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samsung phones

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We’re not sure what Samsung’s game plan is, but it seems that they release a new phone almost every week! In my opinion they want to saturate all segments of the mobile market and leave people no other option but to buy a Samsung. Could be effective if it works.

In this weekly showdown, Samsung recently announced another phone from its Galaxy series, the Galaxy S4 Mini. Although I don’t really see a point in releasing a gorgeous phone like the Galaxy S4 and then following it up with a Mini version, Samsung believes that there is a market for people who want the features of the S4 but not the size.

The past few years have seen phones getting bigger and bigger with manufacturers squeezing the tablet space, but according to Samsung there is a piece of the pie to be had for the huge Mega’s and Note’s as well as the diminutive Mini’s – this being proven by the successful launch of the S3 Mini.

Price and Features

Back to the S4 Mini; the Galaxy S4 Mini is scheduled for release in July. It is also possible to pre-order the phone now, if you just can’t wait and you’re willing to spend 500 euros to get one.

Although the 500 euros price tag does seem a bit steep for the Galaxy S4 Mini, especially when an additional 50 euros gets you big brother Galaxy S4, it does make up for it with its features. The Galaxy S4 Mini plays around in the 4 inch screen area, 4.3 inches to be exact. This used to be a standard on phones a few years back but now categorizes the Mini niche.

The only other major player still operating in this area is Apple with its iPhone. In the Android space, there are very few, if any brands offering high end specs in this segment. This may be the reason for the launch of the Galaxy S4 Mini and the success of the Galaxy S3 Mini.

Another reason for giving life to the Galaxy S4 Mini (or the mini series on the whole) could be to elevate Samsung’s flagship phones (S4s, S3s) above the competition, mainly the iPhone. The Mini’s with their similar size to the iPhone can be left to tackle it and the S4s can have an open playing field.

To give you a better idea of the Galaxy S4 Mini, below is a comparison between it, the iPhone and the HTC One S

comparison chart samsung galaxy s4

If you want my perspective, the Galaxy S4 Mini has more RAM, a better front camera and is lighter, with the rest of the specs being almost equal, making it superior to both the HTC One S and the iPhone 5.

However, the difference is not as significant as it seems on paper and of course there is the question of why shouldn’t I just spend a little more and get myself the Galaxy S4 (Biggie) instead?

The Verdict

Although it does make sense to target the smaller screen niche (even when you have a hit like the Galaxy S4), the S4 Mini might not give the consumer many reasons to lose focus on the S4 itself, especially when the price difference is not that significant. It however could be another nail in the coffin for the illustrious iPhone.

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Compare Nokia Lumia 928 to Samsung Galaxy S4

Nokia has long been a master in the mobile phone arena, but the advent of the smartphone has thrust Samsung into the limelight. Two of the latest devices from these competing giants are the Nokia Lumia 928 and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Comparing these two devices head-to-head in a number of different categories is the best way to find out which one will suit your needs.

Android Tablet or Android Phone?

It is worth noting that there are a plethora of 7-inch tablets that are cheaper than the larger premium phones. If you are primarily looking for the bigger phones to use as an entertainment or work device then you could go for an Android Tablet. You get more power for your money with tablets than with phones. Of course you will have to buy a SIM version if you want to use the android tablet as a phone too.

Now Back to the Review and the Phone Designs

While they are similar to a certain extent, it could be said that the Nokia wins because it is more stylish than the Samsung. However, the S4 is thinner and lighter so if this is what you are looking for in a phone then the S4 would win your battle.

The design of the Lumia 928 does make it seem more solid
than the S4, and that it would survive a fall better.

The design of the volume controls can be important. Both of the devices have designs that are distinct to their manufacturer, but the S4 does seem to be more responsive. The ports incorporated into the designs are the same except for the video-out function only found on the S4. The S4 sport model also has an IR blaster, which can be used as a universal remote control.

