Finally, I was able to test out a Samsung Galaxy device that
many of my non-team iPhone friends have raved about.  Sprint provided me with the Samsung Galaxy S4Mini (White) for review.  At first
glance, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini looks like the perfect pocket-sized,
handheld device measuring 4.3” and weighing only 3.8 ounces; however, I didn’t
end up wanting to ditch my iPhone 5C just yet. 
Continue reading to see why. 
About the Samsung
Galaxy S4 Mini
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a compact smartphone operating
on the Sprint 4G LTE Network running Android™ 4.2.2, Jelly Bean.  The Mini is one of the first tri-band LTE
devices compatible with Sprint Spark, Sprint’s jazzed-up 4G service; however,
unable to get to Manhattan where Spark service is available, during my testing
period, I wasn’t able to experience any of the advantages of the Spark
Network.  The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini has 3G/4G
LTE mobile hotspot capability supporting up to eight Wi-Fi® enabled devices
simultaneously. 
  • Processor: 1.7GHz
    dual-core processor
  • Dimensions: 
    4.9 x 2.4 x 0.35 inches (124.5 x 61.3 x 8.9 mm)
  • Weight: 
    3.8 ounces (107 grams)
  • Memory: 1.5GB
    RAM, 16GB memory and microSD™ card slot supporting up to 64GB memory card
    (sold separately)
  • Colors: Available in Black Mist and White Frost
Look
I’m not really into white phones; however, I do like the
look and feel of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. 
It’s a sleek-looking device featuring a reflective pattern on the
backside (battery cover) with the Samsung logo centered, and Galaxy S4 Mini
closer to the bottom.  The metal-like
band gives it a high-end look, as well as the other chrome features found on
the front of the device.   
The dimensions are very similar to my iPhone 5C, thus making
it easy to grip and handle.  Also, it’s
lightweight, and I didn’t mind toting it around in my purse or pocket. It’s so lightweight
that I’d sometimes forget I even had it in my bag.  Plus, it was easy for my toddler to hold and
handle.

Display
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini features a 4.3-inch qHD Super
AMOLED® (960 x 540) display, 256 dpi, which doesn’t provide crisp
on-screen images.  Watching movies,
videos or playing games on this device can prove to be annoying, but it didn’t
bother my daughter.
Performance
For me the apps lagged when opening.  I didn’t have issues with any of them shutting
down, as I’ve experienced with another Android device, the ZTE Warp.  Calls and texts went through without any
issues.  The calls were clear and
relatively loud without even being on the highest volume setting. 
Battery Life
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini sports a 1,900 mAh battery, and
if you’re running multiple apps, the battery does not last.  This was one of the features I was not
impressed with.  There were days when I’d
charge the phone completely, and leave it unused and come back to it dead the
next day.  The charging speed, however,
was impressive; the phone completely charged in under an hour.
Camera
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini features an 8MP rear camera, which
is exactly the same megapixels as my iPhone 5C; however, the front-facing 1.9
MP camera of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a little better than the iPhone 5C I’m
currently using.   We all know that in
the age of selfies, having a great front-facing camera is important.  Photo-quality was the similar, if not the
same, especially when I had great lighting. 
There’s no dedicated camera button, but the camera can be
launched from the lock screen. The camera is the only app that will bypass a
password.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini allows you to capture stills and
record simultaneously by having both a camera button and video camera button on
the right side of the screen at all times.
Apps
Being a Google device, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini includes Google
Mobile™ wireless services such as Google Search™, Gmail™, and Google Maps™ for
Android, Google Calendar™, Voice Actions and YouTube™.   It also includes a bundle of Samsung  like Samsung Hub, S Beam, Samsung WatchON,
Group Play, along with some Sprint Apps.
One of the apps I wanted to test out was S Beam, but since I
didn’t have another Samsung device available to allow me to share files, I wasn’t
able to.  However,  I was able to download all of my favorite apps
without any issues.
My Thoughts
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini left me wanting a little bit
more, especially when compared to my current phone, the iPhone 5C.  Even though I loved the sleekness of the
build of this Android device, it did seem poorly made.  The backside of the phone (battery cover)
lifted off without manipulation at times, and was too easy to remove. If you’re
a parent of a toddler, you do not need a phone like that.  However, the phone does handle the roughness
toddler’s expose things to pretty well. I give it a plus there. 
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini isn’t as kid-friendly as my
iPhone 5C or the Boost MAX that I recently reviewed.  My toddler had issues accessing and
re-opening apps without my assistance, which are things she was able to do on
the other devices. 
The Camera is solid, I have no complaints there.  I’m able to snap photos of myself, things I
need for my blogs and pictures of my family. 
I like that I can setup my Google account on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
and have the photos privately back-up to online storage.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini can be purchased from Sprint for
$399 without a 2 year contract, and for $0 with a 2 year contract. 
Get a Sprint Framily
Plan
You and up to 10 friends, family and others can get unlimited
talk, text and 1GB of data each while on the Sprint network.  Separate bills as low as $25/mo. per line
after group savings.  No annual service
contracts.  No early termination fees.
Other charges and restrictions apply.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Coming April 2014!
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Kim S.
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Kim is the do-it-all mom (and wife) who not only works full-time and is a freelance makeup artist, but also blogs about her love of family, travel, beauty and skincare. Now that she has a kindergartener, Kim has added Class Parent to her resume. These are all tough jobs, but somehow, she makes them look easy.