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Samsung S4 Mini review pt1 First impressions.

Level 26: Upbeat
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Firstly it was great to be able to try a phone I would not normally consider. Thanks to Toby and Chiara for the chance.

First Impressions:
On first sight the S4 Mini is a compact phone as would be suggested by the mini suffix. Though it has a 4.3 inch screen it is not much bigger than an iPhone 4s. The plastic back is curved and means the phone sits nicely in the hand.
S4 Mini v iPhone

After charging the phone it was time to insert the SIM and a micro SD card which both fit in slots under the removable battery. Initially I would be using this as a secondary device so used my GiffGaff SIM. On powering the phone back on it booted into Samsung’s touchwiz overlay on Android 4.2.2. The screen appears bright with well saturated colours and the font is clear though small so that with my ageing eyes I could only read it with glasses and altering the font size in settings did not affect the font within touchwiz.

On connecting to Wi-Fi there was an update to the firmware followed by updates to some of the built in applications. Next step was to sign in to or create a Google account for use with Gmail and the play store. There is also an option to create a Samsung account for use with the Samsung app store or Samsung hub.

NFC is built into the battery rather than having contacts connecting to a coil on the back cover and worked well for transferring a contact from my work Blackberry Z10 in order to test call quality which proved to be clear.

With light usage, that is a few emails and occasional browsing mainly over Wi-Fi, the battery lasted a couple of days with some left.

The Samsung ‘WatchOn’ app allows control of a TV or PVR via an infrared emitter in the top of the phone and also includes a customisable program guide. Playing a You Tube clip found my VM Tivo box and rather than playing from the phone the clip was played through the You Tube App on the Tivo.

For those who have weak signal the network settings only have 2G/3G/4G; 2G/3G or 3G only.


Specifications for the phone may be found at


That's it for this part, next using it as my main device for a week with 4G SIM.