape and polycarbonate casing, and as a result of this their overall build quality and durability are also on a par.
The ‘Mini’ name can be slightly deceptive as the device is by no means small. In fact it houses a generous 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display, which produces vibrant, natural colours; just what we’d expect to see from a mid-range Galaxy device. However, its screen resolution is much lower than the Galaxy S4, at just 256ppi, so don’t expect results to be anywhere near as crisp and detailed as those seen on the flagship’s 5-inch offering.
For a mid-range device the 1.7GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM on the S4 Mini will be more than enough to keep the handset ticking along nicely. Put this against the Galaxy S4 though and the difference in terms of performance is evident straight away.
The 1.9GHz quad-core number on the Galaxy S4 is currently one of the fastest smartphone processors available in the UK. Combined with 2GB of RAM it makes it the perfect device for those who rely on their handset for completing all manner of tasks, such as watching HD videos and playing games.
The S4 Mini’s 8 megapixel snapper can shoot 1080p video at 30fps, and its 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera makes video calling even clearer and easier. For a mid-range handset the S4 Mini can’t be faulted for its camera capabilities.
But, as smartphone technology becomes more advanced a greater number of mobile phones are starting to hit the market with a 13 megapixel camera – and the Galaxy S4 is no exception. Similar to the S4 Mini, the lens is capable of shooting 1080p video at 30fps, but instead it’s accompanied by a 2 megapixel front-facing camera.There’s an array of extra software features built into the flagship’s camera app and a couple of these have been brought to the S4 Mini. These include Sound and Shot, which lets users place audio clips over their images, and Story Album, which collates pictures from one specific date or event together so you never have to dig around to refresh those important memories.
The name alone suggests that the S4 Mini isn’t as powerful or as feature-packed as its bigger brother, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not an impressive device.
There’s no doubt that it’s a solid mid-range handset that offers a handful of premium features, which enable those on a budget to experience some of the best bits of the Galaxy S4. Its modest measurements will also no doubt prove to be an appealing proposition for those wanting a handset that isn’t verging on ‘phablet’ territory. And, if you don’t have the finances to splash out on the Galaxy S4 and its raft of gesture-based controls then the S4 Mini is certainly a handset to consider.
Right now the lines between Samsung’s devices are becoming more and more blurred, as a number of devices hit the market with a similar helping of features and looks. Let’s just hope that the Korean manufacturer doesn’t get carried away with its pricing strategy as well, or potential mid-range consumers may start turning elsewhere.
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