If you were expecting a huge song-and-dance unveiling for the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, like we saw for the Galaxy S4 in March, you might be disappointed. The Korean-based manufacturer quietly launched the truncated version of its 2013 flagship device on Thursday.
As was predicted, the Galaxy S4 mini will have its official debut on June 20 at Samsung’s Premiere 2013 event in London, but Samsung has released specs and official images for the device, which will be available in the standard white frost and black mist.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini will feature a 4.3-inch 960 x 540 qHD Super AMOLED display, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, with 5GB available for personal use and microSD support for up to 64GB of memory. The new phone also includes a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, but we'll go more into detail on that later.
We will also see the Galaxy S4 mini packed with an 8-megapixel camera with TouchWiz camera features and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE and NFC for the LTE version. Some variants of the Galaxy S4 mini will feature dual SIM support. All variants will run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with the TouchWiz UI on top.
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Now back to that dual-core processor: While Samsung has not indicated which manufacturer will produce the processor for the Galaxy S4 mini, two chipsets possibly remain in the running. Initial rumors proposed that the device would be powered by the Exynos 5210 CPU; however, more recent reports suggest the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, which includes the dual-core Krait CPU clocking in at 1.7GHz as well as the Adreno 305 GPU. Many sources have reported about the dual-core Exynos 5210 CPU, after a chart comparing the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 to their mini counterparts surfaced in mid-May, but it appears that no such chip exists, or at least no such chip has been unveiled.
However, Samsung does produce the Exynos 5 Dual chipset, previously known as the Exynos 5250, which includes the 1.7GHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU and the ARM Mali-T604 GPU; the Exynos 5210 CPU supposedly clocks in at 1.6GHz.
During the release of the Galaxy S4, Samsung said it uses its own Exynos chips as well as others like those from Qualcomm that provide complimentary user experiences in order to adhere to product demand. As component shortages appear to now be a regular occurrence, we may see the manufacturer continue its tradition of using different processors in different variants of its devices. Or perhaps the Samsung will take a cue from its Galaxy S3 mini and use a completely different brand of processor; the S3 mini is notably powered by a dual-core NovaThor U8420 processor clocking in at 1GHz.
We will likely know which manufacturer will provide the Galaxy S4 mini’s processor by the time it's released, if not by its official June 20 launch. Samsung has also remained mum about when the Galaxy S4 mini will be available for purchase and how much it will cost. For such a curveball unveiling, it remains quite anticlimactic.