There have many rumors and unofficial “confirmations” for the mini version of Galaxy S4, called unsurprisingly the Galaxy S4 Mini. The phone is supposed to have a 4.3″ display, which only 3 years ago was considered huge for a smartphone, so this says a lot about how big the “regular” smartphones have become these days.
This wouldn’t be the first time Samsung announced a mini version of its flagship, either. Last year, Samsung released the Galaxy S3 Mini, and just like the S3 Mini, the S4 Mini will look like its big brother, but will have little in common with it in terms of specs. Someone seems to have tested the S4 Mini in the AnTuTu benchmark, which then revealed a dual core 1.7 Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor, with an Adreno 305 GPU.
The chip seems to be much like the S4 Pro we saw in Nexus 4, but with only 2 CPU cores instead of 4, and clocked at 1.7 Ghz instead of 1.5 Ghz. Qualcomm seems to be creating a lot of variations of its chips these days. While Adreno 305 is known to have support for OpenGL ES 3.0, the AnTuTu benchmark shows only support for OpenGL ES 2.0. This could be either because the driver doesn’t support OpenGL ES 3.0, or because the AnTuTu benchmark doesn’t have support for OpenGL ES 3.0.
The Galaxy S4 Mini also comes with 4.3″ display with a qHD 960×540 resolution. For a high-end device with a small screen I’d expect at least a 720p display at this point, so I’m not sure if Samsung is trying to position this phone as a high-end one just like its bigger brother, or more of a mid-range one. If it’s a mid-range one, then the price will need to be reflected in that, too, and not just the specs.
It’s a little disappointing that besides the similar name and looks, the Galaxy S4 Mini comes with lower specs, but I can understand why Samsung did it. They know that at this point the people who care most about having the best specs on the market, also want a bigger screen. The customers who want a more “regular” phone, that’s smaller, probably don’t care as much about having the best specs, as long as the performance is more than decent. There will be exceptions, but overall Samsung is probably right in that assessment. It’s just bad news for people who do care about having the best specs on the market, but also refuse to use large screen phones.