Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Hands On: A Few Shortcomings

We’ve already compared the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active to the original Samsung Galaxy S4, and now, we’ve got a Galaxy S4 Mini in-house to check out (and show you how it differs from the bigger, faster SGS4). So, how does it stack up? For starters, the devices are quite different, specs-wise. The Mini takes hits on its processor, RAM, camera, screen resolution, and features when compared to the 5-inch Galaxy S4.

The downgrade from a 1.9GHz, quad-core processor to a 1.7GHz dual core means that apps and navigation can feel a little laggy at times. The major downgrade, though, is the Mini’s 4.3-inch screen, which is a decent size in-hand, but isn’t even HD, clocking in with a disappointing 960×540 resolution. Once you’ve beheld the beauty of the 5-inch SGS4’s 1080p AMOLED, the Mini’s screen seems downright depressing, which is unfortunate.

TouchWiz is presented the same way it is across Samsung’s Galaxy S4 line, but you’ll be missing some features like Dual Shot, Air Gestures, and others that require faster processing speed and more RAM (the Mini has 1.5GB of RAM, compared to 2GB on the 5-inch SGS4). It’s not a total deal breaker, since these are features that aren’t core to the experience, but it is a little bit of a let down if you hoped to get an identical experience to the S4.

The Mini hasn’t made the best first impressions on me; honestly, I’d have loved it if Samsung had delivered an equally specced phone as the 5-inch model with a 720p screen and smaller battery. Some people don’t care for 5-inch and greater smartphones, and it seems so far like this phone is a wasted opportunity to grab some of that market. Of course, it’s also a perfectly decent phone, and if the subsidized price is right (or free), I’m sure they’ll fly off the shelves when they hit retail stores.

Ashley Esqueda

Ashley Esqueda is a sixth-generation Southern Californian, and thinks that's pretty cool. Ever since her mom bought her an NES for her third birthday...