On June 20th Samsung launched the new Galaxy S4 Mini, a smaller scaled down version of the original and immensely popular Galaxy S4, at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. Based on the previous time lag between the Galaxy S4´s global launch in New York during March 2013 and then being released in Australia at the end of April, we expect the Mini to probably reach our shores sometime between the end of July and mid August.
The price of the Mini upon release in Australia has yet to be disclosed by Samsung, although it´s being reported that in the UK that its expected to retail for £390, or roughly $650 AUD.
But if the sales of the original Galaxy S4 earlier this year are anything to go by, then we predict that if the market likes what it sees the price wars amongst retailers should kick in around 4 to 6 weeks after its launch. By this time we could hopefully start seeing discounts of up to 30% off the original RRP. When its predecessor was launched in Australia on April 29th with an RRP of $899, it took just 5 weeks before we saw the first deal appear on Buckscoop with a retailer breaking below the $600 mark with their offer. So if you're thinking about potentially buying the Mini, a bit of patience could actually save you a fair amount of money.
The theme of the launch event for the Mini in London was based on making people’s lives easier, more creative and productive. What we at Buckscoop are interested in exploring is what the true value of a scaled down Galaxy S4 is likely to offer the average Australian consumer.
In a previous press release, Samsung said the following about the mini "it is a powerful yet compact version of Samsung's bestselling smartphone, GALAXY S4. The GALAXY S4 mini delivers the superior performance, intuitive ease-of-use and sleek design of the GALAXY S4 in a highly portable, chic and compact design, making it an ideal companion for everyday life.".
Let´s take a look at the Galaxy S4 Mini´s specs. They consist of 8GB of internal storage, 1.5GB RAM, a 1,900 mAh battery life, 13MP primary and 2MP secondary camera, 4.3-inch HD screen (960x540 pixels), and a dual-core 1.7 GHz processor. It comes loaded with Android 4.2 jelly and has the provision for wireless charging.
So what does this all mean exactly? Well, by comparison it's essentially slower, has a lower resolution screen, and a lower spec camera (very similar to the Galaxy S4 Zoom but without the the big camera on the back) than the original Galaxy S4. From the hands-on reviews that I've read though, the Mini is given credit for feeling more comfortable in your hands than its arguably unwieldy-at-times predecessor. That said, there's nothing else really which makes this latest release sound like it will provide us with anything particularly remarkable. So in terms of the value it offers to consumers, I think this will basically come down to whatever price Samsung decides to set for it. Based on the specifications listed above, I'd say it's a mid-range phone by today's standards. Meaning if it's too expensive then my feeling is that customers will look elsewhere or simply choose to fork out extra and get the larger, more powerful Galaxy S4.
We'll keep you updated on the Mini's pricing information and the deals being offered for it as things begin to unfold.