Samsung Galaxy S4 mini review: Little droid that could

GSMArena team, 16 July 2013.
Pages: 123456789101112

Tags: Samsung, Android

Display

The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini uses a 4.3" Super AMOLED screen of qHD resolution (960 x 540 pixels). The pixel density clocks in at 256ppi, which is quite good, and what's even better is that it's an RGB matrix, not a Pentile screen.

It uses a layout similar to that of the Galaxy Note II with three subpixels per pixel, where the blue sub-pixel is twice as large as the red and green ones. That's a clever way to extend the life of the screen, without sacrificing anything in terms of sharpness.

Of course, you can find sharper 720p screens in these parts of the market now, but you'll need to live without the benefits of the AMOLED technology.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
The Galaxy S4 mini qHD Super AMOLED screen

All things considered, the Galaxy S4 mini display offers above average image quality for a midrange device. Colors a punchy, blacks are as deep as AMOLED gets them and the viewing angles are extremely wide.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung I9195 Galaxy S4 mini 0 166 0 396
HTC One 0.13 205 1580 0.42 647 1541
HTC Butterfly 0.14 173 1200 0.45 501 1104
Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4 0 201 0 404
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III 0 174 0 330
Sony Xperia Z - - - 0.70 492 705
Oppo Find 5 0.17 176 1123 0.51 565 1107
Samsung N7100 Galaxy Note II 0 215 0 402
LG Optimus G Pro - - - 0.41 611 1489
Nokia Lumia 920 - - - 0.48 513 1065
LG Optimus G 0.14 197 1445 0.33 417 1438
Apple iPhone 5 0.13 200 1490 0.48 640 1320

Sunlight legibility is very good and pretty close to the Galaxy S4 and other Galaxy flagship scores.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

We also put the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini screen under our microscope to show you its peculiar display matrix.

Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 Mini Preview
The screen matrix for the Galaxy S4 mini

Battery life

Our battery test showed that the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini offers remarkable endurance on the individual tasks in our battery life test, but the higher than average drain in stand-by mode prevented it from getting an impressive overall endurance rating. Even so it did more than well and if Samsung improves the stand-by time with future firmware updates, it might be one of the longest-lasting smartphones on the market.

A 54h rating means you can expect the phone to typically last this amount of time on a single charge if you stick to our test regiment of using the phone for an hour of calling, an hour of video watching and an hour of web browsing a day and then leaving it on stand-by during the rest of the time. Of course, your mileage will vary depending on your usage pattern and network environment but still, it's our standardized way of producing comparable results across smartphones by different manufacturers.

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