  • The Cameras

In terms of the cameras the S4 is the winner with a 13MP camera with LED flash and a digital image stabiliser. The Lumia 928 comes with an 8.7MP camera, an optic image stabiliser and a Xenon flash.The resolution that the devices shoot at is the same. Of course, these are only the rear facing cameras.

Both devices do come with a front facing camera as well. The specs on these cameras are less impressive with the S4 having a 2MP camera and the Lumia 928 having a 1.2MP camera. In industry terms, the front facing S4 camera is pretty impressive.

  • Device Displays

The S4 does have a better screen resolution at 1080 x 1920, while the Lumia 9828 only has a resolution of 768 x 1280. Both of the devices have deep colours and wide viewing angles, but the S4 wins on the display. The S4 has sharpness to the picture that is lacking in the Lumia 928. The S4 also has increased sensitivity, which allows you to operate the display while wearing gloves.

  • Functionality and Interface

It is hard to pick a winner in the category of interfaces and functionality as this is down to personal preference. This is due to the fact that the S4 uses the Android operating system while the Lumia 928 uses Windows Phone 8. Of course, if you are looking at the depth of the device and pure functionality then the S4 is the winner. The inclusion of the newer TouchWiz Nature UX technology increases the experience of the S4 to a new level.

If you are looking for a more dynamic experience then the Windows Phone 8 interface of the Lumia 928 is the winner. The look of the interface is new and different to other phones. There are also a number of live tiles that you can use to navigate the phone. However, all of this pales into insignificance when you consider the number of features that the S4 can offer through the Android interface. Remember that the android interface is the same as found on the expensive android tablet; it is extremely functional.

If you are looking for organizer functions then the S4 is way head of the Lumia 928. The S4 uses the Google Now organizer, while the Lumia 928 is still using the Bing experience. The ease of typing on the phone is won by the Lumia 928. Many people find it easier to type on the Windows Phone 8 keyboard than the Samsung keyboard. However, you could download the excellent Swype app and get a much better typing experience on the S4.

Memory and Processors

The memory and processors of the phones are very important because you do not want lag when you try to do something. The S4 does have a better processor with the quad-core Snapdragon, which is combined with 2MB RAM.

The Lumia 928 has a dual-core processor , which is coupled with 1MB of RAM. The shocking thing with this category is that in some respects the Lumia 928 dual-core actually does better.

The time it takes to do most tasks is the same with these devices. However, there are certain activities where the S4 does lag a bit while the Lumia 928 does not. This would not affect the overall usage of the phone, but it does tell you that the newer and bigger processors do not always win.

In terms of memory the S4 does come out on top. Both of the devices come in a 32GB version, which is more than enough internal memory for most people. The upper hand for the S4 comes with the microSD slot that this device includes. The Lumia 928 does not have a slot for external memory expansion.

Internet and Connections

On the surface, the internet experience of both devices is the same. Both of these devices come with 4G connectivity and have smooth navigation and instant web page rendering. However, if you take the time to really browse the internet you will see that the S4 does come out the winner. There are a number of little features included in the Android device that improves the experience.

In terms of connectivity, these devices are quite equally matched with the same connections available. However, the Lumia 928 does have wireless charging while the S4 comes with video-out connections. There are also certain S4 models that come with the IR Blaster.

Multimedia Viewing

A lot of people view media on their phones more than anywhere else. When you are looking at music then the Lumia 928 wins. The Windows Phone 8 music player has a better interface and the device speakers give a louder and clearer sound than the S4. However, in terms of video viewing the S4 does better because of the better display.

The Battery

Both devices offer a single day of battery use if you are not doing anything too demanding. While this is ideal for the average user, heavy phone users will have to charge their phones regularly during the day.

Tablet or Phone?

If your phone is really your entertainment or workstation you really should consider an Android tablet. It is even possible to get a smartphone and tablet together in a contract, with both devices offered free of charge.

With 4G rolling around the country we are no doubt going to be doing more on our tablets and smartphones, and less on our laptops.

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